Rolling Stone – The first time Joanna Vance did oxycontin she was 15 years old. “It was at home, with my grandmother, God rest her soul,” Vance says. The same year, she lost her dad to a fatal overdose on Thanksgiving Day. “My parents used drugs… Everybody used drugs, basically, around us. It was just kind of the culture — when all of the doctors were pushing all of the oxycontin, it flooded the coal towns.” Read the full article.
Vance grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, in Boone County, where roughly a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, and where, every year, 64.6 of every 100,000 people die from prescription drug overdoses — a rate five times the national average. Now in recovery, and a political organizer, she knows as well as anyone the stigma that trails people who have managed to stop using.
Even so, she was stunned, when, during a private meeting earlier this year, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia explained that he was having trouble supporting an extension of the child tax credit after hearing from a constituent who was convinced her “crackhead” daughter was spending the dividend on drugs.
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