Junkies and addicts...literally in my face every day. They are responsible for a host of crime from the minor to the heinous--petty theft, car burglary, home invasions, muggings, crimes against the elderly, pimping out family members, etc. What is the cause? Do we know? Do we care? A symptom of society as a whole? Innocent victims of the evil pharmaceutical companies? Most of the junkies I know? I have known from their time in the criminal justice system. Most of them are abusers of substances and have been for years. Heroin was just the next big thing. But heroin had a new twist. It didn't let go. Should I be sympathetic and try to understand it all ? You can call me calloused, indifferent, or insensitive...but I'll say this: When you victimize my family, my loved ones, my community, etc., I don't care why you're an addict. I watch addicts come into the correctional system and get clean...for months. Then go right back to the street and pick it up again. OD's are tragic...I have known MANY OD victims...but somewhere in there was a choice to use.
With all the pain and tragedy it causes? I'm sick of the excuses, the broken lives--all of it. And I can be. I'm sorry if that's painful. It's the truth. I have been accused of pontification from my "ivory tower." I don't know anything about addiction, some said. I know plenty about addiction. My experience comes from the sewer of the criminal justice system. I've seen the pushers and I've seen the users. I've watched the users go through withdrawals in jailhouse observation cells. You know what? It's time to get tough. It's time to stop making excuses. It's time for tough love on those who use and it's time for tough time for those who peddle the poison. No more rescues, no more burdening innocent communities with the "social problem" that is really a personal choice. My first responsibility is to put an end to the victimization of society to feed a drug habit. We'll talk about the user once we protect the innocent.