Drugs Suck, but the People that Use them Do Not

I’m sick of hearing the word “opioid.”  Especially when it’s from the mouth of a non-addict.  They don’t know the severity and true & totally utter pain that a SUD can inflict.  I don’t even think non-addicts could make a valid attempt to understand it.

Even when I was actively using drugs several years ago, I honestly never heard it mentioned.  These days, stories regarding the use, abuse, and ramifications (legal or otherwise) of opioids have inundated local news briefings, radio ads, newspaper columns, magazine articles, presidential addresses, etc.  We have completely arrived to the point, as a general society in the United States, where substance abuse-related stories don’t have much emotional poignancy anymore.  That’s really a shame.  Actually, it’s very heartbreaking.  There are people that are being deeply screwed in this grand media desensitizing.  It’s the addicts themselves.

Everything has become so black-and-white, ever since the rates of painkiller addiction have spiked.  I’m actually quite scared, since when it comes to life, I never believe that things can’t get worse.  Plus, right now, things are already pretty damn severe.  And I’m not talking about the startlingly frightening number of overdose deaths.  It’s the sufferers of addiction that need to be heard out.  For their own sake, and the better of this rapidly-paced Western stratosphere.
plightgirl
We ALL have something to say that is worth listening to.

All addicts, particularly ones that have or are facing a dire substance use conflict in their lives, are worthy of listening to.  I wholeheartedly mean this.  I went to a support group today at a local treatment center, and, for the most part, I was granted with the much-appreciated opportunity to be heard, and consequently reflect back on the state of my own life when I was constantly using drugs.  Going to this group today was a particularly fulfilling experience for me; I go to groups like this typically once or twice a month.  However, in the last few months, between working a great deal, being physically sick with this pesky respiratory menace seemingly infesting everyone, and the recent round of holidays, I have missed some of my usual sessions.  It is not a good thing.  These support groups, I guess you would call them, are honestly mentally medicinal for me.

I was reminded yet again that all addicts, no matter where they’re at in their recovery, before, during, or after, have very complicated and convoluted lives.  The immediate and overall aftermath of indulging in dope reeks abundant havoc on one’s life.  And, to be able to open up your world to absolutely anyone, even just a tiny bit, is so incredibly validating.  It sounds so simple, and that’s because it is.  Addiction itself is a complicated thing.  Well, all of this media hype has become overwhelmingly complicated, too.  How about we just scale things back a bit (well, a lot), and just hear an addict out.  I’ll be completely honest.  I like being able to share even just a miniscule amount of my personal history with drugs because it makes me feel more significant than I normally would.  Non-addicts too often write off people that have suffered from this illness or disease, whatever you want to call it.  I mean, hey, there is not one person that doesn’t need to feel important sometimes.  Self-reflection, as I re-discovered earlier, is edifying.

If all of the drug stories on the news were made into animation, minus all dialogue/captions, the sentiment from the briefings have become so cold and stoic, that they would just look like black outlines.  Enabling an addict to share his or her story, or, rather, just a little bit of it even, would complement the current state of coverage very fittingly – perhaps add some color in between the lines.  You know?

How do we do this?

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