Name: Paul
From: Orange Park, FL
Grade: 12
School: Fleming Island High School
Votes: 2 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign - The Damage of Addiction, And How It Can Be Prevented

The Damage of Addiction, And How It Can Be Prevented

Paul
McIntyre

11/30/19

The
Damage of Addiction, And How It Can Be Prevented

Addiction
is a life controlling burden that ruins and takes countless lives of
vulnerable individuals. Many addictive substances are dangerous and
may cause death if too much is taken, such as alcohol. This potential
self harm grows with every use of an addictive substance, and causes
suffering for addicts and their loved ones alike. Addictions can
often drive people to desperation and helplessness, and is an issue
that should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, it is becoming
increasingly common in the United States, to a point where addiction
is considered an ongoing crisis.

Addiction
is on the rise in the United States because addictive substances are
easier to obtain than ever before. Legal mediums such as tobacco and
alcohol have maintained their popularity despite informational
organizations, and illicit drugs show no signs of slowing down.
However, the greatest contributor to new addictions is the ongoing
opioid epidemic. The opioid epidemic is the drastic increase in
addictions concerning synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and natural
opioids, such as morphine. These are most often found in prescribed
pills that may be obtained legally, but these pills can be taken
unnecessarily or in excess amounts. The increase in opioid containing
painkillers may be because prescribing these potentially dangerous
pills is more efficient to hospitals than fully healing a patient, as
that could be expensive for the patient and difficult for the
hospital. There are also many situations where patients claim to be
in tremendous pain, but the reason could not be determined, leaving
painkillers as the only option. The patients with prescribed pills
may form an unhealthy addiction with them, and find themselves at the
mercy of their own dependant mind.

Addictions
can cause suffering for the addicts and their loved ones alike. In
fact, I am familiar with the damage that addiction can bring friends
and family, as my father was an addict when I was a child.
Fortunately, he was sent to rehab to get clean, but I learned plenty
about addiction when he was there. For example, I learned that most
addictions are formed to block the pain caused by something else,
such as an old injury or, in my father’s case, childhood trauma. I
also learned that addictions can never solve any problems, but rather
allow people to ignore their pain and allow it to grow worse. Most
importantly, I learned not to judge addicts with their addictions. I
do not believe that anybody wants to become, or stay addicted to
anything, but instead people become trapped in their self destructive
habits. Most addicts actually do not want to stay addicted, but are
so reliant on their drug that they are afraid of living their lives
without something to comfort them. So really, instead of treating
addicts with disdain, people should treat them as human beings in
need of help and hope, rather than outcasts. Although some addicts
are hindered by enablers who do not encourage self help, I find that
nearly all of them only want company and genuine support from healthy
individuals.

The
rise in addicts has caused plenty of concern in the United States,
but new technology may be able to slow the tide. Because it is nearly
impossible to accurately quantify someone’s pain, many opioid
addictions arise from an inaccurate prescription of painkillers. In
fact, most people are prescribed their pills according to their own
judgement, which is usually impreise. However, a new technology
called an fMRI can accurately quantify someone’s pain, and allows
doctors to prescribe appropriate and safe amounts of opioids to help
their patients. However, an fMRI remains too expensive to be widely
applicable yet. Hopefully, in time, it will become cheaper to use and
more accessible, which would allow more people to use it and less
people to become addicted.

Unfortunately,
it is much more difficult to cure addictions than it is to prevent
them. One of the greatest obstacles on the road to recovery is
getting the addict to realize that their addiction is harmful.
Despite the various organizations spreading awareness, I find that
most people attempt to combat their addictions for their loved ones.
And, in the end, that is the only way for any addict to fully
recover. People need to have hope for something better, or else they
would never attempt to rise above their dependency. The family and
friends of addicts are the most important key in recovery because
they are usually the sole provider of that hope, and their love and
support can usually encourage addicts to free themselves, for their
own sake.

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/index.html

https://io9.gizmodo.com/scientists-succeed-in-objectively-measuring-pain-472456061


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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign - The Damage of Addiction, And How It Can Be Prevented
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