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Last night I had the opportunity to share my story on a panel alongside some incredible people! We had shown the film, “Chasing the Dragon” and had a discussion afterwards.
The audience consisted of nursing students from St. Vincent’s College and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, CT. They were all SO interested about the topic of opioid abuse and they were passionate to be part of the solution!
As grateful as I was to be a part of this panel and provide vital resources that these nurses needed, I was SHOCKED when I heard a comment that another panelist said.
“Every three weeks we have a 9/11”
Meaning, every three weeks, the amount of overdose deaths are equivalent to the amount of deaths that occurred on 9/11/01
I’ve heard and experienced so much regarding addiction and the opioid crisis, so something never shocks me. However, this one did.
Maybe it was because I remember 9/11 and the horror of it.
Also, I thought it was kind of interesting. When 9/11 happened, so many resources were created and became available for family members of victims and preventative strategies.
I feel like for the opioid crisis, there is still so much more this country (both citizens and government) can do to tackle this epidemic.
I did realize some similarities though.
STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION, Both with the opioid crisis and with 9/11. People judged and made assumptions that anyone from the Mid-East were a terrorist or supported terrorism. In the opioid epidemic, people judge addicts, people in recovery, and family members.
Another similarity I noticed was that memorials were made. I’m seeing a lot of remembrance quilts, vigils, and walks throughout the country. The same things happened for the victims of 9/11.
This fact that the panelist said hurt me because HOW IS THAT FACT STILL NOT ENOUGH TO DECLARE A NATIONAL EMERGENCY?!
Anyways, I would love to know your thoughts on what I heard.
I’ve included an article about this statement and trailer of “Chasing the Dragon”
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