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Guest Editorial: Social Work Students as Activists in the Opioid Epidemic

[Editor’s Note: This issue’s editorial is from special guest Allison-Scobie Carroll, President of NASW-MA chapter. A version of this editorial was previously published in the July 2017 edition of NASW-MA’s Focus magazine. Archives of Focus articles can be accessed (by NASW members only) here.]

In recent years the disease of opioid addiction has claimed thousands of lives throughout the Commonwealth, with a staggering four-fold increase in opioid overdose deaths since the year 2000. The loss is so brutal and heartbreaking, and the suffering so profound, that we defend ourselves against its truth. The statistics alone provide a distancing mechanism. The numbers of the afflicted, their ages and geographic locations may serve to help us feel safe; to feel that those who suffer are “other” and that “we” can remain insulated from the grave realities of those we keep at arm’s length.

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