We love to express shock and sadness when one of our icons dies of the disease of addiction. I did it here when Cory Monteith died.
It sucks. And it will continue. It’s pretty simple really. Until we…collectively…are willing to recognize facts: that alcoholism and addiction are a DISEASE, not a moral failing, not a weakness of character, these deaths will continue.
We like to laugh at those suffering. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at Amanda Bynes. Or Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Or Dennis Rodman.
Do we treat them as if they had a chronic, progressive and fatal DISEASE. Of course we don’t. We use them as comedic fodder.
And when a guy like Phillip Seymour Hoffman spends his morning slamming Heroin instead of picking up his kids, we self-righteously feign shock and outrage.
I’m sick of it. I’m sick of living in a society that refuses to call this illness what it is: a DISEASE.
So, you’ve got cancer, and all your friends are talking behind your back about what a loser you are or a weakling. Come on man, you can beat this cancer, just get some radiation and be done with it.
Oh, did you hear about Suzie, the diabetic? I saw her buying a pack of candy at the store the other day. If only she’d wise up and start taking her Insulin.
Yeah…it’s what we do to our sick in this country. We jail them, we criticize them and we let them die. Because it’s easier for us to judge them than to help them. To offer a compassionate word or a sign of recognition that they are fighting a demon much bigger than all of us. A demon that no one can handle without treatment.
So in our ignorance, we continue to contribute to a culture of death. When we could have been funding more treatment centers and community outreach programs. Or stepping up and voting out the Neanderthal politicians in the pocket of the prison industrial complex that profit off the suffering of the disenfranchised masses.
It makes me sick to my stomach. Rest in peace Mr. Hoffman. Here’s hoping your death will make a difference…