Governor Christie On Addiction: This Is A Fight That We Need To All Have Together


Governor Christie: There is not a family in this state that is not touched by this in one way or another. If not directly in your nuclear family, your extended family, your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers, all of us if we take a little time to think about it know that we have people in our lives who are touched by addiction. And I want you to think about those folks during this holiday season and think to yourself, do you think that they're lesser parents because of this happening? Do you think that they’re lesser spouses, lesser siblings because this has happened inside their family? I think when you think about it the answer is no. Yet our society treats those folks as if somehow they failed, that it was a mistake, neglect, bad values that lead to these problems. This is a disease. And it is a disease that needs to be treated just like cancer or diabetes or heart disease. By the way, all of those diseases in part have an element to them where the patient does certain things that can help to cause the disease. Yet we don't stigmatize those people. We don't say if you have to go in for bypass surgery, well too many steaks you deserve it. Alright, you know, we don't stigmatize the cancer patient because they were a smoker. We don't stigmatize the diabetes patient because we say well, too many carbs, too much sugar, we don’t do that. We say to those people, come to us, we’ll treat you and help you get better. But I want you all to think about whether we say that to the heroin addict, the one addicted to over-the counter-opiates, we don’t. We make a value judgement. We make a moral judgement on those people. Now, I’m not saying that the choice to try those drugs in the first place was the right one. I wasn’t. But I suspect there is no one in this store this morning who hasn’t made a mistake that they wish they could take back. An action, a judgement in your life that you wish you could do over. I know I have, plenty. And the lucky part for me was that it never involved drugs. But, there but for the grace of God go I. And so programs like this, once again, raise awareness, raise everyone’s sense that this is a fight we need to all have together.


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