From the Chattanooga Times Free Press, www.timesfreepress.com
By Jennie Mahaffey, MD, medical director, Erlanger Behavioral Health
It saddens me that opioid addiction has culminated into a national emergency, but hopefully this will encourage a societal change in attitude. To gain control of this epidemic, it must be recognized that addiction is not a failure of willpower and that addicts are not sub-human because of a disease they battle.
Addicts are our family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Addicts are all around us day after day, and we accept them fully into our lives until their disease is discovered. The American Medical Association has defined addiction as a disease for more than 30 years, yet attitudes and the justice system have been slow to grasp this point.
Click here to read more from Dr. Mahaffey about the disease of addiction.