Name: Suhey A Nieto
From: Tempe, Arizona
Addiction and America
One of the reasons I believe that people are dealing with substance abuse or addiction of any kind in the United States is due to feeling helpless. This year has been by far a cause for extreme stress and loss of hope for many people. The media is constantly bombarding us with news of COVID 19, international conflicts, racism, violence, death and economic recession. All of these factors have caused many Americans to slowly lose hope and have a desperate need to have control over something. One way that many opt for control is by slowly increasing their interaction with an object or substance. This slow process with time becomes an addiction.
I will use myself as an example, my addiction is to binge eating especially when I feel stressed. This small action slowly increased over time and eventually started affecting my health. In three years, I managed to gain 60 pounds that have been extremely hard to get rid of. I know that for many 60 pounds might not seem like a lot, but for me it has been a great challenge to overcome. Like me, many Americans are suffering with an addiction for food also known as binge eating disorder. I will use the current state “stay a home” order has made many people to lose their job and self-isolate which has created a great deal of stress for people. Understandably, this order was created to prevent the wide spread of the current pandemic. However, if we look at how people are affected we can see that there has been a large increase in food consumption and lack of exercise. I currently work in a clinic and one chronic disease that has been on the up rise has been diabetes. Poor nutrition and excessive food consumption are two causes for diabetes. This is a severe consequence that food addition can have on an individual and society.
One-way to possible remedy this social epidemic of addiction specifically food addiction is to have education and counseling available for everyone. We have to find a way as a society to get rid of the stigma that mental health still has in this country. Having access to a therapist or psychiatrist increases the ability for an individual to treat addiction and possible eradicate it. Many people do not have the ability to receive counseling from a healthcare professional that can guide them to positive way to channel their feelings of helpless. I am fortunate to have access to a professional that has guided me to healthier options to have control and relieve stress. Another way to treat a food addiction is by practicing disassociation. For example, I have learned a new way to deal with my stress that does not involve me consuming food or being around food. My best practice now to deal with stress is through a fun sport, which is boxing. Boxing has been a great way to implement a new exercise regimen and control my stress. This serves as a great example of how you can use other healthier means to channel the excess energy that has been pushing you to addiction. That is the reason why one of the steps to treat addiction is to have you physical y remove yourself from all the triggers or stressors that are pushing you to addiction. This is achieved by having you go to a new location or retreat for a designated amount of time with the help of health professionals.
In conclusion, in today’s society and specifically in America we have noticed a great increase with addiction since this year has brought many challenges. I discussed my personal example of my addiction which is binge eating. Together we review how having a professional intervention can be beneficial to a person with addiction. In addition, as we evaluated other means such as disassociating from the addictive activity and getting the help from a health professional. I hope that in a near future we start seeing a decrease of addition cases and improvement of individuals that are in constant battle with addiction.