Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 – Addiction Awareness

Name: Taylor

Addiction Awareness

Addiction Awareness

Taylor A. Dominguez

Doses & Mimosas” by Cherub. “Xanny” by Billie Eilish. “Pills N’ Potions” by Nicki Minaj. “Dumb” by Nirvana. These are only four, of the many popular songs that promote the use of drugs and alcohol to both adults and children around the nation. This lifestyle is over-glamourized and advocates for a mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy life, leading many to their own destruction.

As a recovered prescription drug addict, I can easily relate to this topic and speak on it freely. Drug addiction can affect not only the body, but the mind and spirit. I began using drugs in 2015. My battle with this addiction was on and off up until 2017. During those years I was sexually abused and lost my father-figure to a heart attack, which made the addiction significantly harder to deal with. I was initially exposed to opioids in high school. I got involved with a drug-heavy friend group. They were big on the 90’s grunge scene and listened to a lot of music that really romanticizes drugs and their effects. I recall being very young and craving that “free” feeling I often heard in the music I was listening to on a daily basis. I can doubtlessly say that the music I listened to, had a big impact on my 15-year-old mind and decision to get involved with drugs.

As a result, I was forced to deal with a lot of anxiety. I became incredibly anti-social, my grades in high school began to slip and I lost a lot of friends. I lost friends not because of the drug use itself, but because I simply could not even bring myself to socialize as a side effect of the drugs I was using. My mind was slower, my thoughts were jumbled, my memory was shot, and I struggled with my speech. But it didn’t matter to me because for once, I knew how to turn off my feelings.

It wasn’t long before I fell into depression and struggled with suicidal thoughts. I was seen by two therapists and three psychologists. I lost about 12 pounds, weighing in at 89 pounds whilst standing 5’2 tall. My self-esteem was very low, and I lost a lot of confidence. Once I saw the way my body was being affected, I knew I had to make a serious decision to change my habits. It wasn’t an easy decision, and I experienced a lot of pain during my recovery. However, I finished celebrating my third year of sobriety in early July 2020.

Drug use and addiction causes downfall, depression, loss of self and pain. Our society and the world we live in now is the perfect testimony to the destruction caused by addiction. Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Rick James, Kurt Cobain, Matt Roberts, Juice Wrld. All names of some of America’s greatest artists, who all lost their lives to addiction. Yet somehow, their deaths are romanticized and glorified. It is because of this, that our society is so caught up in the “Hollywood” way of living.

I feel that this can be remedied by putting stronger restrictions on opioid prescriptions. Perhaps limiting them to professional use and administration only. This would limit the amount being distributed on the streets, thus meaning a decrease in the number of drugs being abused.