Name: Kaylyn Manlove-Simmons
From: Tempe, AZ
A Helping Hand
A Helping Hand
We as a nation are dealing with an addiction crisis to both drugs and alcohol. This crisis didn’t just appear however. There have been times where it has been mentioned and exploited in the history books, such as the use of Opiates in Asia during the 17th century or during the time of Prohibition in the Roaring 20’s in America. However, in today’s society it is more noticeable due to media, technology, and the fact that we as a people are more open about our feelings and things that happen in our lives than in previous generations.
The use of social media allows information to spread quicker and easier. It puts it out in the open. It makes your private life less private. So in this case, it is easier to highlight addiction. In addition to this, the concept of addiction is often found in tv shows, movies, and songs, which are a large part of our lives. Television and Movies are a frequent source of entertainment, and highly influential. Growing up, I watched Disney Channel everyday, so much so that I grew up thinking that everyone has this epic high school romance, and that every situation has a happy ending. It’s optimistic, but not truly realistic. This is how influential tv shows and movies are. And in many teen entertainment shows and movies, there is always a party that involves alcohol and drugs. This conveys to this teen audience that it is appropriate to drink underage, and take illegal drugs. It is viewed as “cool.” So when teens try drugs and alcohol in reality, they get addicted to it.
Not only is the media a source of the prominent crisis, but also us being more open about it. Mental Health and Wellness is a growing concern in today’s society. More programs are being created as support for those who struggle with addiction. Part of the reason for addiction is depression and the desire to detach from reality. Drugs and Alcohol don’t solve problems. In fact, they might make them worse after causing a temporary point of relief. But to some people, this relief, however minimal, is worth it. This problem has existed in the past, and is still an ongoing problem, but with today’s openness about everything, it’s just easier to see.
There are physical and mental consequences of addiction for an individual. Of course drugs and alcohol cause a decline in health of the body. They also cause an overwhelming obsession with the drink or drug in question, which is also unhealthy. At this point, they’ll do anything to “feel good.” This can cause potential harm to themselves and others. This obsession becomes a danger to others and society. Society is like a machine. Each individual is an individual functioning part. When one of the parts are damaged, the machine is faulty as a whole. The same thing applies to addiction. When an addict declines, they take society with them.
Helping the individual, can ultimately help society. To do that, I think the first step is reaching out to those who need help. Of course, a person in need doesn’t always like to admit that they need help, so they’ll try to push any form of assistance away. You also can’t force someone to be better. They have to make the effort themselves to want to be better. However, just even the slightest support sometimes can make a world of difference. Maybe initiating more restrictions can also help. In terms of Alcohol, bars should limit how much they can serve one person. It’s harder to restrict drug usage because there are more ways around laws and restrictions with them. But perhaps if it was harder to obtain, then there would be less of a crisis.