Compassionate, honest lens for viewing the Opioid Epidemic

a story from staff leader Sally F. Partner

There are many blog posts, stories, articles and news coverage about the opioid epidemic, and many have served to raise the level and frequency of dialogue among those seeking to understand and pursue solutions and hope for themselves, their family, their cities.

photo used with permission

So many tell the story through a lens of judgement. Opioids are scary, the people who use them are weak, or bad, or simply separate. Many tell the story through the eyes of a grieving family or a struggling person in recovery or relapse.

Recently, two news outlets I respect sponsored in-depth, investigative accounts of this scourge, both of which touched me as being told through honest, compassionate lenses. The photography is achingly beautiful, and the stories are respectful, and at times brutally real.

image used with permission

Time Magazine recently devoted an issue (March 5, 2018) titled The Opioid Diaries, by Nachtwey and Moakley, (alert: the pictures can be quite graphic; it is an excellent, honest, in-depth piece)

The New York Times published a special supplement on May 9, 2018, Children of the Epidemic, by Jennifer Egan, which I found to be particularly beautifully written by Ms. Egan. It is compelling, kind and openly frank.

Catholic Family Center (CFC) is part of a larger, collective effort across the City of Rochester and Monroe County, NY seeking to address underlying causes of poverty and addiction. Chemical dependency programs such as ours are on the front lines of the opioid battle, and agencies across the country are joining efforts like the Monroe County Opioid Task Force, an effort to assist with treatment barriers and access, and to work with other systems to reduce incarceration and improve treatment efforts.

If you, or someone you love, are facing the real struggles of living with an addiction or recovery, please reach out to a certified agency in your community. In Rochester, NY, CFC offers walk-in hours every Mon, Wed and Fri, 1:00–2:30 PM at our 79 North Clinton Avenue clinic.

Catholic Family Center is the largest provider of family services in #ROC, addressing issues of need across all stages of life. See more: www.cfcrochester.org

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