Before the COVID-19 pandemic, news feeds were filled with stories of overdose, skyrocketing death rates, pill mills, and fentanyl. The headlines reflected the loss of lives even among the well-manicured cul de sacs of suburbia; read: White. Less reported, but just as deadly, were other familiar tragedies that were not at all that new. The nomenclature was very different where the poor, Black, and brown lived. They were junkies, and crack and meth heads; but, with the rise of addiction amongst White suburban soccer moms, or their offspring, strung out on “Chinese” fentanyl, came a more caring look at so-called addiction, and a demand for an answer. Treatment instead of incarceration is the rallying call; but, what is treatment?
Art by Marialba Quesada.