Please Know...

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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Thursday, May 10, 2018

You're Evicted!

Evictions happen in expected and surprising ways.

There are the expected types of evictions by a landlord or a bank when the tenant can't pay the rent or the mortgage owner can't pay the mortgage.

There are other types of evictions such as in a marriage when one evicts the other or themselves from the real or perceived circumstances of their situation.  This may help that.

And then there are those once in a lifetime forms of eviction when a city known for its "brotherly love" decides to rearrange its tenants so as to "clean up" its streets.

In the case of the renting tenant and the mortgage owner and the marriage partner, they will sadly move on to some other setting completely separate and devoid of their original landlord or bank or spouse.

In the case of the city of brotherly love, it's not even slightly a separation.  Except for the few "tenants" of Emerald City and its surrounding bridge communities who may choose to find detox and rehab through this eviction process, many will remain "tenants" of the city and take up residence in their "landlord's" abandoned buildings.  They will continue to take their medicine and some of these daughters and sons will overdose and die in the absence of their "housemates".

This past Sunday, as I visited the men and women of Emerald City and its surrounding bridge communities, I made one request as I sat on the sidewalk with those who I know and love:
"At the end of this eviction process, in the event that you choose not to go to detox or some other setting for healing and rather decide to continue to take your "medicine" in abandoned buildings, please promise me that you will never inject alone." 

I did not need to explain my rationale.  Each man and woman understood my thought.  All promised and that's great.  When the reality of the "landlord" and "tenant" relationship shifts from the bridges to the 'abandos,'[1] will the promise be maintained or will the City of Brotherly Love bear the burden of knowing they could have done better by keeping this addicted "family" together where they could look out for each other while real solutions are found.

Our loved ones in Emerald City and its surrounding bridge communities are being evicted because our society does not fully understand that they have an addiction that is recognized as follows in the DSM-5:

DSM 5 Criteria for Substance Use Disorder
Opioid Use Disorder Criteria:
A minimum of 2-3 criteria is required for a mild substance use disorder diagnosis, while 4-5 is moderate, and 6-7 is severe (APA, 2013). Opioid Use Disorder is specified instead of Substance Use Disorder, if opioids are the drug of abuse. Note: A printable checklist version is linked below
1.     Taking the opioid in larger amounts and for longer than intended
2.     Wanting to cut down or quit but not being able to do it
3.     Spending a lot of time obtaining the opioid
4.     Craving or a strong desire to use opioids
5.     Repeatedly unable to carry out major obligations at work, school, or home due to opioid use
6.     Continued use despite persistent or recurring social or interpersonal problems caused or made worse by opioid use
7.     Stopping or reducing important social, occupational, or recreational activities due to opioid use
8.     Recurrent use of opioids in physically hazardous situations
9.     Consistent use of opioids despite acknowledgment of persistent or recurrent physical or psychological difficulties from using opioids
10.   *Tolerance as defined by either a need for markedly increased amounts to achieve intoxication or desired effect or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount. (Does not apply for diminished effect when used appropriately under medical supervision)
11.   *Withdrawal manifesting as either characteristic syndrome or the substance is used to avoid withdrawal (Does not apply when used appropriately under medical supervision)
*This criterion is not considered to be met for those individuals taking opioids solely under appropriate medical supervision.[2]

You're Evicted and it may cost you your life! 

[1] That's the word for abandoned house or building.

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