Why I Do What I Do
I found myself in tears recently. A friend of mine who also lost a child to addiction posted a news item about how six precious lives had been saved in one week thanks to the fact that Narcan is now being carried by law enforcement. Narcan reverses opiate overdose. I was so incredibly happy to read it. I thought, “Thank God Almighty.” Naively, I thought everyone would be as thrilled as I was. Not quite.
Let me paraphrase for you, a few of the comments left under the story…
“Junkies should be left to die”
“They should have to sign a contract that states after they are saved one time, that’s it”
“They are a drain on society and should be eliminated.”
One poor mother who lost a son and said he was educated and productive was told “I don’t care if he went to MIT. A junkie is a junkie.”
The ever popular “It’s their fault for being stupid enough to try it in the first place.”
And my personal favorite, “Narcan, counteracting heroine and Darwin at the same time.” He didn’t even spell heroin correctly, but you can tell he thought he was really clever coming up with that one.
The negative comments outweighed the positive ones at least 10 to 1. And I thought to myself, what happened in these people’s lives that they can be so cruel? That made them lack any empathy or compassion? That makes them more worried about their tax dollars being spent on Narcan than the lives it saves? That makes them say not all lives have value? I wept at the heartlessness and lack of concern for their fellow human beings.
And then it hit me, they don’t have a clue what addiction is all about. They haven’t bothered to educate themselves, yet they feel qualified to pass judgment on something which they know nothing about. They say otherwise, but I guarantee they would feel much differently if it happened to one of their children. I know it.
So what do you do? Do you try to change their minds? I really doubt their minds can be changed. Some of them will have the devastating misfortune to be taught by life. And for that, I am genuinely sorry. I became very discouraged about whether my efforts are really making any difference. But another mom reminded me for every one of ‘them’ there are thousands of ‘us’. And she’s right. And if my efforts save one life, then hallelujah.
So here’s the plan…I will continue to shout the message from the rooftops. I will spend every free minute and take every opportunity to educate the masses to the best of my ability. I truly believe education is the key. All great change takes time. I will learn to be more patient. I see small changes every day. I will remember to acknowledge the good changes. I will rejoice with every life saved. I will never stop. Because every life has value.
If you would like to share your story and help educate people, please do! It’s really easy. You can do it in one of 2 ways:
In love and light,