We need to get real and stop exploiting substance abuse.
NOVEMBER 10, 2023
Good grief. I was driving home the other day subjected to the usual pummeling of advertisements that feel more like exploitation of people's problems than anything else. Tax Debt Relief, Extended Car Warranties, Guaranteed Psychics predicting the future, Talk To Bambi, etc. Then one hit that really got my attention...some company marketing Naloxone to help people drink less or stop drinking all together. It was being promoted as the safe alternative to other ways of stopping drinking. Never mind the restlessness, chest pain, hypertension, fast heart beating, and a whole other plethora of serious, possibly life-threatening things that can happen when this drug is routinely used.
From here, fast-forward to the Gala Opening of an exhibit at a local Art Gallery in my home-town last night to promote awareness of opioid addiction, replete with a Naloxone display. Funny thing is the people owning the gallery also own the bar directly across the street . I guess after feeling good from supporting opioid awareness, the patrons of the arts had a short walk to have a few drinks in celebration of their empathy. Newsflash - alcohol is the biggest gateway drug of all, and by far the biggest addiction problem in the world.
Then there are the for-profit treatment centers that rope in addicts and alcoholics, pressure them into the mentality of 'I'll go to any lengths to get sober' followed by pressure to get loans from banks to finance their recovery. Once tapped out, the in-debt over their heads addicts usually are declared recovered and thrown back out onto the street.
And the politicians...oh the politicians. They have no clue what they are talking about with solutions like shooting people dead who are caught smuggling drugs in through the Mexican Border to cries for more addiction treatment centers without any thought of how they are going to fund them knowing that the middle-class will not support a tax increase to pay for such efforts. Truth is, the politicians are feeding off drug addiction in this country because it can be tied to violent crime, homelessness, etc etc which are things people fear, and that generates votes.
Drug addiction, and all the nasty stuff that goes with it, makes people afraid, and that is the perfect formula for exploitation and it makes me sick seeing it happen with no workable solutions being offered. Drug Addiction in this country has been monetized, and once that happens the incentive to actually solve the problem changes. People die, but by God, they've played their part in helping maximize investor value.
I don't have the solution, but one thing we do need is more community action in a way that those involved do not see addiction as an opportunity to further their own self interests. Let's quit monetizing everything and figure out some ways to actually help one another.