The DEA tried to exploit a story about a HS wrestler's opioid-related death

The DEA tried to exploit a story about a HS wrestler's opioid-related death

Outside The Box

The DEA tried to exploit a story about a HS wrestler's opioid-related death

Here’s a troubling little social media post from a government agency to make you reconsider what you thought about the intentions of the DEA.

As reported by Deadspin, the DEA took up a link to a column by Yahoo Sports’ Eric Adelson about a former star high school wrestler who developed opioid addiction following an injury suffered in competition and later died. There’s nothing obviously negative about the DEA sharing Adelson’s story. Indeed, the original DEA subaccount which linked to the story — the DEA Education Foundation — presented it for exactly what it is. What is concerning is the context which their parent organization placed around the link itself.

Check out the messaging surrounding the tweet from the DEA Education Foundation here:

Then the DEA’s primary account got involved, which is where things more than a little bit callous:

To say the DEA’s primary account misses the mark here is an enormous understatement. First off, it wasn’t a choice for Drew Gintis to start using powerful painkillers; they were prescribed to him to help del with an injury. The story that unfolds from there is a heartbreaking tale of a family struggling to save a son … at any cost. We highly recommend you check it out.

What you shouldn’t do is place any credence in the messaging set forth by the DEA. Choosing to start using a drug is only a choice when it hasn’t been explicitly prescribed to you by a medical doctor. Ginter’s addiction was no more his fault than that tone deaf tweet is the fault of whichever DEA communications department underling was specifically told to write something that linked Yahoo’s story with the broader crisis of addiction.

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