Sharing Those Tragic Overdose Pics Doesn't Actually Have A Positive Effect

City of East LIverpool/ Miami Police Department

In recent news, there have been a ton of disturbing photos posted by officers and public officials that display the horrific effects of drug overdose.

Needless to say, the government is not holding back.

Between the images of overdosed adults from Liverpool, Ohio unconscious in the front seat of their car and those of the Miami Police Department caring for a child whose mother crashed their vehicle high on heroin --  we are seeing unfiltered reality.

And, shit, it's not a pretty sight.

Although it's believed posting these disturbing images is helpful to the public, recent studies show it might not be.

According to CNN, posting graphic photos of overdoses may be a worse idea than we thought, as they may reinforce the stigma of addiction, shame drug users and actually heighten the public's curiosity for the drug.

In other words, sharing these images will give non-users the wrong idea about the harsh reality of addiction, causing them to judge the addicts instead of accepting the fact they cannot find the help they need.

Psychologist John Fitzgerald spoke with CNN about the growing issue, saying,

These images perpetuate myths about addiction and create a divide between people who understand this is a treatment issue and people who believe this is a moral issue or weakness of character.

Fitzgerald also mentioned the fact posting these bleak photos will discourage drug users to get help because they feel so ashamed of themselves. He said,

Shame itself may invoke negative feelings in the individual. It may cause them to feel inferior, inadequate, and potentially a failure... It is important to engage the individual in a positive manner, so they can feel comfortable seeking help.

Most shockingly, the psychologist suggested sharing drug-associated images will invoke curiosity about specific drugs, causing viewers to try them for themselves.

Next time you scroll through your Facebook News Feed and see a drug-related imagine, think a bit deeper about the victims in the photo and realize their struggle is more than just a post.

Citations: Why you may want to think twice before sharing drug overdose photos (CNN)