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"Stigmatic": Our Opioid Crisis

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

Video from Garret Morgan

"Exploring the opioid crisis from its origins to its present scope. “Stigmatic: Our Opioid Crisis” is composed of interviews with those impacted by opiates, including law enforcement, medical professionals, and people in recovery. Their frank discussions highlight disagreements inside the activist community over controversial new strategies to combat the opiate epidemic. Each diverse perspective points to an undeniable obstacle at the center of the crisis: stigma." from video introduction

Learn the Stories Behind the Suffering

"In John 9:2, the disciples ask Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Their inquiry wasn’t unusual. In that ancient world, most people believed that people got what they deserved. Wealth, success, and power were given to righteous individuals who earned God’s favor. The poor, diseased, or disabled suffered God’s wrath due to their foolishness or sin. Here, the disciples assumed this man’s unfortunate circumstances were preventable if he or his family had lived differently or made better decisions.

In the 21st century, we aren’t much different. Rather than learning the stories of people who suffer, we prefer to make up our own.

Learn the Stories

When we see a homeless man begging for money at the end of a freeway ramp, we notice if he’s smoking cigarettes. As he approaches our vehicle, we note if there’s alcohol on his breath or track marks on his arm. From these observations, we quickly surmise why he’s homeless and how he spends his money. Our conclusion often affects whether we choose to help.

Many of us conclude people like this man are homeless due to bad individual decisions. Laziness. Addiction. Dropping out of school. If this person would get a job, enter a rehab facility, and take control of his life he’d be so much better off. We assume helping such people just funds their addictions and perhaps even validates their victim narratives, their beliefs that the world is against them. In other words, we assume a person is homeless because of his own sin and failure.." from the article: Learn the Stories Behind the Suffering

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