Socialworkishsunday: Something Happened

As a crisis worker, I spend a LOT of time in emergency departments. Up until about a year ago, I think I witnessed ONE overdose coming in, and then something happened. These days, I usually don’t get through a work shift without an overdose coming in. Sometimes they die. Narcan isn’t made of magic. Overhearing these people dying (because even if they live through that overdose…. they are still dying) day in and day out really takes a toll on me. So many people with so much life yet to live. But something happened, and now their life belongs to drugs.
There have ALWAYS been drugs and there have ALWAYS been people addicted to them. Something happened and now we have an epidemic. WHAT HAPPENED!????
I see people post the most disgusting and heartless memes recommending we just let all the drug addicts kill themselves, suggesting Narcam shouldn’t be readily available, saying ‘it’s their choice to do drugs—it’s their problem,’ etc. What if is ISN’T their choice? Do you really think ANY 5 year old out there is spinning around with their arms spread out daydreaming about the first time they get their hands on some smack? Coloring at the table imagining their first night as a homeless person? Getting ready for an 8th grade dance thinking about how excited they are to grow up and trade their first blow job for an 8-ball? No. But SOMETHING HAPPENED, and the it’s starting to seem like drugs are just as likely a future as college for kids growing up right now.
It is SO. EASY. TO. JUDGE. But I PROMISE YOU that EVERY overdose I overhear was once just a ‘regular kid,’ with hopes, dreams, crayons, and swings. EVERY overdose I overhear is someone with family members JUST LIKE YOU about to hear the worst news of their life; That any hope they were holding is gone.
We need to figure out what happened and then work on fixing it. Judging, ignoring, alienating, demonizing and ‘not-my-probleming’ is just making things so much worse.

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