I was checking the news feed on my phone this morning, and I came across something interesting. It did not surprise me; it simply reminded me of an issue that comes up more and more often these days as the entire country is facing a growing opioid epidemic. Rachel Knapp, a reporter for KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico was covering a group of people in her local community who were up in arms about a drug treatment facility moving in down the road. I don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone who has ever spoken out in a similar way on this issue, but most people who are fighting to keep drug treatment out of their own communities are only hurting themselves and the people around them.
People with substance use disorders are all around us, whether someone likes it or not. The country is facing an unprecedented spike in the use of opioids that do not come from a doctor, methamphetamine use is exploding in places like Albuquerque and elsewhere, and alcohol and other drugs have never gone away. If you have a picture in your mind of drug treatment attracting dangerous criminals to the area, I can tell you right now that the average addict is no more likely to have committed a violent crime than anyone else. The average drug rehab, such as the one I write for in Panama City, Florida, treats predominantly people who come from the community that the center is located in. Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center, in Panama City, mainly treats people from the Florida Panhandle and helps them quit drugs and alcohol. The reality is that drug rehabs like ours take would be drunk drivers, the average alcoholic who seeks treatment has driven drunk many times and seeks to return those people to the community happier, healthier, and finally clean and sober.
Every extended family is likely to have multiple members who are struggling, either in silence or openly, and it tears at the fabric of families and communities. Treatment is the only hope that most of these people, and families, have. Should you fight to keep a drug rehab center from opening in your community? Only if you want more deaths on the roads, more overdose deaths in the hospitals and on the streets, and more broken families and ruined lives. Those things are all happening everywhere in this country, every day. Just one more point. This opiate problem, and our societies’ drug problems in general, did not just appear out of thin air. For decades unethical doctors and drug companies pumped the most addictive substances known to man into our communities and into all our lives, just to make money. That fact is not in dispute, as scores of doctors and others have been fined, lost licenses, and gone to jail. A small portion of the medical community helped to create this destructive crisis, but now more and more caring and ethical members of the larger health care community are working to put an end to the madness. We should support those efforts, wherever and whenever we can.
By Tim Cannon
“Española residents push back on drug rehab facility.” Rachel Knapp.
KRQE. Retrieved from https://www.krqe.com/news/new-mexico/espanola-residents-push-back-on-drug-rehab-facility/
Filed under: Drug Rehab Panama City FL, Opiate Epidemic, Florida Springs Wellness, and Recovery Center