Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Addiction: Dealing with America's Downfall

Name: Luna Chavez Flores
From: Gilbert, Arizona
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Addiction: Dealing with America's Downfall

Addiction: Dealing with America’s Downfall

Addiction: Dealing with America’s Downfall

By: Luna Chavez Flores

Whether it be alcohol or substance abuse, society tends to turn a blind eye towards those struggling with addiction. There is without a doubt various issues that plague American society, and addiction happens to be one that Americans ignore, or look down upon. Over the years, deaths due to addiction have tripled and addiction has become an internalized issue that most people try to fight on their own without reaching out and receiving help. Addiction is a mental health issue, and should be treated as such, without having a negative social stigma attached to it that leaves people feeling hopeless and invalid.

Like most societal issues, addiction is mostly ignored until individuals struggle with it themselves, or have loved ones that battle with addiction. The social stigma attached to addiction has always been negative. Those struggling with addiction become embarrassed to reach out or talk about it, over the fear of being judged or becoming an outcast of society. This then leads them to lose hope and make their issue increasingly worse, affecting not only them, but the people around them as well. As a nation, we are dealing with this crisis because of the way we view those who struggle with addiction. Society views addicts as dirty, helpless, hopeless, and lower when compared to others. As a society, we need to grow along those struggling with addiction and remind them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that they are not alone on their journey to sobriety. We also need to be reminded that just because we might not struggle with addiction ourselves or know anyone who does, doesn’t make us better than those who do. Mental health issues, like addiction, need to be taken more seriously in order to move forward as a society and combat the downfall of many Americans, as well as avoid the loss of more lives due to addiction. The first step towards fixing this issue is to change our mentality and help those around us access the proper care needed. No one should feel alone in their struggles or be put down just because society has formed a negative perspective towards mental health issues.

Not only does addiction affect the individual battling it, but it also affects those around them. Personally, I have had many family members that have battled addiction, some better than others. I have seen family members reach their rock bottom due to alcohol addiction, and then get told that they are “crazy” and “hopeless” because of their struggles. Many adults are told that they need to “grow up” when they share their struggle with addiction, which is absolutely ridiculous. Addiction is a cry for help, so when individuals are invalidated because of their fixation, it makes matters much worse. The consequences of not receiving help are irreversible and can cause serious mental damage. Growing up around those who have struggled with addiction, I feel that I have matured faster than others my age. I view the world differently, and I missed out on a lot of my childhood because of it. It was a rude awakening that no child should have to experience, but it is just one of the consequences that come along with the addiction crisis in America.

Addiction has plagued America for hundreds of years, and even if there seems to be no remedy in sight, there is. We just need to get rid of the negative social stigma attached to addiction and the work from there. We as a society, need to start helping those around us access services that help fight against substance and alcohol abuse, as well as helping to achieve the ideal mental health needed to live a long and happy life.

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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Addiction: Dealing with America's Downfall
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