If there was a terrorist camp in Afghanistan that sent a few sleeper cells to to Massachusetts and in the course of one year, 983 civilians would lose their lives at the hands of these militants in 2014, it would be in the headlines for months. We’d be printing bumper stickers to remember the 983. There would be a fund drive to help the families of the 983. No doubt Secretary Kerry, Governor Baker and a who’s who of that sort would be working to stop another 983 Massachusetts citizens from meeting the same fate in 2015.
983 citizens did lose their life in 2014 but it was not at the hand of Afghan militants; it was at the hands of Afghan farmers. While not all heroin comes from Afghanistan and while not all opiate deaths are from heroin, I do hope you see my point.
983 citizens were killed in 2014 but there are no slogans, no rallies, no fund drives because, perhaps, we dismiss them as junkies, weak people, morally inferiors who did it to themselves. And then comes the day when we read about a drug bust in our quaint and quite suburban town, we hear that a daughter of a friend of ours in a posh neighborhood is in rehab, and we learn that a co-worker has been fired because he was stealing on the job to support his wife’s drug habit.
This is not “those people” anymore. This is us.
983 of us died last year from this attack and unless we wake up, we’ll hit 1,000 this year.
I am relived to see Attorney General Maura Healey put this at the forefront of her office and I hope that our other elected officials will do the same.