I feel very, very uncomfortable using the word ‘junkie’, but I feel like we need to talk about it

“I feel very, very uncomfortable with the word ‘junkie.’ Unfortunately, I hear it used all too often. Using words like this, we begin to categorise people instead of seeing them as individuals – a father, a sister, a brother or a neighbour. This is a barrier to helping people get support and to helping people who use drugs to make more positive choices. We are all aware that Ireland has a drug problem. My constituency includes inner city areas and I have had many conversations with the local communities. I understand the threat and frustration that people may feel when they see evidence of drug use on their streets. We must always be looking for new ways to address these issues, and the best approaches are where everyone is working together. We are all equal; stigmatizing and shaming people is no solution.”

#SaferFromHarm

– This interview is part of a collaborative campaign between Humans of Dublin and the Ana Liffey Drug Project to raise awareness of the importance of medically supervised injecting facilities in Ireland. For more information, please visit Ana Liffey Drug Project’s Website

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