From NPR: “Hope and Pete Troxell live in Frederick, Maryland. Last year, their 34-year-old daughter Alicia died after overdosing on fentanyl – a synthetic form of heroin. She was seven months pregnant. Hope says before Alicia’s death, they often felt the weight of judgment.
‘So many people look at these [people] that are addicted to drugs, they call them every name in the book. They’re junkies, they’re thieves.’ […]
Researchers say one reason there is so much stigma around drug use is that many people view addiction as a moral weakness. Leo Beletsky, a public health researcher from Northeastern University, says stigma enters the political discourse ‘around personal responsibility versus coddling and enabling.’
He says the argument over whether drug users should simply ‘just say no’ distracts us from what needs to be the top priority: saving lives.
‘Look, if you want the person to take personal responsibility, you have to give them the tools to do that. And unless you revive the person who is dying, they are not going to take personal responsibility for anything.'”