Name: Theresa McLendon
From: Shepherd, TX
Addiction and the Domino Effect
Addiction and the Domino Effect
As I sit here to write this paper, I am having to check my emotions and feelings first and foremost. I am sober now for 4 years. I was a statistic and I was addicted heavily to amphetamines for 5 years. So I know with 100% certainty that I can write this essay and have one on one first hand information included here.
First, Why do I believe that we as a nation are dealing with and addiction crisis? Addiction usually begins as an escape from one’s reality. A way to escape the stress, the pain, the memories that make you feel like you are drowning on a daily basis. It is freely and so very easily accessible. In today’s society as a nation you can literally bump into someone on the street and they either no someone who is on drugs, knows someone who is selling drugs or they themselves are the user or dealer. It is everywhere. Whether you are addicted to weed, cocaine, ecstasy, meth, heroin, etc. The list continues on and on, the crisis is as bad as it is because of how easy it is to obtain the drugs.
Second, What are the consequences of this addiction for the individual and society? It has a huge impact on the user as well as the users family. With many of these drugs, there is a common story, the user generally wants to feel numb and there are those that are just chasing the high. You try the drug one time and that’s it, you are hooked, you spend your time chasing the feeling of the initial high, but it will not work, it can not be achieved. In my case I tried Meth and was addicted for 5 years, I was a hard worker, rising in the ranks, devoted single mom. I was dating the person that introduced me to the drug and throughout my addiction I changed, my kids were always well taken care of, always food on the table and in the fridge, never wanted for anything, I was still playing with them and devoted to them. I still worked for a living and held my position with no issues, but mentally I was a zombie or a robot, going through the motions. When users come down from the high, they are angry, tired, achy, and a shadow of who they are. There are a good deal of drug users who are productive, but for the most part you hear of the other end of the spectrum, the ones that are stealing to fund their habits with no care or realization in who they hurt in the process. It tears apart families, relationships, friendships, working relationships. It destroys trust and reliability. Users become a burden on their loved ones, I know I did, I was pulled over and found in possession of narcotics. I served four months in jail and was given 2 years supervised probation with monthly check ins and random drug screens. In the time I was in jail my mother took responsibility of my children. She kept money on my books to allow me to write them and call them regularly and allow me to get toiletries, shampoo, conditioner and items that I would need while in jail. Once I was released from jail and completed my probation, I still had not gotten my children back in my custody until 2 years ago. At this time I have 2 of my 3 kids in my custody and that is because of what I did in the past. My oldest did not want to come live with me, he wanted to remain with my mother, while my two girls jumped at the opportunity to return to life with me on an everyday basis.
Third and lastly, How can we remedy the crisis on both the individual and societal level?
My first recommendation for this is to listen to the person, listen to those that are seeking the help. They have sought out help on their own for a reason, this is not in any way an easy thing for an addict to do. For those that are not coming forward for their own wellbeing and are being ordered into rehab or forced via intervention or ultimatum. These people need a larger wake up call. I see it more and more those that can reach the people that are in the midst of their addiction are those that have been through the very same circumstances or situations, or worst. What worked for me, not the ministries that came into the jail or even the probation for that manor. I had someone that was clean and sober sit down with me and listen to me, listen to my story and seeing me ugly cry admitting to myself all the things I was trying to avoid and why they scared the mess out of me. Then it was their turn, they told me their story, the good, the bad and the terribly ugly. And it hit me, if I continue to do this to myself and my family, my kids would hate me, more than I hated myself. That was a situation and a world I could not live with.
My story will not be one of those puzzle pieces that fit for everyone. The pandemic that we are currently living in is terrible, but it is not the only crisis we have in today’s society. Drug addiction and drug abuse is very evident and widespread, it touches everyone in some way whether they know it or not.