#8 “In a single sentence”

  1. “In a single sentence, describe the change you are seeking.
  2. In a single sentence, describe the audience you will be targeting?
  3. One a scale of zero to ten, how passionate are you about your topic (zero: This topic bores me. Five: I could take it or leave it. Ten: I LOVE this topic.)? Please provide a number on this scale and a single sentence description.”-Prompt for blog post #8

 

1- The change that I am seeking is just an improvement on the drug epidemic in Vermont.

2- I want to target the people who care about other people, community’s and schools, who want to help Vermonters and their addiction.

3-  7/10 I like this topic but if something comes up that I think will interest me more, I might go ahead and try it.

My Refined Pitch:

Economy, society, family bonds, child care, unemployment and many other things are effected by a big over-arching problem in our country and our state in particular. The opioid epidemic.

What first inspired me to dig into this issue was a story on VPR about a young girl and how hard her life was. Her single mother was addicted to opioids and it was her main focus and often distracted her from being a parent. Some days she said they would go with out dinner because her mom forgot to get food. Other days she would have to go to school without showering for a week or so because her mom forgot to pay the water bill. Other times she did not have enough money to pay for it because she spent all the money on drugs. She also talked about how most of the time her mom was just in her room, or not present in her life. When she was talking about this it broke my heart. It made me realize how I take for granted my family and life. I wanted to learn more about this problem and how to stop it, because I don’t want any kid to have to experience that.

After digging into this story a little further I found out in fact Vermont had one of the highest rates of opioid addiction in 18-25 year olds in the country. I learned this happens because Vermont is close to the bigger cities like Pennsylvania, Boston, and New York where there are a lot of dealers. Then, after a ride on the highway they can sell their drugs up to 5 times more in Vermont. This was shocking to me, and helped me understand why it was happening.

It is my understanding that the state has already put a large amount of money and resources into solving this problem. Is it working? Governor Shublin has mentioned it in his state address and we have been working on getting more treatment clinics and substance abuse consular.  In almost every region of Vermont there is a treatment clinic operated by the Howard center, and “Day one” (the UVM medical center’s “outpatient addiction treatment clinic”) is a large program that helps addicts. There are still so many people who are seeking assistance and many kids in foster care. The Government has also tried to stop the “flow” of drugs into our borders.

Is what we have done, really helped? Can we do more then we already are?

People every day are dying because of overdoses in our country. How can we let this problem slide if there are lives at stake? Once people get addicted they will spend all of there money and time on them. These drugs are not cheap. All of that money could go to something healthy and happy, like their children, education, or essentials like food, shelter or water. The drug is also slowly killing these addicts and driving the addiction further. This is not a healthy problem and because of it’s size we can’t ignore it.

I want to at least make a small indent on this massive issue. Due to the size and complexity of this problem it is hard to know where to focus. Some possible areas are: treatment, how the drugs are affecting children, and prevention. I am flexible with any path, I just want to help! I hope you can see the significance of this problem. It would be great if you could join me in creating a change to it!

My slide Show

Featured Image: Tom Woodward

Petra Kapsalis

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