Name: Genevieve Elaine Paquette
From: San Clemente, California
Addiction in America
Addiction in America
Addiction comes in all shapes and sizes such as drug addiction, alcohol addiction, behavioral addiction, food addiction and many more. Likewise, addiction affects every age group across the United States. Whether it is a toddler with a parent suffering from addiction or an individual in their mid 50s facing the struggle themselves, it is applicable to all age groups. Addiction also affects people from every background including the rich, poor, and homeless. There has also been an increase over time with addiction which is why we as a nation are dealing with an enormous addiction crisis.
Everyday, addiction pulls individuals away from their friends, families and daily activities, which is why it is arguably the number one danger to America as a whole. Addiction is truly a mental disorder that makes those suffering risk all they have, own and love to the substance or object being abused. This can be demonstrated by individuals using their income from their jobs on drugs or alcohol, or they can lose their jobs because they cannot pass simple sobriety tests, leaving them homeless. This is detrimental to the society, not only to the individual, because it is increasing the number of people on the streets at nights, which pose danger to overall cleanliness and risk of diseases being spread rapidly in those areas. Growing up in Orange County, I have unfortunately had to see addiction at its base root as teenagers have been kicked out of my middle school for drug use and I have had to witness neighbors calling 911 because two individuals were threatening the safety of us children. Instead of looking down upon these individuals, I wanted to go and help them from whatever they were struggling from. Because I was younger, I did not know exactly what the two individuals were suffering from within the category of addiction, but all I knew was that they needed help. This is why I have decided to major in nursing so that I can work at rehabilitation centers to allow people to get out of the danger of addiction. Additionally, addiction can break families apart. Addiction is a very hard thing to see a loved one go through and cause many families to argue over how to help the loved one when they do not want to be helped at that point in their life. Usually, people think of addiction in the light of overusing a substance, but it can actually go in the opposite way. An example of this is Anorexia Nervosa. This is a condition where the individual is addicted to starving themselves and not eating because their mind skews their image to think they are far from perfect and need a negative outlet to be what they think is normal. Personally, I have seen Anorexia Nervosa affect my family friends. In this situation, the daughter suffered from this mental disorder and the parents were trying to help him recover back to his previous self. However, the addiction and mental side of the disorder was too strong and she started to hide it from his family by throwing all of her food away and isolating herself. This is a huge red flag of addiction. Because the family was very proactive, they would tend to argue on how their young daughter would recover and how to simply keep him alive. The daughter, Susan, was sent into a rehabilitation hospital where she was watched by doctors around the clock to make sure she was safe and overcoming his disorder. During her stay, Susan had coded out numerous times, scaring the parents. When Susan could come home, she started to become violent and relapse. This caused the parents to be distraught and find even more solutions for their young daughter. Unfortunately, relapse is common with those fighting any type of addiction, but it can all be cured with the right medical attention. Years later, Susan has fought her battle with addiction, but the parents are now divorced because of the trauma faced through those years. As previously mentioned, it can break families, which is devastating, but it is amazing that Susan is able to say she is a survivor of addiction today and accomplished her parent’s goal of simply staying alive.
As mentioned, addiction can fog the individual’s mind to solely focus on their addictive nature, instead of finding the medical help they need to cure it. Thankfully, there are places out there like Seasons In Malibu where their main goal is to help those suffering from addiction overall. These places have their main goal to help people like Susan. They have professionals working day and night in order to make people say, “I am a survivor and I beat addiction.” These centers are here because of the rise in addiction cases across the United States, making it essential to the lives of many. Because of these places, mental health is being prioritized in order to make a better future for those suffering today. If rehabilitation is prioritized, this can benefit the overall society as it will increase mental health, decrease homelessness and will help take away negative temptations for all. All in all, addiction is a scary reality many Americans face, which is why it is a top issue needing to be addressed, but with rehabilitation centers like Seasons In Malibu, there is light at the end of the tunnel that we as a nation can overcome addiction.