There’s no shortage of profiles and think pieces putting a human face on the Opioid crisis. Coverage focuses on addicts’ struggling families and childhood traumas, framing addiction as an illness you suffer from — not a crime you perpetrate.
Much of this media attention is centered on white drug users and their families. When the drug crisis was largely in black communities, drug use was linked to depravity and a proclivity for crime. The response was a “war” on drugs that focused on punishment, not treatment.
This week we reflect on how race and racism play into the way we talk about addiction and drug use. Listen to this week’s episode in the player above.