Get in on this viral marvel and start spreading that buzz! Buzzy was made for all up and coming modern publishers & magazines!

Fb. In. Tw. Be.

Donate Now            Our Story           Our Team            Contact Us             Shop

The stigmatization of any form of treatment, for any medical problem, is something that people interested in social justice must fight.

By Princess Harmony Epidemics aren’t just issues to be dealt with by the medical community, they’re also social justice issues. This is true of any epidemic, but this is especially true of the opioid epidemic. While the victims of the epidemic who’ve gotten the most attention are typically middle-class and white, it strikes at all demographics. There’s an overdose death every 16 minutes and entire neighborhoods are affected. While there’s no magic bullet that can fix the epidemic, and the human cost of it can never be restored, there are treatments for it. The starting point for most people trying to get treatment for addiction is detox then rehab, followed by outpatient therapy and the use of either a 12 Step fellowship or a self-help group like SMART Recovery. Some patients however, myself included, use outpatient treatment called medication assisted therapy. What is medication assisted therapy? It is the use of methadone and buprenorphine (found in Suboxone, Subutex, Buprenorphine, or Zubsolv). Alongside these medications, patients in a MAT program also attend group and individual therapy. Whether one goes the route of complete abstinence or medicated assisted treatment, there’s help for an opioid addict looking to be free of the nightmare of drug addiction and get back on their feet. The problem, however, is that medication assisted therapy is itself stigmatized. That’s right, some of the best and most successful tools we have in facing the opioid epidemic is stigmatized. It's important to understand the sources of the stigma, so that one can get the facts about methadone and buprenorphine. One source of the stigma against these treatments comes from your stereotypical, middle class NIMBY who thinks that a handful of people who hang around clinics post-dose are symbolic of the treatments themselves. In Philadelphia, a city that’s one of the hardest hit by the epidemic, several methadone and buprenorphine clinics have had to fight against these “concerned citizens” who either don’t understand the benefits of the treatments or care more about property values and the type of people who inhabit their neighborhood. Fortunately, the law can protect clinics and their clients from discrimination by neighbors. Related: Drug Addiction Is A Disorder - Not A Moral Failure

Callouts can be used to bring attention to important issues, but with any callout there needs to be context.

By Mari Ramsawakh If you’re an activist or online often enough, you’re familiar with callout culture. You’ve probably called someone out yourself— in and of itself, a callout isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes when someone says or does something that perpetuates violence or ignorance against marginalized identities, we should say something. But callouts are just a tool and there is no inherent good or bad to them; they are how they are used, and sometimes there is an attached toxicity to callouts. More specifically, sometimes when you lose the nuance of callouts, they can be used to perpetuate white victimhood. When I say white victimhood, I mean the tendency that white folks have to center themselves as victims of any given scenario. We’ve seen it throughout the civil rights movement: as soon as people of colour get an inch of progress we’re asked, but how does it affect white people? People of colour live constantly under the pressure of how their actions and their success affects the white people around them. So when white people start to use callouts, well, it can become a slippery slope. Not every callout from a white person is bad or wrong, it’s a specific kind of callout. It’s the type of callout that typically comes as a deflection of responsibility and it usually uses a very selective form of intersectionality. It only struck me how easily some people could throw another person under the bus in order to avoid taking action for their own transgressions. One example is when I started to see Vellum and Vinyl getting dragged on Facebook among other Facebook pages like Love Life of an Asian Guy (LLAG) and Shaun King. King and LLAG were and are being called out for their abuse of women of colour, plagiarism, and speaking over Black people — especially Black women — on matters of race. These other popular pages have expressed violence and a fundamental lack of consideration for the people they claim to speak for. Vellum and Vinyl was called out for being anti-semitic (the proof being that she said she was Pro-Palestinian, which is not the same as anti-semitism), as well as a post on neurotypical advice, and for not communicating properly to autistic people as an autistic person. You can see that there’s a bit of disconnect between the severity of the offenses.

Everyone should be able to enjoy this commercial holiday and no one should have to worry about seeing themselves represented negatively so others can have a good time.

A few weeks ago, a Twitter screenshot began to circulate calling for people not to dress up as witches for Halloween because it was in the same line as dressing up in something like Día de los Muertos face paint. The post posits that witches are a living culture and should be respected. Although I generally disagree with the overall argument, I do think that living magickal practices should be respected. My point of contention here is that the idea of the witch that children and adults are focusing on during the Halloween festivities has to do with a caricature version of witches created by the Church of England to persecute, namely, Catholics. Witch trials aside, a lot of the fanfare around witches has to do with that and has nothing to do with actual witchcraft. Pointy black hats, brooms for riding, copious amounts of black velvet, all of these, in my opinion are fine to dress up as. However, they are not ours. Halloween is not exactly Samhain, the Wiccan practice that happens on the same day. Although they do share the idea that spirits and the like can walk the earth around this time, Samhain is a religious celebration and has nothing to do with the commercial celebration of Halloween. That being said, there are many people who do identify as witches, be they Wiccan (the most popular witchcraft-based following in the US), Chaos magicians, or something else. There are also people who call themselves shamans, rootworkers, or vodou practitioners. These are all valid and living practices and are not there to be made into a costume. Although the wide world of “pagan” practice may seem like a free for all as to what anyone wants to believe, it is not. There are many religions with their own belief systems, and although some things are religious practices, such as Hoodoo or rootwork, other things like Vodou or Santeria, are religious with deities and rules. These practices should be respected. Related: The History of Dia de los Muertos and Why You Shouldn't Appropriate It

You don't have permission to register