A video posted to YouTube yesterday and an article recently published to draw attention to it is being viewed as promotion of vigilante justice against substance abusers referred to as “Junkies” in the City. Both are receiving quick condemnation by many organizations and members of the Community.
Lisa Foggia is the mother of Tia, who last year lost her daughter Tia to substance abuse.
“That article is so upsetting. How people can treat each other this way is abhorrent,” said Foggia.
Foggia is also a member of CHAAT, a group designed to bring a voice to the community in regards to these issues.
“It is societal stigma once again, dehumanizing people and justifying the use of violence,” she continued. “This will do nothing but cause immediate gratification for people who do not understand addiction as a disease. Not condoning behaviours such as theft and such, but we need to treat individual for the root causes of addiction instead of putting a band-aid on it.”
Foggia’s perspective is met equally by Addictions and Mental Health Advocates Founder Donna DeSimon.
“A one man vigilante is not going to fix any problems that this City faces,” said DeSimon. “In fact the judgement and stigma displayed on these videos only exacerbates the dangers that all substance users face because the actions of some.”
DeSimon’s organization is planning a protest next Monday in front of City Hall in hopes of shining a peaceful light on the ongoing opioid crisis in Sault Ste. Marie.
We have reached out to SOYA founder Connie Raynor-Elliott and Mayor Provenzano for comments, but both were unavailable to do so at the time of publication. We will add them if they are made available.
Stay with SaultOnline/ONNtv as we continue to cover the ongoing epidemic which is addictions in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.