Addiction is deadly. It kills more people each year than car accidents. Despite the fact that it is considered the leading public health and safety concern, not enough is being done to address it. And, unfortunately, only a small number of people are taking a stand and demanding action. This desperately needs to change. Lives depend on it.
It is a fact that when there is no pressure to do so, governments don’t take action. The evidence of this is clear when it comes to the opiate epidemic in North America that began over a decade ago. After all this time, we are still not meeting the demands for prevention, treatment, education, and after-care programs. As a result, people, most of them under the age of 35, are dying in record numbers and the death toll rises each year. To make matters even worse, young people have never had such easy access to dangerous drugs like today’s generation has. Is it any wonder that we have such a problem!
If another health issue was plaguing our young people and killing them the way addiction is, would people sit idly by and do nothing? I don’t think so! We, the families, have to speak up. If the very people who have been devastated the most by addiction won’t speak up then who will? We can’t wish it away. We can’t pray it away. Action is needed.
We all have our reasons to stay silent. I know that I did. I worried about my son being judged and ruining his life. I worried about our family’s reputation. I worried about my career being negatively affected and/or losing my job. But you know what? I realized one day that none of those things would matter to me in the least if my son died from this disease so why not do something about it now. I was determined to try to give my son and others a fighting chance of survival. I would give them a voice!
I also have other children, grandchildren and nieces growing up in a society plagued with prescription pills and other drugs. I didn’t want them to be the next victims. For all the reasons that I had to stay silent, I had many more important reasons to speak out.
We all know that addiction is misunderstood by the majority of people so why should we care about what they think? Besides, they can’t hurt us any more than we are already hurting with seeing our children slowly dying before our eyes. Why give others such power over us that we would keep silent about something that is killing people, including our children? I, personally, have no room in my life for people who sit back and judge something that they don’t know anything about. I am the one who takes the time to get educated about addiction, they don’t. When it happens to their families they’ll change their tunes just like we all did. I can’t afford to give any of my power away to the people who are ignorant about addiction when my son’s life and many others are on the line. The stakes are too high.
With an opiate epidemic destroying our homes and communities and the amount of people affected by it, we should be ROARING! Don’t wait until your child is sick with addiction or, God forbid, you have to bury them because of it. Enough people have lost their children. Let`s honour them. Speak up now! Give it all you’ve got.
This is your chance to turn this experience into something positive. History is filled with people who made the world better because they took a stand for a cause that they believed in despite the possible backlash. It takes courage to do so, especially with the stigma, but it is the only way that things will change. Our children need our voices to be heard. Find a way to be heard! We all say that we would do anything to help our children. What better way than to stand up for them and the many others who suffer from this treatable disease that goes under-treated or untreated in some cases. Silence guarantees the status quo.