I work on what is commonly called “methadone mile.” It’s also been referred to as “ground zero” for the opiate addiction in Boston. I’ve heard those who are commonly seen walking around the area referred to as “zombies” or the “walking dead,” and even worse, as I’m sure you can imagine.
There are two methadone clinics, two shelters, a detox, and we (PAATHS) are in the same building as the needle exchange, in the immediate area.
When People Unite, Amazing Things Happen
On October 4th 2015 the silence ended. That was the day that the UNITE to Face Addiction rally happened on The National Mall in Washington, DC. Tens of thousands of people in long-term recovery from substance use disorders came out and ended their silence so they could break the stigma of addiction. There were also grieving parents and spouses that had lost their loved ones to the disease of addiction, and recovery allies. The bottom line is everyone is sick of seeing people with substance use disorders die, one every four minutes to be precise. The other issues that were addressed were the decriminalization of addiction, the failed “War on Drugs,” S. 524: Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (C.A.R.A.); a bill that is going before congress, and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act that the insurance companies are failing to follow. Each one of those issues is of vital importance and I recommend researching them online.
Cops and Addicts; Strange Bedfellows Indeed
I was at a panel talk the other day held by Home of New Vision and the Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project (WRAP) called “Recovery Is…” At this talk there were two members of the Washtenaw County Sheriffs Department in attendance and one was a speaker. Marlene Radzik, Commander, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Dept. and Jonathan Waddell, Training Manager at Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.
Honestly I have not had any interactions, either good or bad, with a police officer since I got sober. When I was drinking/drugging most of my experiences with the police ended with me in silver bracelets. That’s what happens when you drink and drive.
For some reason I felt compelled to stick around after the talk and speak to these two trusted servants of the Sheriffs department and I’m so glad I did.