#7 This is Not a Problem that We can Let Slide

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 suffer.

It is my understanding that the state has already put so much 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 consulars. There are so many people who are seeking assistance and many kids in foster care. Is what we are doing helpful? 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 and water. The drug is also slowly killing the 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: Zhumi Li

Petra Kapsalis

4 Responses to “#7 This is Not a Problem that We can Let Slide

  • Kate Carroll
    6 years ago

    Hi Petra,

    I don’t think I remember reading what prompted your interest in Vermont’s Opioid crisis. I will try to find the VPR story you mentioned as it seemed to do for you as audience the next task you will have with your team members: creating a digital story that compels change.

    I just looked at your slide show, and I really like how you start with a framing questions followed by the images. Also you avoided ‘the trap’ of have a presentation that is fully readable rather than slides that provide cues for your presentation content. I am curious about why you selected the order of photos. For example, why did you hold the bucolic image of Vermont until after the image of the child and the Rolling Stones article image?

    I am most curious to see if you continue this topic after the peer presentations, but no matter what, I think you have done an excellent job of identifying the necessity of keeping this crisis in the forefront of our minds as Vermont residents as well as avoiding the trap of simplifying a very complex issue.

    Well done, and I hope I can see your presentation in person at Common Ground next weekend.

    Best wishes,
    Kate Carroll

  • Mrs. Carroll,
    Thank you for your feed back, I always appreciate it! I was trying to look for the VPR story but I could not seem to find it. I think it was a special week that was focusing on the opioid epidemic, and they had that story as apart of it. It was around may of this year, when I listened to it on air. I hope that helps when trying to find it. It would be amazing if you can!

    When you looked at my slide show you caught me in the middle of revising it, so the places that I put the pictures are not final. I will definitely keep comments in mind, when finalizing it!

    I can’t wait for the retreat!

  • Petra,
    Nice rough draft of your pitch!
    I noticed that you never quite defined the opioid epidemic in Vermont. Although by now you are an expert and I have learned quite a bit from reading your posts, and while I’m sure other people will have at least a basic understanding, I think that they may want a more comprehensive explanation of the issue. I know I would have a month ago. So maybe after your paragraph about the girl’s story (which I really liked, presenting a personal story is a great way to introduce a larger one!), you could talk more about the general story. Maybe something about how she isn’t the only one, even in our state of Vermont (which I think is important to emphasize).
    I liked how you left your perspective on this topic open! I think that will convince many to join you, because it gives them a say in the direction the project takes. As long as you present with passion, which I know you have! I’m looking forward to seeing you present this next week!

    • Greta,
      Thank you again for your comment they are very helpful! I just realize that I did not explain what the problem is! I guess I was just rushing to the points. I just revised it and added a little more, on my blog post #8. I hope that adds a little more context. Over the week I might revise it more if I think about other things, or practicing presenting it. So it might change even more. Thank you for pointing that out though!
      That is a good point, about leaving my topic a little open. I did not intend it to persuade people more, but I guess it could!
      Your thoughts are always helpful!

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