Last Thursday Philadelphia FIGHT representatives, Akia Feggans Director of Behavioral Health at the Diana Baldwin Clinic and her co-worker Karen Shible a therapist at the Teach Recovery Education Empowerment (TREE) intensive outpatient program, came to visit our class to discuss their personal experiences treating individuals with substance disorders.

The two described FIGHT as a community center for people who are HIV positive. The Diana Balwin Clinic and TREE specialize in the treatment of patients with substance disorders that are also HIV positive, both organizations fall under FIGHT.

Feggans has spent much of her professional career helping the underprivileged. According to Feggans, the opiate epidemic has been going on long before the government recognized what it was. However, it was only when the epidemic began affecting upper middle-class white people that it was labeled as such. It this way, the epidemic is far from new. For Feggans, the real issue aside from the epidemic itself is the allocation of resources and finding ways to provide for those that have been neglected by the health care system for long periods of time. There are people who have been using so long that they don’t know who they are or what they’re capable of. Feggans sates, “the talk is there but the allocation of resources is not,” and thia is whats really necessary in order to provide for underprivileged users.