“But even as he contributes to new and much-needed attention to and research around the problem, he’s quick to emphasize that for many Americans, the crisis is nothing new.
“There are communities that have been living with this for decades and generations,” said Patterson Silver Wolf.
What has changed, he added, is that there’s now a “different face” – a white face – driving awareness.
“Historically, opioids, heroin, drug addiction – when you thought about that, most times [when] people thought about a person who lives in the street, the face that would come to mind would be a brown face,” he explained. “And the opioid epidemic – this is a different face connected to this. And [what] used to be a criminal-justice issue is now a public-health issue.”
How long have people like me been screaming this?
‘Different Face’ Of Addiction Has Led To ‘Long Overdue’ Shift From Criminal Justice To Public Health
When David Patterson Silver Wolf refers to the U.S. opioid epidemic as part of a “disease of despair” and “a tough disease to treat,” he’s speaking from