Lately the news has been buzzing with the names Demi Lovato and Mac Miller; along with these names the diction of the article usually consists of addiction, overdose, tragedy and support. When stars are seen in need or struggling, the world reaches out. Prayers are made for the families that have lost, and articles are written; the opioid epidemic in America is real, and for once our society thinks about it.
But what about the thousands of Spokane citizens struggling with addiction on a daily basis? What about the overdoses we ignore? These are our people, our community, and we are ostracizing them. To “solve” this problem we are letting them die, sending them to the overcrowded jails, or putting them out in the cold to live homeless, helpless and struggling.
We need to help provide resources for our citizens; we need to look past this disease and see the people behind it. These people who are seen as a burden or a menace to society are brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. Spokane’s representatives, citizens and lawmakers need to no longer ignore our community in need. We need to make rehab more accessible than a jail cell or the streets.