Skip to main content

Addiction is NOT Exclusive!

By February 12, 2024Blog

Addiction is not exclusive, as it can affect anyone and everyone who uses it. The dangerous
stigma that people who are suffering from addiction have purposefully chosen to be addicts is a
stigma that contributes to the lack of resources and funding our society has allowed for people
struggling with addiction. To combat this stigma, our society needs to become more aware that
anyone you may come across might have struggled with addiction or know someone who does.
Nearly half of all Americans have a friend or family member who has or is currently addicted to
drugs (Gramlich, 2017). To drive this point even deeper, the statistic surrounding people who
know a family member or a friend who has struggled with addiction is from 2017, making the
citation roughly 7 years old. Within those 7 years, fentanyl has entered our country, becoming
increasingly present in our communities and neighborhoods. Fentanyl is so present that 150
people are dying every day from an overdose (CDC, 2023). I believe that it is outrageous for our
society to be so naive because of the negative stigma of people suffering from addiction that
they believe that 150 people are actively choosing to die from addiction every day. I recently
came across a video of the famous “Jelly Roll” testifying in front of Congress regarding the
fentanyl crisis. In this testimony, he states something along the lines of “150 people are dying
from fentanyl every day; that’s the same amount of people an airplane could fit. Could you
imagine if there were one plane crash every day and how much media attention that would
get?” Jelly Roll’s questioning of media coverage of fentanyl and drug-related overdose coverage
in the media is him acknowledging just how much the negative stigma surrounding addiction
impacts our society’s assumptions and view of addiction and overdose. To combat this negative
stigma, our society must effectively denounce any prejudice against people who are struggling
with addiction and acknowledge the lengthy reach that addiction has on all people across our
country. We must offer resources and preventative efforts in all communities to offer support
to all people who need it, regardless of stigma.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, September 6). Fentanyl facts. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
Gramlich, J. (2017, October 26). Nearly half of Americans have a family member or close friend
who’s been addicted to drugs. Pew Research Center.