The Response - 4
letter from the editor
Wisdom from The Wire
here is a scene in HBO's award winning and gritty television series "The Wire" where
three narcotics officers are sitting around the precinct talking about the uphill and often
dangerous work to "end the war on drugs." Finally, when one officer says, "You couldn't
call this a war," the other officer quickly presses him for a reason. His reply was, "Wars end."
A cynical and controversial scene, no doubt, but there is also plenty of truth to it as well. Some
could absolutely reason that with all of the death, heartache, and strife attributed to addiction
that war is unquestionably the right term.
But if this is a war on drugs, we are fighting on the wrong fronts and at times the wrong enemy.
If history has proven anything, we cannot simply arrest or legislate our way out of addiction. The
notion that an individual can simply be incarcerated or placed under treatment and is suddenly
cured of addiction is antiquated and backward. More so is the negative projection that all drug
addiction is only suffered by some caricature of an immoral subhuman "junky" who is therefore
unworthy of saving. The face of addiction is your neighbor, your parent, and yourself and none
of them choose to be that way. Addiction is the enemy, not those suffering from it.
So, it does not seem that we can accomplish anything by declaring a "war" on our current
opioid crisis, so let's start calling it by the right designation...an epidemic. And like in any
epidemic, we as a community need to prevent, treat, and educate the public on the disease.
When people stop thinking we are in combat with a faceless enemy and start believing that we
are finding a cure to a disease, we may in fact find a solution to our epidemic.
We hope you enjoy our first issue
and welcome any constructive
feedback you may wish to share
in hopes we can improve upon
it with our next issue,
due in November 2018.
Please drop us a line at:
It is in that spirit that you are now reading the first edition of The Response: Berks County's
Prevention and Recovery Magazine. Our magazine's goal is to educate you on our
community's challenges and triumphs, and to give you a clear message of vigilance, action,
For this edition, we are focusing on the stigmas surrounding Opioid Addiction. Our first
feature article is written by Dr. Bill Santoro, Chair of Addiction Services, Tower Health.
It focuses on the stigma of the word "addict." Our second feature is written by Ryan Herrara.
His article is entitled "A Day in the Life: The Journey to Recovery." Lastly, we will have several
informative articles and interviews provided by members of our County Opioid Task Force and
The Response has been a passion project by many, and a lot of hard work and planning went
into it. A special thanks goes to Marcia Goodmen-Hinnershitz, Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt,
and Stan Papademetriou for ensuring this essential magazine's creation. We hope you enjoy our
magazine, but more importantly we hope you learn from its contents and help spread its message.
Editor, Executive Director, Berks County Medical Society,
and Coalition Member
the response // summer/fall 2018
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Response
The Response - No label
The Response - 2
The Response - 3
The Response - 4
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