To the editor,
Re: Differentiate between homeless and addicts, Letters, April 23.
Once again we see the willful need to paint all people experiencing addictions as people unwilling to change and undeserving of assistance. Painting them as folks intent on “terrorizing us all” is a new and nastier twist.
Addiction is not a simple problem and there is not a simple, black and white solution for it. People use and misuse substances for a whole variety of reasons – response to trauma, to self-medicate mental illness and as a result of the mis-prescribing of pain relief, to name a few.
A willingness to ask questions and be curious about how we might work together to solve social problems is how we arrive at solutions that work in the long run. Those of us who enjoy privilege and who are lucky enough to be able to pay taxes might let go of seeing ourselves as somehow the victims in this picture. Much better that we support efforts to offer hope to those among us who often live in despair.
Alexia Penny, Nanaimo
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