Compassion needed to break stigma of addiction, which afflicts people from all walks of life

Posted 23 February 2023 at 6:26 pm


In response to Paul Roberts, First of all, I am far from a liberal. I am a family member of a person in treatment, a person with 630 days substance free. I’m forced to drive 4 hours at a minimum every week to support my loved one in his quest to stay clean due to the lack of residential treatment in this area.

Secondly, you already have drug addicts in your neighborhood, you just turn a blind eye to them since you appear to feel their existence is of no value and since they aren’t in a labeled location advertising their struggle, it’s easy to do.

These are people, humans, who love and are loved. They are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. They are blue-collar workers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, veterans.

They are people looking to become productive members of society again. Albion needs some of those. Look around, you’re surrounded by an area of blight, low incomes, lack of motivation, addiction and apathy.

Opinions like yours fuel the stigma of addiction and cause people to fear treatment because they feel they don’t deserve to be healthy, happy and prosperous. They fear sharing the fact that they have a disease.

Ostracizing “these” people creates higher crime rates, death rates, puts a drain on welfare and wreaks havoc on families and loved ones affected by this issue as they are forced to suffer in silence or bear the burden of the stigma.

Addiction does not discriminate. There is no profile of an addict. I think you’d be surprised by who you know that has been affected by this. Hopefully your glass house continues to protect your loved ones but statistics show that is surely not going to be the case until we embrace the fact that addiction is a disease – until we battle the stigma and speak up and educate people. It’s out there front and center and needs to be acknowledged.

Kindness, care and compassion may be a better option than ill will, incorrect assumptions and ignorance. Maybe the Mayor should hold a community meeting to see if there is support for a treatment facility.

They don’t need his approval, it seems they are hoping to have a positive, supportive community environment for people to heal. Maybe he should focus on the empty store fronts downtown.

Battle the Stigma. They Do Recover.


Christine Fernandez Crane

Medina, formerly of Albion