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Is It Fair To Shame And Share This Photograph?

This picture is currently trending all over Facebook - and with good reason. It's shocking, it's horrible, it shouldn't be happening and it hits home. I'm sure almost all of us know someone who has suffered from addiction. These people should not be driving around with a child in the car. Still, there is something that isn't quite right about the way we are all jumping to share this photo and it took me minute or two to figure out how I felt about it. First of all, here is the post, WARNING -  it is graphic.

At the time of writing, this post sits at 17,000 Facebook shares. But as I investigated further, I saw some comments that made me think twice. Have a look at this comment:

John Gifford/Facebook

I am not sure what to think about all of these things. That little boy is going to grow up and see the things people are saying about him and his parents. I believe that addiction of any kind is a health issue that needs to be treated accordingly. I don't believe that incarceration is the answer for all drug-related offenses. However, when you knowingly put an innocent child's life in danger because of your addiction, then you perhaps you do deserve jail time, but do you deserve a public shaming? Does this innocent child deserve to have his face, and possibly one of the darkest moments of his childhood immortalized on the Internet? What goes on the Internet stays there forever; no matter how many times it may get deleted, it never really goes away. All too often we share these images without thinking about how it will affect the people involved in these stories, not just right now, but also in the future. It's obviously a complicated issue, but one we should think about and discuss. What are your thoughts on this situation?

I'll leave you with a picture I found on the National Institute on Drug Abuse Facebook page.

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