Public watched opioid addict detox on big screens in Greenwich Village


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Opiate w/d sucks. I hope she sticks with it.


This is horrifying. At least it was voluntary - but still, putting a suffering human being on display is the very worst kind of objectification.


I disagree, if the suffering person is knowingly, willingly putting herself on display for a reason.

What about if, say, victims of abuse talk about their experiences, and their suffering and pain is exposed to the audience?


I suppose it’s about the choice of venue. You have to choose to watch Oprah, but this girl is puking and moaning on Astor Square.

Fun fact: If I was still in college, I would be walking by this several times a day! (I would also be getting laid more. Alas, Father Time.)


Agreed. Actively wanting to watch it is even worse IMO; trauma porn.

And for those who don’t want to watch but could inavertently be exposed to it anyway just by being out in public in that vicinity?

Not cool at all.


I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video. The description is ghoulish enough.

I suppose an argument could be made that this might raise awareness among some people unfamiliar with addiction who naively blame addicts for lack of will power, but there has to be less tasteless ways than Truman-Showing withdrawal.

And while I don’t know who paid for or organized this, the private addiction recovery industry is pretty fraught. The description says after the day on display she was entered into a program at no cost to her; I find myself wondering if she got that regardless of whether she participated in this.


Nor have I; I intentionally limit my exposure to sights that could be damaging to my psyche.


Yup. Time it would take to watch this grotesque circus is time I could be spending watching Stella the Doggo leap through her leaf fort.

I already know addiction is a horrible medical condition. I don’t need to watch the industry that fails to adequately treat it parade one of its suffering patients through Astor Place.


Same; I’ve seen it enough first hand in real life that I never need to watch it for “entertainment.”


Separate from the exploitation angle, I’m not sure this is a terribly effective tactic. No one starting opiates is thinking about long term addiction related consequences. Detox is really low on the list of panic inducing things for new users. There is one group that tends to be deeply terrified of the effects of detox, and that is the current addicts. I’ve helped a few friends get clean over the years and one constant concern was how bad their detox would be. Having a constant reminder of how bad it is might delay some people seeking treatment.


I’m not sure if this is a good idea. If I was an addict thinking about detoxing, this might scare me out of doing that. Counterproductive in the extreme.


I found this video helpful. I didn’t watch it to be entertained; it help me to understand how so many people can be addicted to opioids; and how difficult it is to stop. I’ve seen people who are users and are glad of it or at least seem to be. But hadn’t known someone addicted who didn’t want to be. This elicited sympathy towards them, from myself as I understand it better. It seems like the opioid crisis is a real failing of our medical system.


Technical question. To achieve this effect, they must have: shot her withdrawal episode with a green screen in the back. Then, when they play the video on the cube, the green area on original video is dynamically replaced by the live video of onlookers. There are two live cameras and two video displays; each camera feed replaces the green area for the opposite side of the cube.


TFA says “In exchange for taking part, Rebekkah is receiving a year of free treatment.” so I’m guessing that’s a no.


Thanks. And that makes this entire thing seem unambiguously exploitative.


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