Recently a famous and heralded actor died from a heroin overdose. Several days later this news is still blaring from my television; and the internet is buzzing about it. Social media was on fire for a day or two with the usual rants. Some saying what a shame; others saying oh well another dope fiend gone. That type of thing. It sturck me how little has changed about the way people perceive drug addiction. That is the shame. Especially in a country that is known for it's so-called "war on drugs". A war that accomplished little except putting many relatively harmless people in jail for years; while leaving the real perpatrators free to roam and prey on our youth and other vunerable people.
The death from drugs of an accomplished person who had everything and more to live for, may help change attitudes. Possibly some day people will see addiction as a disease. Hopefully, one day the desparation of a heroin addcit will be seen for what it really is....Maybe, at some point hospitals, doctors, elected officials, and everyone will understand that the addict had a predisposition to a terrible, terrible disease. That when the disease took it's grip on that person, they were in need of help. Their choice, be it alcohol or heroin, or prescription drugs, may have been almost accidental. But the choice isn't anything they can escape without medical and psychological help.
In the mean time, people will continue to die unnecesarily.. Our children, our neighbors, our friends. Some of the best and the brightest. Many just ordinary people who are loved.