Suffering from an addiction brings with it wrongful judgment in different forms. If someone has been diagnosed with a disease, the only place they should be ‘locked up’ is in a hospital. Prosecuting someone of a drug crime, given that they were using, and not dealing, seems highly unethical. The person is sick and has a problem that needs to be addressed immediately, something that hardly occurs in a penitentiary. As a result of this deficit, approximately 95 percent of inmates return to abusing drugs when they’re released, thus increasing the rate of recidivism, and perpetuating the stigma. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Asking the right questions is key.
Instead of judging someone diagnosed with having a substance use condition, wonder why. What would bring someone to the point of abusing drugs? Patience is a virtue, and you will most certainly need it, but it is not the only one. Try garnering every bit of empathy you have, and when you fall short, harvest some more. Try to listen to them, and hear their side as to how they got to where they are, instead of imagining how trivial it could be. Someone’s boulder could be another person’s pebble.Back to Blog