On Overdose Awareness Day think about the families

If you can’t say something nice folks, don’t say anything at all.

Didn’t your parents teach you that?

August 31 is Overdose Awareness Day.

Arguably, given that someone in Canada dies of an overdose every two hours, each square on the calendar ought to be Overdose Awareness Day, really.

In the past three years at least a dozen families in Princeton have been devastated by an overdose or fentanyl poisoning death.

Often when a discussion centres around the drug crisis it focuses on the person with addiction, that man or woman finally released from struggle.

The refrains are all too familiar.

Who cares? Better off without them. Scum of the earth. Good riddance.

Incredibly, the family members of people with addiction also come under attack.

You should have done this. You shouldn’t have done that. Why did you enable him? Why did you kick her out of the house? What kind of parent are you?

Surely the death of a child – be that child four or forty – is one of the most destroying experiences any lifetime can deliver.

When a person is lost to addiction, however, it doesn’t take much imagination to appreciate the ones who loved that individual have visited every corner of hell even before they had to pick out a casket.

They’ve tried everything. They’ve begged and pleaded, sought medical help, and paid for rehabilitation. They’ve gone the tough love route, and they’ve tried to hold on to that once-upon-a-time baby so hard, as if a force of someone else’s will could save them.

Every dolt with a callous remark or a judgment should have to sit for half an hour, and hold the hand of a mother whose child was killed by drugs.

Addiction and people with addiction form a societal problem to be sure.

The lightening-did-not-strike-my-family crowd takes pleasure in pointing out that people with addiction do not contribute to the world.

No more do those who utterly lack compassion and empathy.

Think about the families, on August 31.

– Similkameen Spotlight.

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