Showtime's "The Trade" comes to Edinboro

Category:  News
Sunday, October 21st, 2018 at 8:51 PM

Students and staff members in multipurpose room A of the Frank G. Pogue Student Center experienced a wide range of emotions and realizations both during and after a video presentation on a serious and potentially deadly issue in America. 

Discussing the opioid crisis, the third episode of “The Trade,” a five-part Showtime series, was shown on Oct. 3 from 7 to 9 p.m., presented by Edinboro University’s social work department and the Center for Faculty Excellence. Dave Pugh served as moderator of the event. 

Describing the actions of traffickers, crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the separate accounts of a homeless man and a pregnant woman along with money, a price was made clear: that of addiction. 

Upon the video’s end, Pugh, an associate social work professor at Edinboroshared that approximately 15 million people are addicted to opioids, therefore around 60 million friends and family members are affected. He also addressed the unpleasantness of withdrawal, which is inevitable and is one of the reasons he explained that somebody can’t and shouldn’t be forced to stop without medical detox support.            

Trenity Meacham, a freshman who shared that she lost a relative to addiction, offered advice for helping a friend or loved one who is struggling. “Just support them in any way possible,” she said, while acknowledging the difficulty that comes with doing so. 

Diana Fanno, a social work major whose friend struggled yet survived, said that it is important to become aware of this issue, and stressed the possibility of a genetic predisposition and external factors, such as traumatic events that may trigger certain responses to a drug or an addiction. 

Robin Barnes, also a social work major, and who has nine years of experience as a licensed practical nurse, feels that this is an ongoing learning process both inside and outside the classroom. She said that watching this episode helped her to understand why some people would willingly take this path. “Hearing it and seeing it is not the same,” said Barnes, referring to the graphic details and interactions that were included. In many cases, “they don’t have a choice,” she added, while she, Fanno, and the faculty members agreed that this lifestyle is never desired. 

Janet Rogers, the chairperson and a professor of the chemistry department, said that the series and the episode itself “does good at showing how multifaceted the problem is.” Rogers also feels that there should be more support and that more law enforcement will not help this issue, nor the people affected by it. Accessibility and legality loopholes with the making of the drugs are also majors concerns, according to Rogers. 

Pugh shared that friends and loved ones have no control over the addiction of another, and need their own recovery from the impact the other’s addiction has on them. He explained that professionals should be aware that ultimate “rock bottom” is death.  He also said that professionals should stop waiting for a moment of clarity and intervene as early as possible. Family members need to “love the person, hate the disease,” he said. 

With some campaigns stating that addition is about choice and is not a disease, the two students and staff members disagreed, as Pugh acknowledged that the first use of a drug is a choice, yet the addiction is not. 

All agreed that self-care is important, and walking away from the situation if it becomes too much is not betraying the person. The ultimate betrayal is the drug(s) involved, said Pugh.  

The next two episodes of “The Trade” will be shown in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center on Thursday, Oct. 11 in room 143 and Monday, Oct. 15 in MPR A from 7 to 9 p.m. 

Amber Chisholm can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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