It's about time that we finally recognize that drug addiction is a medical problem that requires medical treatment, not punishment. It is unfortunate that our path to this realization has been so bittersweet -- and so long in coming.
President Obama's push for a treatment-centered approach, as opposed to criminalization of substance abusers, is a step in the right direction. However, just as someone arrested for drug possession is often sentenced to mandated rehab, so too should the overdose victim be required to receive help.
When someone is fighting an inner battle, sometimes the clearest solutions are clouded. Their judgement is clouded. They make a decision that they wouldn't typically make. They fall into the wrong crowd to feel cool, accepted, or to have some fun. They decide on the most convenient and readily available escape.
Somewhere, right now, there is a family packing up the car to drive to St. Jude. Their world has been turned upside down and their child is hurting.
When we understand the real nature of addiction, we can do a better job of fighting it -- no matter what substance is involved. In the case of marijuana, this means recognizing that the harms of addiction, while subtle, are real -- and shouldn't be dismissed because they are psychological.
The reasons that drugs like heroin, cocaine, marijuana and others are illegal today have far more to do with economics and cultural prejudice than with addiction.
It doesn't matter if you have been using heroin for six months or six years; it is dangerously dark from the beginning and it only gets darker as you continue to use.
There is one life-saving strategy -- supervised injection facilities -- that have been implemented in dozens of cities all around the world, but nowhere in the United States.
The Black Holes of Greenland are cryoconites are created when a deposited mass of soot, consisting of glued amalgums created by bacteria, focuses heat absorption, melting deep holes into the ice.
When I argue for greater compassion towards addicts, I often get somebody replying who says something like: "Then you shouldn't call them 'addicts.' Stop using that word." It's a serious argument, and one that is worth thinking through in public.
I remember how awesome it was to play The Legend of Zelda for the first time. I was very young, but I recall watching my aunt and uncle play the game ...
Paul Yabor spent enough time with a needle in his arm to shake his head at the simple notion of ever really hitting rock bottom. He prefers to say he had a moment of sanity one afternoon in a Philadelphia flophouse, surrounded by the hollow-eyed faces of fellow heroin addicts.
Copyright: Shutterstock The Obama administration just ...
Tracey Helton Mitchell exposes her blemishes, and that is an understatement. She doesn't make heroin addiction or selling her body at all romantic, an...
At first I was confused by the casual, almost awkward display. Accustomed to the high polish of gallery and museum exhibitions, I initially felt I had stumbled upon the work a little too early, as though it wasn't quite ready for public display. But gradually, "not ready" began to feel more real, more intimate, and flexible.
Jails and prisons have a unique opportunity to serve people in need of treatment and divert them from harmful behaviors. But right now, almost every step they take reinforces an incarcerated person's reasons for using substances. A drug-related jail or prison term shouldn't carry a death risk.