Thank you for your article about the heroin/overdose epidemic [“Drug epidemic: Officials see links between prescription drugs and heroin,” Sept. 2, Xpress]. It is a reality, and its consequences affect, as you wrote, much more than the addict him/herself.
While I agree that addicts should be treated as people suffering from a lethal condition and not as criminals, I think that it is also as important to present addicts as human beings who sometimes make decisions with terrible consequences.
That decision-making process has nothing to do with weakness as mentioned in that same article: “But in a moment of weakness last November … he once again injected heroin into his veins.”
Casting such a judgment is certainly not what is going to help addicts to seek help [without] fear of being stigmatized as weak, no good from the get-go. I don’t know how many addicts [reporter] Clarke Morrison knows personally, but my advice would be to get in touch with the recovery community and realize that people from all walks of life who are turning their lives around to fight a lifelong condition are everything but weak.
Addicts are not outcasts; they are your brother, sister, cousin, nephew, father, neighbor, and they need help, not judgment.
— Michel Guicheney