Name: Megan Heron
From: Boca Raton , Florida
Grade: Junior
School: Florida Atlantic University
Votes: 1 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign - Addiction: An Effect of Isolation

Addiction: An Effect of Isolation

Megan
Heron 

12355
NW 26 CT 

Coral
Springs, FL

33065 

Florida
Atlantic University 

Addiction:
An Effect of Isolation 

I believe addiction, in general, has become such an opportunistic habit; it is
silent, and its users suffer in secret, preying on those who allow
themselves to become susceptible to its ever-looming presence. Why
addiction has increased recently cannot be blamed on one single
aspect of our society, instead a holistic approach must be taken into
consideration as to why so many different types of addictions form
within so many demographics; although addiction can easily be blamed
on how accessible medications can be, or through the normalization of
drug use in popular media, dependent on just how sufficient or
insufficient a support system at home is, can be blamed as the main
factor that can determine how preventable addiction can be. 

The current accessibility of addictive drugs, specifically opioids, certainly is
not helping the prevention of addiction. With prescriptions being
filled at an unregulated rate, it’s fairly easy for someone to
either intentionally or accidentally fall within an addictive habit.
It’s as simple as visiting your neighborhood Walgreens and legally
purchasing medication that was specifically chosen for
you.

With health insurance aid and an acceptable social stigma to consuming
prescriptions at the blind hand of a doctor, it’s not surprising
that 10.3 million people in the United States misused prescription
opioids in 2018. (HHS) Another aspect to accessibility is found
within its juxtaposition: when there is limited accessibility, there
is curiosity and lure. For example, codeine remains a popular drug
because of its reduction in accessibility. Although it’s easy to
argue that drug accessibility is to blame for addiction, there
remains a much larger aspect to the human mind and addiction.

Normalization of illegal substances have gained positive attention within the
trendy world of social media. Popular social media platforms promote the use of
different types of alcohol and drugs as an acceptable way to ‘fit
in'. Upcoming generations view content on a daily basis, implanting
the idea that Juuling and jell-o shots are acceptable forms of
behavior. Even music artists who use social media platforms to
interact with their fans promote their unhealthy habits; if they’re
doing it, then it must be cool. For example, popular rapper Ruben
Slikk started his own collective called ‘H-Mob’. To fit in, one
had to be a consistent heroin user. The main concern with promotion
from social media platforms is that the wrong message is being spread
about the alcohol or drug… there is no warning label associated
with the wildly trending video. Instead, young adults view the
content and recreate these habits in their lifestyle. In their
pursuit for acceptance, they mirror their idols and adopt the same,
addictive habits. Despite all the concerns with social media
platforms, removing such content won’t prevent addictive habits
nearly as much as having a strong support system at home. 

If there is no support system at home, in school, or among friends, dealing with
stressful situations can be easily mended through substance abuse. In
terms of addiction, it serves as an outlet for curiosity,
frustration, relaxation, boredom, and the like. Having a support
system at home is vital in any aspect of our lives to redirect such
emotions into healthier and non-addictive habits. Marianne
Williamson, a life philosopher, believes the solution to most
societal issues such as addiction lays within the realm to allow
those around us to thrive. As naive as it sounds, simply caring for
and looking out for one another through cooperation has been the
entire motivation behind human success in the first place. There has
to be an outlet for negative emotions, and one will eventually form,
most likely through an idea that is demonstrated every day. If a
sufficient support system is in place, meaning there are family and
friends to express
all these
concerns with; eliminating boredom through
healthy
activities, reducing frustration through communication, and
expressing curiosity within a social setting, then the likelihood of
forming an addictive habit is really unlikely. Even if an addictive
habit begins to form, there is also a high likelihood that family or
friends may intervene and spark awareness. Cooperating with social
support groups who share similar concerns is a positive way to reach
out and create more of a support system. 

The consequences of substance abuse on an individual can be detrimental,
from a medical and social perspective. Medically speaking, there can
be irreversible health conditions associated with some forms of
substance abuse. Dental health can decline, severe weight loss and
cognitive loss are really just a few examples. Life spans can be
limited because of just how severe these health conditions may
advance. Socially speaking, friends become distant as poor habits
begin to invade. With addiction, lying, stealing and cheating are
commonly associated. Not to forget, a change in habits will attract
those who share the same habits, feeding into the daily ritual of
using. This isolation from a healthy environment can either promote a
realization of the negative effects, or it can worsen them through
disorders like depression. From a societal standpoint, an addict may
advance to the point of welfare. Their addiction may overwhelm all
other funds, leaving them in the hands of the state in terms of food
and shelter. Having a large population with the inability to provide
for themselves can quickly become a much larger issue in terms of
collecting the taxes to sustain them. With little to no government
assistance, crime rates are likely to increase. 

I wish I was fortunate enough to say that I had no experience with
addiction. Unfortunately, addiction and it’s ever looming presence
doesn’t ever seem to go away; just this month I lost a friend to
his heroin addiction. He tried many times to stop; he tried moving
around the country, running from his problems instead of facing them.
Sooner or later, his money ran out and he returned home. Last week
they found him face down in the grass, a needle in his arm. Because
of him, I am weary to say that eliminating accessibility and
peer pressure alone will help the most. We shared the same hobbies
and drove on the same streets. The only difference was that his
family life was much more disrupted than the average and he found
comfort in heroin. 

There exists many different possible
remedies to prevent addiction: reduce its accessibility, denormalizing it’s
habits, regulate written opioid prescriptions, inducing narcotic
blockers, and promoting education. Implementing any one of these
ideas, or perhaps all, is obviously not inherently a
bad
idea…
However they all fail to recognize the real issue, why one would fall
into an addictive habit in the first place: an insufficient support
system. The human mind is just as variant as the reason for
addiction, but without a healthy mind, addiction will formulate even
if accessibility is low and normalization reduces. It is necessary to
understand the holistic aspect of addiction and combat it at the
root. Having a strong support system can be the difference between
life and death. Through compassion and respect, we can overcome
anything. 


Works
Cited 

Peele ,
Stanton. “The United States of Addiction.” Psychology Today,
Sussex Publishers, 26 Oct. 2019,
www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/addiction-in-society/201910/the-united-states-addiction.

Public
Affairs. “What Is the U.S. Opioid Epidemic?” HHS.gov,
Https://Plus.google.com/+HHS,
www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/index.html.


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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign - Addiction: An Effect of Isolation
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