Amid opioid epidemic, ‘recovery activists’ shape a powerful grassroots movement
*In 2015, activists with the Weed for Warriors project dumped pill bottles and syringes in front of the White House lawn to drawn attention to the overprescription of opioid drugs to wounded veterans. Then, last May, protesters held a “die-in” at the New Hampshire State House when U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price visited the capitol
Led by people living in recovery or still facing addiction — along with family members whose loved ones died from overdose — the movement is becoming increasingly organized by targeting a variety of actors, drawing in key stakeholders and incorporating a range of tactics to pressure for change. Activists are becoming more strategic in their actions — staging rallies and die-ins across the country, drafting petitions and launching lawsuits.
Recovery activists described how the escalating crisis of addiction and overdose — as well as the government’s inaction to address it — is increasing the movement’s sense of urgency to take more extreme measures. People have long sought to earn a seat at the table with important decision makers, both Hampton and LeMire explained, but now they may be compelled to take more direct or confrontational measures. “We’re just getting a pat on the head,” Hampton said. “It’s an affirmative action play that policymakers need to have that seat for us, but don’t actually have to listen to us. We’re sick of that. We don’t need a seat at that table if that’s how we’re going to be treated. People are building their own tables, and that’s more powerful.”
Original Article (Waging Non Violence):
Amid opioid epidemic, ‘recovery activists’ shape a powerful grassroots movementic
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