Addicts need compassion, not hatred

Published by adviser, Author: Joseph Szalinski - Rocket Contributor , Date: October 2, 2016
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Our country is in the midst of an epidemic unlike anything seen before: incredibly cheap prices, in concert with once unbelievable purity, have led many to start using heroin, among other drugs.

Of course, by now, the purity is suspect, as it has become alarmingly common for dealers to cut “heroin” with even more powerful and insidious chemicals, like fentanyl and W-18. This has allowed for addicts to become addicted more easily, stay addicted, and more likely to overdose, as if the odds weren’t already stacked against them.
To make matters worse, it’s not like these addicts have much of a support network. People are too quick to demonize those with a problem they don’t understand, unfortunately, leaving addicts destitute and living in squalor. All for a problem that isn’t entirely their fault!

Granted, it’s extremely ill-advised to use a substance as vile and destructive as heroin, but users are motivated by more than a simple desire to get high and have fun. Shooting dope requires a much different mentality than smoking a joint or having a few drinks does.
The heroin user typically has another, undiagnosed problem, like depression, that they are self-medicating because of. Either that, or because of their dependency, the addicts develop a mental condition, like depression. And dealing with that, and an addiction, when no one wants to help you, is beyond torturous.

Addiction is an illness, specifically, a mental illness, as much as people like YouTube “star”/talking head, Amiri King, would like to have you believe otherwise.
It’s a cliché argument, but no one starts off wanting to be an addict. Whether the impetus was a preexisting mental illness or just the desire to experiment, no one should be a slave to a chemical. Hard drug addiction is a physical addiction that compels users to continue using on a chemical level.

There is a chemical imbalance if this need isn’t satisfied, a chemical imbalance like typical mental illnesses. It’s not hard to understand. It’s not a simple habit like driving a particular way to work every morning, drugs hack a person’s biochemistry.
Plus, more and more people are becoming addicts through prescription medication taken as prescribed! Pharmaceutical companies have been fined for manufacturing dangerous compounds, and doctors have gotten in trouble for overzealously doling them out. Hardly seems like it’s solely the addicts’ fault.
Yes, if any other laws are broken, or if someone is caught selling hard drugs, they should be punished accordingly. But being an addict shouldn’t be a death sentence. No one deserves that. We help out alcoholics, so why the double standard here? Everyone knows someone struggling with heroin addiction now. So we should be prepared as possible.

We don’t disregard the mentally ill in typical cases, so why in these instances? If people want to make the case that “all lives matter,” how about these lives? If people want to be pro-life, addicts are the ideal people to protect.

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