A lot of times in our culture, we punish addiction rather than recognizing it for what it is: An illness. Punishing an illness does not heal it, but rather inflicts shame, which can ironically compound behaviors that reinforce said illness.
We need not look far to see that addiction isn’t just an illness that affects a few, but rather it’s one that’s causing a public health epidemic across the US.
Today, we’re going to zoom in on Dayton, Ohio. Two short years ago, it was the worst-hit city as far as opioid-related fatalities go. But just one year later, the community managed to rally and turn things around, reducing the fatality count by about two-thirds.
How did they do it?
They treated addiction as an illness.
They treated the ill with compassion. Without judgement.
They instituted syringe exchange programs to ensure those in active addiction avoided as much illness and infection as possible.
They chose a path of compassion, looking at the entire human being rather than just the illness. While there are still significant problems to address in the region, the numbers show that it’s working.
Kickin’ It With Luke
The area’s authorities and service providers aren’t the only ones to step up to battle this disease. Every year, the Dayton community rallies around an annual kickball tournament: Kickin’ It With Luke.
The event is held in Luke’s memory after his passing a few years ago, and is equal parts a celebration of his life and love, and an effort to raise funds to help others fighting addiction.
The primary nonprofit that benefits from the event is Brigid’s Path — a treatment facility for babies who are born drug-dependent. In addition to helping the newborns physically, Brigid’s Path provides holistic family services in a non-judgemental environment. This provides both newborn and family with opportunities for early bonding and access to community resources.
Financial Literacy Basket
Some of our amazing member authors have been kind enough to contribute a copy of their books for a financial literacy gift basket. This basket will be raffled off on Saturday at the event, but I wanted to start introducing you to our authors now!
Here’s what the book dives into:
In her debut book The Millennial Homeowner, personal finance blogger Lauren Bowling provides a wealth of home buying tips and money management lessons to help millennials redefine their relationship with money. Written in Lauren’s warm, funny, and easy-to-understand voice, this book helps millennial homebuyers financially prepare for the biggest purchase of their lifetime.
By breaking down complex financial concepts into clear, manageable tools, Lauren has written the ultimate resource to help millennials navigate the overwhelming process of purchasing and maintaining their first home.
One more bit of news!
Let’s send a huge congratulations to Liz Frazier, who just recently released her new book: Beyond Piggy Bank and Lemonade Stands!
Launch went so well that she actually sold out of books on Day One! Liz has been quick to meet demand, so if you have young children and have been wondering how the heck to teach them about this money stuff, be sure to get your hands on a copy while they last!
Brynne Conroy is a freelance writer, author and award-winning blogger in the personal finance space. Her work has a marked focus on women’s issues and intersectional oppression as it relates to the personal economies of Americans.
She loves baseball, linguistics and cultural studies. If you can’t find her behind a keyboard or calculator, she’s probably busy momming.