Angels in Motion president, Carol Rostucher, came to speak our class on a variety of topics relating to addiction and recovery on Tuesday. Angels in Motion is a community outreach program that helps people struggling with addiction. Among many other things, the group provides food for those in need and helps connect people with treatment services. Carol Rostucher started the program after visiting her son in Kensington to bring him food. Her son is now in recovery, but she continues to reach out to others in need of help with her growing organization Angels in Motion.
Rostucher has a good grasp on some of the complications that arise when trying to get a person into treatment. She talked about how a person could be turned away for not having proper state ID or an insurance company only covering one form of treatment or being denied treatment for not having opiates currently in your system.
There are a lot of barriers for people with SUD to getting treatment. The path from addiction to recovery can be complicated, and some people don’t have the support or help they need from friends or family. Angels in Motion are some people’s only support. The window where a user is open to treatment can be small and only open for a short period of time. If a person in the throwes of addiction walks into a treatment center, only to find out they don’t have proper ID and have to talk to an insurance provider for an hour who tells them they are not covered for that particular kind of treatment, then that window of opportunity could easily close. It is often a difficult process that involves coordinating with an insurance company that wants to cover the bare minimum.
Rostucher said “You have to keep them alive until their ready,” which is where my sentiments lie with respect to naloxone and CUES. Shockingly, some people disagree with this. There are those who seemingly believe that it is better to let a person die than save their lives and give them an opportunity for treatment. That is an extreme view that is hopefully uncommon. But there is a less extreme view that suggests naloxone and CUES are condoning the use of illicit drugs and making the illegal activity safer. This is technically true in some ways, but we don’t let people who break the law die in other situations. Drug use doesn’t deserve a death sentence. They deserve the same opportunity to reform as the white-collar criminal. They are arguably more deserving of this opportunity given all the evidence supporting the loss of agency that comes with drug addiction. People don’t deserve to die for using drugs. If we can save them, we should. We have to keep them alive until they’re ready.