Name: Mark Trusiak
From: Phoenix, Arizona
Addiction Ruins Lives
Addiction Awareness Scholarship
November 27, 2020
Addiction Ruins Lives
Around 12 years ago, my father developed a drug addiction that entirely changed the course of his life. He was once a man who owned a successful business, lived in a large house in a wealthy neighborhood, and could go home to his family every day. That all changed once he became addicted to drugs, as he eventually went to prison and became divorced from my mother. After getting out of prison, he went to rehab, became clean, and put his life back on a positive track. Nevertheless, the traumatic events still happened and the scars caused by his addiction now force upon him the difficulties of frequently needing a new job and rarely seeing his family.
The consequences of drug addictions are exceptionally dangerous and life-changing. These repercussions do not only tremendously affect the life of the user, but everyone close with the user as well. Yet, drug addiction is nearly impossible to escape without the support, motivation, and love of friends or family members of the victim. This is the core reason my father was able to pull himself out of addiction, but also the reason so many others fail to do so. The hopes of being back in the normal world and being able to see his family, with the motivation given by close friends and the sponsors he met at rehab, allowed my dad to survive his addiction. So many cases of addiction go mistreated, lacking the support of a sponsor, the love of friends or family members, or the knowledge of what an addiction-less life could be. Unfortunately, in many cases family members or friends of the user tend to give up on the victim easily, as they fail to see that addiction is an illness that cannot be treated by the victim themself. Drug addictions will either ruin or end the victim’s life, systematic changes must be made to encourage drug users to find help to end their addiction as early as possible.
The U.S. could rapidly decrease the number of drug addicts and drug overdoses by treating those that are addicted to drugs with rehabilitation rather than criminalization. If users are treated with support and understanding, they will have the power to end their addiction sooner rather than later. Fortunately, this process has already started to happen in the United States. On November 3rd, 2020, the state of Oregon voted Measure 110 into a law, which decriminalizes the personal use of all drugs, and instead gives users the choice of paying a $100 fine or getting a health assessment at a rehab facility. There is no question that this bill will encourage users to find help and support on their path to becoming sober, as well as fueling the end of the stigma that most addicts choose to be addicted. If Measure 110 proves to be successful, other states are likely to follow suit, indicating a huge step forward in an end to the addiction crisis.