SERIES: Healthcare in America #29, Barbara Kloss, This Is the Bronx

By Barbara Kloss, February 4, 2019

Trying Not to Die Right Now 

This week’s story by a recovering alcoholic details her journey from a happy childhood, through a series of careers, with increasingly serious alcoholism. Now committed to recovery and embarked on a new career, her story looks backwards from today.

Why is this story so important? Addiction is an illness that demands attention. And addiction has reached epidemic proportions. The opioid epidemic is the greatest American public health crisis in decades, arguably since the emergence of AIDS. Opioids kill 130 people a day across the U.S, many in the Bronx. 

The problem is urgent “It’s frustrating …,” said an opioid addict to a Politico reporter, “I need help now. I’m trying not to die right now.” 

Today

As a recovering addict, seeking to serve as a Wellness Consultant, I know healthcare disparities firsthand. Fixing those disparities (with the same urgency as treating, say, cancer) involves recognizing addiction as a health problem, like every other illness. Only removing the stigma from alcoholism and substance abuse will allow us to address these conditions systematically — and effectively....

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