Name: Anissa Martinez
From: Phoenix, Arizona
A Fight for Power
A Fight for Power
Slavery. Addiction. Abuse. Although all seemingly different things, they all are somehow connected by one word- control. People that go through addiction are controlled by the effects of the drugs in which they take. Similar to slavery and abusive relationships, the detrimental effects of control have an impact on how the rest of your life goes. Hence, the abuser is not the human itself, but the actual drug itself. People become a slave to their drug, whether that be: anti-depressants, sleeping pills, morphine, heroin- no matter how small the pill or how large the needle, the drug becomes the master in control. Addiction, especially in today’s society, has exponentially more prevalent because of a high level of dropout rates, Covid-19, and because of relapse due to neurological effects. As a cumulative society, the only way to respond to this is to take away the stigma that comes with being in a rehabilitation program, care for others, and limit access to dangerous drugs.
To begin, there are many people that have access to get help, but do not take it or quit as soon as rehabilitation gets hard. According to an article titled “Treatment of Drug Abuse,” there are often people that are forced to join rehabilitation, but often end up dropping out because it was not their choice in the first place (Journals.uchicago.edu). Simple enough, if the person does not want to be helped, there is a high chance of them not participating in rehabilitation. Typically, there are people who think they want help and enter into rehab, but come out dealing with the effects of the drugs they took prior to entering; therefore, going back to their old ways. Personally, I have an uncle that has seeked help in a rehabilitation program, but was never able to completely stop the use because of his constant relapses. After a relapse, he saw rehab centers and sobriety homes useless because of his own actions. Its a difficult system, but the only way he got better was with the help and guidance of his family and friends. It is important to help people get back on their feet, but also realize the way to help is to show them they are the ones in control and they have the ability to turn their lives around.
Furthermore, there is an increased amount of drug abuse in today’s society because of the Covid-19 pandemic due to the increased level of spare time in daily lives. Along with the increase of the general population, our world is currently undergoing a depressive state with a pandemic going around- leading to the increased level of drug use. Due to the fact that everyone is staying home, losing their routine, and surrounded by nothing but time and space, this is leading to a lot of people spiraling downwards into old or new habits. It is a known fact that spare time is not ideal, especially for a recovering addict, or even curious people that get into drugs out of boredom. As asserted by an article titled, “Substance abuse treatment need among older adults in 2020: the impact of the aging baby-boom cohort,” “The number of older adults in need of substance abuse treatment is estimated to increase from 1.7 million in 2000 and 2001 to 4.4 million in 2020” (sciencedirect.com). Being in an era where drug abuse becomes more common, there is a correlation that comes with age and drug abuse. Covid-19 certainly does not alliviate, but escalates that number even more. One way to combat the rising numbers is to finally take the stigma that surrounds rehabilitation. There is a certain degrading nature to those who suffer from drug abuse; hence, their pride taking over to try to help themselves instead of seeking professional help. This is extremely dangerous because if drug users feel alone in their process, that will do more harm than good. Eliminating the talk around rehab and finally educating society on the positives will definitely encourage people to become more aware of the epidemic that is drug abuse.
Finally, our numbers have been extremely high due to the high levels of relapse victims in our society. Someone can be sober for 5 years, but will get a sudden urge to relapse and reverse all of the progress they have done. In the report of The British Pharmaceutical Society, “effects range from…various intoxicating agents to the depressed and socially withdrawn state… Understanding such effects is of great potential significance in addiction neurobiology” (Bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com). Understanding the negative effects of addiction can help our society come together and sympathize with those who struggle with addiction and help them stay on track. Although there is no way of preventing a person from relapse, there are ways to keep people accountable in attending sessions that deal with sobriety. Another problem with this is the aftermath of drugs themselves, leaving the user with a lot of neurological problems that only give them the option to go back to the one thing that made them feel something. Thus, relapses usually come when the person feels unsatisfied with life or feel like they need to give into the desire to give them a purpose in life. On the contrary, drugs do not give people what they are missing, they are the reason people can not fulfill their goals in life. Without a doubt, there should be a way to limit certain, long-term harmful drugs that are highly addictive for the sake of people’s health and well-being.
In its entirety, the abuse of drugs has exponentially grown throughout the years to form a drug dependent society and has been highlighted because of rehabilitation dropout rates, The Covid-19 Pandemic, and relapses. It is a devastating cycle that keeps going, but with our joint efforts could help change even one person’s life. If one person can learn from this and battle their addiction, that is a success story. One day we can accomplish our goal of ridding ourselves and this world of evil, one battle at a time. We will no longer be slaves to addiction. We will take back our control and come out on top.
Anglin, M. Douglas, et al. “Treatment of Drug Abuse.” Crime and Justice, 1 Jan. 1990, www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/449179.
Gfroerer, Joseph, et al. “Substance Abuse Treatment Need among Older Adults in 2020: the Impact of the Aging Baby-Boom Cohort.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Elsevier, 21 Feb. 2003, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871602003071?casa_token=oyDvKhpy-KUAAAAA%3Ax7PB8sje39KBz12VOIAlKnm_ebHd5No98leVh7R7dnXo5H1LJ5PUoF-fnWKm1uArfc-l9psbR3g.
Mcgregor, I S, et al. “From Ultrasocial to Antisocial: A Role for Oxytocin in the Acute Reinforcing Effects and Long-Term Adverse Consequences of Drug Use?” British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 154, no. 2, 2008, pp. 358–368., doi:10.1038/bjp.2008.132.