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As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Does this seem right to you?

The opening sentence of this article from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania makes it clear that drug addiction, in the eyes of our state is seen as a disease.

The Wolf Administration today awarded $1 million grants to four organizations to build medication-assisted treatment programs for Pennsylvanians suffering from the disease of addiction.

After twenty years of service in two different hospitals, Riddle Memorial Hospital in Media Pa and Wood County Hospital in Bowling Green Ohio, I’ve come to really understand that people with diseases are treated by doctors upon being diagnosed.  Depending on the circumstances of those diseases, these people are treated as inpatients (admitted to a hospital) or as outpatients (remaining at home with medical care overseen by medical professionals.)

In the disease of addiction, the procedures are a bit different.  Upon diagnosis by family and friends, the person with the disease is often told to leave their family, move under a bridge, beg at street corners, shoplift, and/or rent out their bodies through prostitution to support life and to avoid dope sickness.  They risk further disease through sexual transmission, risk jail time, risk death from overdose and the dangers of simply being on the street and more.

If that’s not enough, of their own accord, these human beings with a recognized disease of drug addiction have, by default, organized themselves into communities that live under bridges or in secluded fields as a way of supporting each other in their time of need since the larger society cannot or will not provide the needed services to get them back to health. 

But it doesn’t stop there…

These days, every two weeks or so, the powers that be within the City of Philadelphia (“the City of Brotherly Love”) come along with police officers[1] and sanitation workers with trash trucks to evict these human beings with a recognized disease of drug addiction from their self-created communities.  They tell them to leave their self-created community without giving them an honorable alternative such as a hospital bed that would be given to anyone with any other form of recognized disease.  

Whatever these humans with a recognized disease can’t physically carry away with them in this moment is picked up by sanitation workers who deposit their personal property into the back of trash trucks and crunch it never to be useable or seen again.

Within minutes or hours of the police and sanitation workers leaving the area of this self-created community, the residents move back because they have no place else to go.

Does this seem right to you?

[1] Who, in general, do not want to be doing this

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