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Drug Addiction: A For-Profit Epidemic

Thursday, November 10, 2016 13:39
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November 11th, 2016

By Cortland Pfeffer & Irwin Ozborne

Contributing writers for Wake Up World

“Few medical schools or residency programs have an adequate required course in addiction. Most physicians fail to screen for alcohol or drug dependence during routine examinations. Many health professionals view such screening efforts as a waste of time. A survey of general practice physicians and nurses indicated that most believed no available medical or health care interventions would be “appropriate or effective in treating addiction.” – Drug Dependence: a Chronic Medical Disease Study


Peering into the open casket, I saw the lifeless body of my childhood friend. Although, some would argue he had been lifeless long before his death. Tommy was a drug addict for many years and had spent much time in-and-out of treatment centers and jails before his life came to a halt due to an unintentional overdose. As I stared at his now peaceful remains, I found myself highly perplexed at how this moment had transpired.

Like Tommy, I too am a drug addict. I may have been into it harder than he was at my peak and served just as much time incarcerated, homeless, and in-and-out of treatment. I treated people far worse during my active addiction, committed more serious crimes, and spent most of my days wishing for death. I couldn’t help but think that the wrong person was lying in the casket.


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