XtinaDC X End Overdose Collaboration
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
Written and published by X
“Provisional data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before.” (CDC/National Center for Health Statistics)
There’s no denying that there's a stigma around people who use drugs and people with drug addictions. So why is does the stigma exist? One could argue that doing drugs is inherently bad because it can be detrimental for your mental, emotional and/or physical health, but we need to start recognizing and having the emotional intelligence to understand that there are reasons behind why people get into drugs in the first place. There are a variety of factors that play into this. You might have more in common with an addict or someone who uses than you'd think, even if you've "never touched a drug in your entire life". When you eat a piece of chocolate, you're triggering your dopamine levels. Same with when you open a present. What about spending hours on Tik Tok? Drinking coffee? Video games? All of these things give you a spike of dopamine too, so what's the difference between someone eating a piece of chocolate and doing drugs? We're told not to do drugs. It's illegal, addicting, and looked down on. What a lot of people misinterpret about people that use is that they're not using to hurt others or to be a "bad person". People do things out of curiosity. They do things because they feel pressured or maybe they've been through so much pain that drugs are the only thing that they feel like they can cope with. Some grow up in a family where drugs are forced to be taken, or maybe just overly normalized. Some people are over prescribed. And some people feel as if they're under prescribed, so they look for more. Some people just simply want to try it because they want to have a different experience or a different outlook on life, and we shouldn't judge them for any of that. What is the point in stigmatizing drug use? Who does it help? Will it stop people from using? Absolutely not. It will not make any situation better, if anything it could make it worse. Bottom line is, if someone wants drugs, they will find a way to get the drugs. The entire purpose of End Overdose is to make sure they're SAFE while using. Everyone is worthy of being safe, healthy and alive. It all starts with empathy and love.
The war on drugs
"Today, Black America is still suffering social effects from the war on drugs. The vast majority of incarcerated Americans, 46%, are in jail for drug crimes. And while about 14% of the nation’s population is Black, Black people make up just over 38% of its prison population, with more dramatic proportions in certain states. One out of every three Black men born in 2001 can expect to go to prison in his lifetime."
"These statistics do not indicate an increased amount of drug use among Black people — instead, it indicates law enforcement’s focus on communities of color and racial disparities in punishments. Communities of color face higher rates of policing and are more likely to retain harsh sentences for drug-related crimes.