I find myself having difficulty having compassion and caring for people who experience overdoses of illegal drugs. It troubles me that tax dollars go for treatments of these self-inflicted problems.
A recent case of a heroin overdose brought this to mind. A new drug is on the market which brings these people who have overdosed out of their drug induced death spiral. The story I read said that the police carry these medications for just such occasions. I asked “Who paid for that?”.
The low road of drug addiction is one that is freely chosen. Unless someone holds you down and administers the drugs, it is an affliction you yourself create. How it ends in overdose is something that I wonder about. Is heroin a drug that once you are in its grips takes more and more of to create the same high? Since this affliction is freely chosen why should I be required to care if you die? Why should I have my tax dollars spent to stock a medication to save you from your self-inflicted state?
Some suggest that drug addiction is a many headed hydra, meaning, resulting from many possible things. Depression, a loss, general misery, the list is long I am told, that could lead one to choose the escape. At this point I suggest that there are treatments available, even free of charge, for those suffering from mental disturbances of various sorts. I am told that many do not have access. I respond that they are there for the asking. I am told that some people are simply ignorant of the existence, or too far down the road of despair to care.
People use alcohol and sometimes descend into the bottle so deeply they cannot climb out. People walking in the streets see these “bums” lying about with their bottles shielded in paper bags and usually express contempt for them. Is this not the same? The only difference I see is the illegal state of one and the legal state of the other. There are alcohol clinics and drug clinics, no doubt funded by our tax dollars also. Society as a whole then cares. Both addictions are entered into by choice… or are they? There’s that many headed hydra of reasons why people descend into habits of such questionable nature.
Why should I care? Society may make some allowances for the addicted, but is it caring? If society cared would it have an economic system where people are suddenly without employment? People who are thrown out of work are among those who fall prey to the vices of addiction. Isn’t it true then, that one of the products of a capitalist system would be a group of unemployed people who inevitably must fall prey to addictions? There are many forms of stress that may lead to depression, though.
I guess the real question is why society does not care until some tragedy occurs… like addiction. Why isn’t there some effort to head off the causes of depression, or stress, before the fall? Is this another case of the old saying “Don’t fix it till it’s broke”?