Shine the light

Published 8:09 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

For too long, opioids have remained a silent killer. For too long, the stigma attached to addiction has required hushed voices. An epidemic swept the nation in near silence, and Beaufort County has fallen under this blanket of quiet.

Here, overdoses happen several times a week. Lives have been lost: young, old, rich, poor. Babies are being born addicted; infants are leaving the hospital bound for foster homes — their addicted mothers, unable to care for them. On West Second Street, young men are being sentenced to prison for use and sales of prescription pain killers; the courthouse’s basement jail is filled with those bound for the same. Ask anyone whether their lives have been touched by opioid addiction, the answer is nearly always in the affirmative. Until now, however, asking was not an available option.

But the silence surrounding opioid addiction will be broken today.

12/2 Shine the Light will take place at Festival Park on the Washington waterfront from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be food. There will be music. There will also be people unafraid to tell their stories of addiction — their own or those of a loved one. The event is literally intended to shine a spotlight on opioid addiction, peeling back the stigma of addiction. It can, and has, happened to anyone.

Shine the Light is intended to inspire, whether it’s to inspire a person to help a loved one get help or inspire another to make the decision to end their addiction. It’s intended to educate: what are the resources available here to people who want to free themselves from drugs and how can those resources be secured? Shine the Light is intended to start a conversation about a very real problem that is not just here, but everywhere, and does not just affect a segment of the population, but all segments of the population.

The more voices, the louder the conversation.

Be a part of the conversation at 12/2 Shine the Light.