Name: Andrea M Estolano
From: Tucson, Arizona
An Letter of Apology
I write to you today to apologize for the harassment, the shame and the blame that I have made you carry on your own. I apologize for the consequences I created for you, instead of offering you help. I apologize for criminalizing your scream for help, because I put myself above you.
The truth is as a nation we are dealing with an addiction crisis because we refuse to fix the core problem, the demand. I have focused on the consequences before looking at the causes. I have looked at ways to profit off of your struggle because the economy comes first. I have ignored the after effects of using opioids for medical usage, the increase of mental health problems and tried to cover up families history of addiction by making it seem less relevant than it is. You see, the world doesn’t slow down so it is hard for me to slow down for you. I am sorry that research has been continuously ignored when it has been trying to decrease addiction for the current and future generations. I’m sure that mass consumption of … everything… probably doesn’t help creating addictive habits leading to addiction. I have made trends come as quickly as they go, which only adds to the pressures you are already struggling with. I have traded actual mental health aid for an advertisement in “Self Love” that increases consumptionism . I’m sorry capitalism comes first.
I have learned that the consequences of addictions include being outcasted by me, criminalized, financial struggle, homelessness, increasing health issues and sometimes death. I apologize that even when the consequence is death, I choose to point the blame at you and only you. I have come to understand that, that is most likely the reason why addicts don’t seek help until it’s too late if at all. I have come to realize that the shame catches up before the help and support does. I know I had a lot to do with that. I am sorry.
I have come to the conclusion that I can help this situation through research, advocacy and accountability. By letting not only researchers create facilities and policies to help addicts, but also by listening to all affected by addiction share what they need from me and the nation as a whole, I can help us move forwards. I am aware now that as an individual you need affordable access to health care, accessible rehabilitation facilities, and support from me instead of shame and blame. I now know that I need to let people educate one another on the reality that addiction is not a choice. This addiction crisis is an effect from capitalism. I cannot demand people to work themselves to the point that they need alcohol or drugs to keep going. I cannot keep people from taking the time they need to heal from procedures without diving into prescribed drugs because they’ll lose their jobs. I cannot create pressures so high that people escape to gambling or are pulled into health disorders as they look for comfort. Through accessibility, rehabilitation and putting individuals’ health first, I can help decrease the addiction crisis happening in our nation.
I apologize it has taken so long for me to not only apologize, but realize my wrong ways. I hope that I can work alongside you to fix what I have broken. Moving forward I will see you as the human you are, not as the outcast I fooled everyone in believing you are.