Name: Abigail Reeves
From: Mesa, AZ
A Natural High
Addiction Awareness Scholarship
30 November 2020
A Natural High
Addiction can come in many different shapes and forms. Some people are addicted to eating sugar, to spending money, or even perhaps to a certain person. Whatever the addiction may be, it can be taken too far no matter what it is. This is especially the case with damaging addictions, such as alcohol, gambling, and the one most personal to me, drugs. I’ve heard since I was a little kid to always stay away from drugs no matter what. I was shown these movies and shows of drugs being equivalent to a demon or a monster. And in my little kid brain, it would always be easy to stay away from something so scary. But what these public service announcements won’t tell you is what to do when one of your best friends tries to force you to do drugs.
I met my good friend, we’ll call them Lee, in the seventh grade. We instantly grew close because of our shared love of Harry Potter and the theatrical arts. We spent time together during school at lunch and after school in the theater club. They quickly became one of my closest friends and I cared about them deeply. But eventually, middle school had to end and we moved on to high school together. I had made the ill advised assumption that the only thing changing would be us getting older and procrastinating on more homework together. If only I knew how low the two of us would have sunk together.
It was in math class that I first noticed something was off about them. We would usually pass notes or drawings back and forth between each other since we both agreed that math was the most boring subject. But today, they didn’t seem interested in our routine at all. They sheepishly smiled at me when I asked if they were ok, but I wasn’t convinced. After more pestering, they told me to meet them behind the school during lunch the next period.
When I met them behind the school, they pulled a little bag out of their pocket full of something white and powdery. I imagine I don’t have to further explain the contents of that bag. I froze up, not knowing what to do. This wasn’t some demon or monster offering me drugs, this was my close friend. Someone I was close to, someone I trusted. A million and one questions were swarming through my head, and I felt like I was going to vomit all of them up.
I will begrudgingly admit that I almost gave in. Whether it was out of curiosity or out of trust for my friend, I still don’t really know. I don’t remember what happened next for sure, but I do remember that I lost someone close to me. And no amount of addiction to whatever substance can fill that kind of hole.
I started looking for ways to help them, get them out of the hole that they were in. To summarize, the effort eventually paid off and we are closer than we’ve ever been now. We now get natural highs out of life together, such as going on hikes, meditating, and sometimes splurging on material items together. I realize that not everyone is as lucky as I am, and that’s why combating addiction must start at the individual level. One person pulled out of the darkness at a time makes more room for the others to see the light.