Name: Glenda Krause
From: Phoenix, AZ
All in the Family
University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
Addiction Awareness Scholarship
All in the Family
So often we are affected by addiction within our family or circle of friends. For many of us, addiction can be an ongoing battle that cycles through generations. As my title suggests, for me, addiction is “All in the Family”. When you deal with addiction and battle it down, only to have yet another person you love fall prey to the evils of addiction, your soul starts to retreat inside. Your soul must, or it will die. What is making addiction run rampage through our country? Why is it where we all want to turn? How do we get to a place where we can pull ourselves out of the abyss and march on to victory, over a disease that has taken so many already? It takes a dramatic change and coming to terms with what life really is for everyone. There is always someone who’s life is a little worse than yours.
I am an addict. I am not alone though, and I am in a group of addicts including my brother, aunt, cousin, and now deceased mother. Addiction is a demon that sneaks up on you. You do not realize that you are in its grasp, until it is far too late. The more you claim you are in control of the drugs, or medications in my case, the less you are indeed in control. The pure act of regime of your medication forces you into a physical and psychological dependence for that oh so familiar friend. Years pass and the thought of even one day without your medication is truly terror for you. You can feel yourself preemptively going into withdraw, far before that time would naturally come to be.
My addiction first began about thirteen years ago. All over pain began to develop in my body, eventually being diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Taking so long to diagnose, because I was only about twenty-three at the time, my non-narcotic options could not work. My pain was too far along. That is when my relationship with prescription medications began. I have been prescribed almost everything: Vicodin, Percocet, Morphine, Dilaudid, Fentanyl. My circumstance around beginning narcotics at least had a reason. I suppose all my family did. All the prescriptions we were placed on were due to legitimate medical issues that developed into life-long addictions. However, the result is still the same. Taking that pill and getting those few moments of pure bliss. Those are moments when nothing matters, you feel invincible, and there is no pain. It is a feeling that many would give anything for and do.
Daily life used to be hard work and great family time each evening. People went out and worked to provide and kept feelings separate from family. Men were manly and held the burdens. Over time we have become so overly sensitive to all stimuli around us. Everything hurts our feelings, most things are just to hard to finish, and we have more inner desire to argue and fight then to love and work as one. We fight ourselves every day and live through an inner strife. Drugs and alcohol make it so much easier to get through those rougher patches. The problems of addiction have always been there, but now with such a heightened amount of over sensitivity, drugs and alcohol are hitting even higher levels than ever. This year has been especially difficult for not only America, but the entire world. Dealing with a pandemic and a controversial election is too much for us to handle. Over the past half-century, we have adapted as humans into a more technically driven species who despite access to everyone, is much more solitary than ever before. The joint effort of that attitude and overwhelming national circumstances, is the cause for a surge in the opioid epidemic.
Continuing episodes of drug and alcohol abuse are causing our country to fall apart faster than ever. When we should be joining to help one another through crisis, we are instead beating each other up in the streets and destroying one another’s property. Then addicts sit at home watching a world that does not love or care for them, now hating each other too. It makes us desperate for some type of savior to come along. All of what is going on is destroying any soul that is left in us. Then the vicious cycle continues repeatedly. The individual lives are being harmed by the lack of focus on the addicted persons of America. Society sees this happening and uses it as a political stance that will never actually be rectified.
How to fix this problem is an extremely hard question to answer. There are many avenues that need to be traveled at the same time to tackle addiction. Doctors need to halt the use of opioids except in cases of severe pain associated with death, cancer, or advanced AIDS. For those people that have conditions that cause pain, making disability benefits more accessible is essential. This is in addition to making aqua-therapy, acupuncture, and other alternative health options available to those people within their insurance plans. For those already addicted in some form or another, these same types of plans in combination with treatment facilities needed to be offered. There also needs to be a plan in place for those individuals to go to a job that fulfills them spiritually. Many can get clean, but staying that way is what is so hard. People need to have a sense of belonging and importance. Without that feeling, we are outsiders and feel it is not important what we do or how we do it. Change the laws through legislation and mandate that states be given funding to deal with these issues. Our federal government needs to support our states to help their citizens find a passion and live their fullest life.