I’ve heard every possible response to my chronicle, my testimony as my Nonnie would have called it – from compassion to flat out hellfire judgement. I welcome all of it, because you never know who might hear you, who might tip the scale. The hard and undeniable truth for everyone, including the haters, is that the chances of personal experience in your own addiction nightmare are increasing exponentially. When the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. is drug overdose, it can’t happen to me or mine is dangerously naive.
We are in a heroin epidemic. It has finally been demonstrated, validated, proven once and for all, that addiction is a disease, not a choice, and I can personally add a guarantee it will permanently change every day of the rest of your life, whether you are the addict or not. Without universally available addiction and mental health, medical, and behavioral treatment, in creditable rehab facilities for a proper amount of time, addiction will continue to spread and kill our children, our people, our beloved. While Narcan is all in the news lately, it is kind of a defib equivalent for overdose – it can only keep an addict breathing after the fact– without follow up treatment in rehab, nothing but rinse and repeat.
I write about this because I can, because I want you to understand it could be you and yours in the beat of a heart, because it’s lonely and isolated and scary as fuck here, and because I don’t do voiceless or invisibility, and I absolutely reject the addiction stigma. We don’t say screw those losers, let ‘em die about any other group of people suffering a raging, potentially fatal disease, do we?
While it sure as hell hasn’t been my day, my week, my month, or even my year, it’s still life, I’ve kept it together for another day, and I’ll try to be there for you, when the rain starts to pour. Testify.