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There is so much to be mad about …..why this?

I have been trying to write for days.  I have been without much to say.  My daughter is dead, my life feels lonely and difficult. My daugther, is yet another victim of opiate overdose.  For about a week I could not find anything to write about and I could not come up with anything much to say.  I have moped around the house trying to find some energy and some will to do anything.  I turned on the internet and saw scrolls of people complaining about a skit on SNL that pokes at the growing opiate abuse rate.  Now, I expected to turn this thing on and be completely offended, but no.  It was a relatively cute skit about heroin.  Here is what I have to say.  I lost my daughter no more than a month ago and this tv comedy skit is not offensive to me.  Maybe someone can explain why it is so offensive and I will get it, but I doubt it.  Comedy always takes touchy subjects and pokes at them.  IF YOU WANT TO BE MAD or UPSET or DISGUSTED there are plenty of things to be disgusted about and let me tell you SNL is not one of them.  Here are a few of the comments just so you get a picture of how upset people are:

“It [showed] utter disrespect to those currently stuggling daily with drug addiction and to those who have lost someone to heroin previously,” the petition stated. “They need to be held accountable. Free speech does not give you the right to be cruel.”

“I have lost 2 of my 3 sons to heroin, it is NO laughing matter,” a woman who said she was from Missouri wrote on the petition. “This was downright cruel.”

If you want to get petitions started, and rise up there are plenty of reasons to do it.  Why are legal exchanges still not legal in the US SOUTH when we know that they dramatically reduce the harms of injection drug use and do not encourage drug use in any way!

Why do abstinence based treatment centers refuse to give “guests” leaving their facilities Naloxone( an extremely safe overdose reversal drug)and teach them about the danger of overdose when we know people leaving treatment are 12x more likely to overdose and die.

Why are we still turning a blind eye to drug user health?  The statistics show that up to 75% of people who have ever injected drugs are already infected with hepatitis C, yet most drug treatment centers (outpatient and inpatient) do not teach basic HCV prevention education or provide testing.  In a need assessment survey taken by the organization I work with we asked 100 people who used drugs if they knew how people aquired HCV….over 60% said they believed that you get HCV from yourself.  The correct answer is from contaminated blood from another person, but the fact that so many drug users have no idea how HCV is spread is a real indicator of a public health crisis and failure.

Why do we continue to promote abstinence based treatment as the “gold standard” for opiate treatment when it has about a 5% success rate.  Suboxone and Methadone are far more successful and heavily studied.

Why do we not offer Suboxone and Methadone at reasonable prices people that are struggling can afford?  Why can medicaid and medicare not pay for methadone treatment? The prices we charge people for these treatments are outrageous…In Greensboro you pay 16 dollars a day for methadone treatment and over 25 dollars a day for suboxone treatment.  Insurance is not allowed to be used at these (private, money making) clinics.  They are cash only.  No credit. and if you are 1 minute late too bad you are irresponsible so you are denied medication (even if you call and tell them about a situation that is out of your control).

This is just a handful of things to be upset about if you want to get mad.  I could go on for hours about the mistreatment, criminalization, dehumanization, and unethical behavior I have witnessed throughout my life.  The SNL skit is comedy.  It is intended to offend.  I actually thought it was done well.  Finally, white normal  looking people were cast as drug users (injection drug users at that)  HEY GUESS WHAT….that is really what is going on!!!  So if you are short of things to get pissed about read this website, come to our Tuesday community organizing meeting at 7:30 tomorrow night, but leave SNL alone!

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