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comment by b_b
b_b  ·  153 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Overdose Deaths Reached Record Level of 72,000 in 2017, New Estimates Show

Fun to go back and revisit that quiz. Holy Jesus I forgot how bad AIDS was in the early 90s. But we mostly beat that thanks to huge amounts of activism. You'd think that drugs could have a similar outcry, because they're another problem that detractors like to blame the victim for (PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY) as if it's going to help the problem. Drugs pretty much cut across all walks of life, and enough celebrities have ODed that you'd think people have to start to care soon enough. Right? Where is all the outrage? Guess not all deaths are created equal.

kleinbl00  ·  153 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think AIDS activists worked from the standpoint that people susceptible to AIDS were judged by those without and they shouldn't have been. Mainstreaming of AIDS coincided with the mainstreaming of homosexuality.

The Opioid epidemic comes from a standpoint of normal, everyday people who ended up addicted and much as we'd like that to be an epidemiological problem, our D.A.R.E/Just Say No/12-step culture still views it as a moral failing. After all, our entire language around addiction is in terms of strength, weakness and morality.

We made it from "gay people are going to hell" to "I actually kind of enjoyed The Birdcage" in a generation. We've made it from Reefer Madness to five different cannabis ETFs. We might make it from Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God to a non-shame-based addiction model but it's gonna be tough.

b_b  ·  153 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sure the difference in AIDS is that a historically marginalized class of people were affected way more heavily everyone else. Heroin/fentanyl don't have that issue, so it's hard to imagine what could be a catalyst for people giving a shit. On the other hand, a lot of research had to go into making anti-retrovirals. With drugs we already know how to treat people, we just need to go after the social problems that cause addiction. Unfortunately one of the biggies is jobs, and politicians shitting on high paying jobs is a policy that predates Trump by decades. It's one of the few things both parties can agree on.

From that two year old interactive map you linked, there are counties in which half of young adult deaths are caused by drugs. This should be unacceptable to civilized society, and yet two years later we're still seeing drug death records every year. I don't know, man. We need some outrage over this issue. I think that and yet I don't know if I have it in me either.