We’ve all heard about the devastation caused by the opioid epidemic, which has ravaged families and communities globally.
What’s truly sad is not only the stuff we already know about (that both mainstream and alternative media have covered a lot), but the stuff we don’t see. The stuff that ISN’T on our screens. The devastation and suffering that goes on behind closed doors, often in the very same neighborhoods we live in.
It’s not only tragic, if ignored, it’s absolutely dangerous and corrosive to our social fabric.
Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, an initiative championed by long-term Gapingvoid subscriber, Richard Jeffcoat.
Governments and well-intentioned people like our friend Richard can do what they can to address overdose and its surrounding challenges (and should be applauded for the often thankless work they do). But in the end, problems like this must be solved at the macro-cultural level. Enough people have to see the problem, unite en masse and say “This simply won’t do”… and actually mean it.
To do this – people have to actually see the problem, and also see a path ahead. They have to “see” what is currently “unseen.”
That has always been the job of culture. To make the invisible, visible. To spread useful knowledge among populations.
And they do that at scale by starting movements. One person at a time. Whether it’s about ending some form of social inequality, cleaning up waterways, or getting people to try a new kind of razor.
To quote Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
It is and always has been humanity’s secret weapon against the forces of nature. If we see a problem, we fix it by sharing. Not because we’re nice or purely virtuous, but because that’s the way we are built, and that’s how things get done.
The theme of International Overdose Awareness Day, is “Recognizing those people who go unseen” – an important thing to do for all of the causes we care about most. A hard and messy business but one of the only things that matter at the end of the day.