Name: Sarai Juarez Uribe
From: Houston, Texas
Grade: 12
School: Elsik High School
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign - Overcome Addiction

Overcome Addiction

It
has become popular to consume anything in excess, ranging from food
items to tobacco. It is important for the nation to address the
addiction crisis it is currently facing because of its detrimental
effects upon society. Parents who are substance abusers are more
likely to neglect their children. In turn, children become victims of
abuse and in some cases, poverty.

Kids are bound to imitate their peers’ actions as they grow
older, and are influenced by what they see at home. It becomes the
basis for the life they will later lead on. Mental illnesses are also
a consequence of the repeated use of substances that are detrimental
to one’s body, both for the consumer and the bystander. Infants
become traumatized by the violence that drugs commonly generate.

Growing up, my family was very poor. My oldest brother at the age
of 14, was forced to drop out of high school in order to help my
mother clothe and feed my 3 other siblings and me. The burden was so
heavy upon my brother’s shoulders that he turned to drugs. I was
six years old praying to God to not let my brother overdose. My
mother worked two jobs, she did not have time to offer us support or
comfort, so by the time she noticed my brother was already addicted
to marijuana and cocaine. I saw every stage of the process, I sensed
how violent he was becoming, no longer did he treat like his little
sister. He used to protect me and beneath his warmth, I felt safe and
sound. It was shortly before my other brothers also began
experimenting with drugs, and years after, I adapted their ways.

Addiction happens rapidly, before you even notice, you can not go a
day without the narcotic. It is also progressive, you want more and
more of it as each day passes by. My home was no longer a place that
I longed to go to, it was chaotic. Everything seemed as if it was
falling apart, there was no hope or inspiration to gather or build
upon. Instead, we were all seeking to fulfill a void within us
through drugs that only left our family more broken than it already
was. Eventually, two of my brothers got arrested and were convicted.
While imprisoned, for the first time in years, I saw a spark in
their eyes that had been missing for a long time. Their demeanor was
completely distinct, they had overcome addiction. Their system was
clean, and they were themselves again. The brothers that stood up for
me, that once dressed me up for school, cooked for me, supported my
mother and were my father figures, the ones I looked up to and
admired.

Organizations that offer support to minors struggling with
substance abuse should be promoted widely. It is important for us to
form part of a community because through such, we can shed light on
issues that are not addressed by society. We can offer children hope
and encourage them to learn and educate themselves in order to shape
their own story. Social Media should be taken advantage of to post
the numbers of hotlines that one can anonymously contact for help.


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