LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Help for addiction lies in awareness

It is no secret that people do drugs. However, people still find ways to keep their secret from friends, family, and society. When you picture a stereotypical drug addict, your mind probably goes straight to someone in raggedy clothes, sitting in the corner between two storefronts, with grown out facial hair, begging for change. This is not always the case. People are unaware that some of the most endangered addicts are the functioning addicts. The working-class people who have a clean shave and suit on every day for work that had a simple surgery and then got hooked on their pain medicines have some of the most severe addictions. Another demographic who has a secret addiction are the teenagers who are experimenting with drugs for the first time, then the second time, then just one more time. Then the last time comes and they die. Why are people not focusing on this issue enough?

Instead of kicking the homeless people off the streets to go to another because they are homeless, why not aid them and try to reform them? Same for the teen addicts and the blue collar workers hiding their addiction. Spread awareness of the dangers, spread awareness of how to prevent addiction, or spread awareness on how to recognize addiction in your loved ones. There is no reason to let more lives slip away to opioid addiction, stop being stereotypical and ignorant of who suffers from addiction.

— Arden East, Fort Wayne