To the Editor,
Any talk of government funding to make effective treatment available to low- and no-income hard-drug addicts — however much it could ween them off the unregulated poisoned street drugs — seems to get firmly opposed by the general socially and fiscally conservative electorate.
In many straight minds, drug addicts have somehow committed a moral crime. Serious life trauma, notably adverse childhood experiences, is typically behind a substance abuser’s debilitating lead-ball-and-chain, self-medicating lifestyle.
Generally, there’s a formidable reason why a person repeatedly consumes and gets heavily hooked on an unregulated, often deadly chemical that eventually destroys their life and even that of a loved-one.
It all doesn’t happen out of boredom.
The greater the drug-induced euphoria or escape one attains from its use, the more one wants to repeat the experience; and the more intolerable one finds their sober reality, the more pleasurable that escape should be perceived. By extension, the greater one’s mental pain or trauma while sober, the greater the need for escape from reality, thus the more addictive the euphoric escape-form will likely be.
Tragically, the pain may be so overwhelming that the most extreme and potentially permanent form of escape — suicidal behaviour — is sometimes chosen.
We now know pharmaceutical corporations intentionally pushed their very addictive opiate pain killers — the real moral crime — for which they got off relatively lightly, considering the resulting immense suffering and overdose death numbers.
Frank Sterle Jr.
White Rock, B.C.