People who use drugs and the role of the Media
Here we are it's 2015 and still the media think its ok to call people who use drugs 'Junkies'.
In this particular instance with The Northern Star newspaper in New South Wales in Australia its not just 'Junkie, no not just Junkie but 'Junkie Scum''- Nice!
In a attempt to sell newspapers my local rag has gone to denigrating and dehumanizing users once again.
Currently most countries have some rules that govern what the media or others can and cannot do, and who they can and cannot discriminate against.
Great - I hear you say but hold, on there's a catch - it seems its still ok to discriminate against people who use drugs in most countries. While the impact of stigmatization and discrimination is widely known and accepted, it seems that as users of different drugs we are somehow unaffected by stigma or perhaps they consider us as deserving of such humiliation and discrimination. Sure they might not get away with talking derogatorily about our diseases or disabilities such as HIV or Hep C but it seems as PWUD we are still fair game.
I for one think that is quite frankly - fucked.
Considering the fact that 1 third of the population has at some time used illegal drugs it seems archaic to me that there are no protections in place.
The other more worrying aspect is that the workers and other people around us seem to have formed such a thick skin or are so battle weary that they do nothing.
If, like me you are tired of this kind of treatment you might want to start thinking about what you can do?
Firstly, when you see it name it for what it is - discrimination.
Secondly - do not condone it, ignore it or be a part of it.
Thirdly- Make noise about it. If you are in a country where it is safe to talk about then TALK about it. Complain, write petitions and letters, involve others and be active not passive.
We don't have to continue to put up with this abuse. We've done nothing wrong and we aren't any different to other people even if we do use different drugs to them or each other.