On Tuesday, Dr.D’Orazio of Temple Episcopal Hospital and the Temple Trust Clinic came to speak to us. I really enjoyed his presentation, as he greatly stressed the fact that substance use disorder is a disease and not a choice. He offered interesting parallels between other chronic illnesses, like diabetes, to show how unfairly people treat those with SUD. When discussing a patient with diabetes who doesn’t follow their treatment plan, we often offer compassion and understanding. A patient with SUD in the same position, on the other hand, gets criticized.

The medical and chemical side of addiction is really interesting to me, and I would love to learn more about it. I didn’t know that people reacted so differently to opioids, leading some to get addicted after their first time trying. A better understanding of the science behind addiction is important to accurate reporting on the subject, which seems obvious, but not to all, since some reporters continue to write about scientifically incorrect myths.