Name: Ali Marie Denny
From: Logan, UT
Grade: Junior
School: Utah State University
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign - Addiction Prevalence

Addiction Prevalence

Addiction
Prevalence


By:
Ali Marie Denny

I believe addiction in various forms is becoming extremely prevalent in
our society due to increased depression and vulnerability, worsening
health care conditions, doctors over-prescribing medications,
decreased teen guidance, a minor amount of government funding for
recovering addicts, less resources for an increased population,
increased homelessness and less education for a drug free America.

We can address the increased number of people dealing with addiction by
making sure all people who seek recovery can gain recovery by
relocating to a new environment. Addiction is 50% genetics and 50%
environment. If we can ensure individuals are not in an unsafe
environment surrounded by triggers with a repetitive nature, they
have more of a chance of recovering. I believe doctors need to
prescribe smaller doses, for shorter amounts of time; this will
decrease the effects of becoming addicted to the prescription, as
well as, the amount of medications floating around in the general
public.

Those are who suffering depression or are homeless are also at risk for
developing an addiction, relapsing or becoming a new addict. A
depressed individual may or may not seek help; but when they do it
seems they are enveloped by prescription drugs or are surrounded by
others who are at risk for drug use. If a person has insomnia the
doctors seems to prescribe Benzodiazepine’s and they become
addicted. There are a lot of side effects when someone takes their
prescriptions. Not all people will read the fine print in
prescriptions, especially when they are in dire need of help;
patients will kindly assume the doctor has their best interest at
heart.

Also, it seems when woman delivers a baby, they are immediately prescribed
large doses of Percocet’s while they are healing. Not all women
will reject the prescription and will be sent home with prescriptions
for Percocet; this may create an addiction they did not know they
could carry on long after they delivered their new born. Similarly,
when someone suffers a traumatic car accident, they might be
prescribed Oxycontin to help deal with the pain. This also may lead
to a serious addiction in their lifetime, more somber than their
initial pain.

Teens who do not have a structured home, someone to answer to or are
feeling unloved/unwanted contribute to our nation which deals with an
addiction crisis. When an adolescent is trying to “fit in,”
experiment or feel better, they may take illegal drugs, prescription
drugs or hang out with the wrong crowd. Teens are developing a new
personality as they age and it is important to keep teens busy, show
them love and support, provide a structured routine, as well as, help
them develop talents/skills so they can feel like they are worth
something and can build self-confidence. When a teen feels they
aren’t good at anything, they might accept anything even if it’s
not good for them.

The government does not provide adequate funding for those who are
suffering and going without housing, food, health care, clean running
water, etc. I believe if the government delegating funds or had an
area for those who do not have enough to survive, people with
addictions would not be doing the actions they are doing. Not all
people who are homeless want to stay homeless or to continue
suffering. Some people just had a tough time or may not have a
support system, but they want to contribute to society in a positive
way. I think if they don’t receive help they seek they will
continue to be a societal threat or develop worse problems in their
lifetime.

Decreased drug education in the home and schools is growing and more prominent
than in previous years; this causes children and teens to not know
who to react to drug users, dealers or dangerous environments
accordingly. Ignoring potential problems creates problems. Ensuring
that children and teens are prepared is the smartest thing parents
and schools can do. By equipping children and teens with knowledge,
they are decreasing the chance of being another generation being
negatively affected by drugs. Showing younger generations what could
happen if they do drugs, hang out in the wrong areas or with the
wrong people is important to steer them in the right direction.

Some consequences addiction has on individuals are: poor self,
deteriorated health (stroke, heart attack, liver/heart/lung/pancreas
disease, brain damage, seizures, etc.), increased debt to get more
drugs/alcohol, poor reputation, loneliness, guilt, anxiety, feeling
helpless and overwhelmed, increased depression, problems at work,
suicidal thoughts, jail time and homelessness. Also, individuals may
face problems with memory, attention, decision making, as well as,
basic daily activities.

Some consequences addiction has on families are: sense of abandonment and
chronic depression in children, instability, loneliness, not enough
income to support the family, may lose their home/car or have
utilities shut off, missed birthdays/holidays/parent teacher
conferences, children embarrassed by parents, child neglect and
abuse, children will not have positive role models, families can be
torn apart and children can be placed in DCFS.

Some consequences addiction has on societies are: increased people in
jail, increased violence and crime rates, increased accidents,
increased taxes due to more people in jail, increased fear and
homelessness, decreased productivity and employability and increased
prevalence of diseases. Also, the more addiction becomes increasingly
prevalent in society, the more people will feel unsafe and our
communities won’t be able to operate regularly; children will not
be safe to walk to school or play outside, people will constantly
feel like they may be robbed, etc.

How we can remedy the addiction crisis on both the individual and
societal level is to seek help if anyone feels remotely unsafe about
prescriptions for themselves, friends or family members. Let doctors
know ahead of time before the doctor begins to prescribe anything by
saying they prefer natural remedies, if possible. Educate
children/teens regarding drugs, alcohol, negative people and
environments regularly.
Doing
basic things like setting a good example for your children is
important by providing a clean, positive atmosphere, empathizing
diligence in schoolwork, being professional on with a career,
practicing timeliness and informing your children you are there for
them if they need anyone to talk to. Offering a communication gesture
will keep them from seek external guidance from those who may not
have their best interest.

Also, writing to your local government agencies, as well as, the state and
federal agencies stating a demand for an increase for drug education
in schools, recovery funding for addicts and more resources for those
dealing with an addiction; including housing and food. Letting our
government know we care about our communities is vital because if we
don’t say something about what we see every day, they will never
know what is truly going on from a citizens perspective.


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