Name: Meghana Warrier
From: Phoenix, Arizona
An Unfortunate Reality for Society
Currently as a nation we are dealing with an addiction crisis because drugs and alcohol have been unfortunately readily accessible to people both underage and of age. This is especially a problem for underage drinkers and teenagers with drugs. Due to peer pressure and the fact that people can get these substances easily, students and teenagers are able to get substances which they become very easily addicted to especially since they are at a younger age.
The consequences of this addiction is immense. A huge consequence for the individual according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse is health issues that can range anywhere from mental health illnesses to lung or heart disease to cancer. But, not only is the consequence of addiction detrimental to the individual but it also is for society. Adults who face an addiction will most likely not take care of their children as well, leading to their children feeling neglected and potentially reinforcing the cycle. The National Institute of Health shows that another impact is that people who face addiction are more likely to commit crimes, especially to pay for their drugs. But finally, another impact is that people who are addicted can actually put other people’s lives at risk if they hold a job like a pilot, bus driver, train operator, et cetera. But they can even put people’s lives at risk just by doing regular tasks by driving under the influence for example.
I believe the best way to remedy this crisis is through campaign awareness. First, I believe we should start in schools by showing the detrimental impacts of addiction. For example, I am a part of Student Government, and we have a vaping awareness campaign going on where we show the serious negative impacts of vaping. We should do something similar in all schools, and maybe have a week every year that is just addiction awareness week. But, I also believe organizations under the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other similar government agencies can also campaign due to their immense reach. Other than campaigning, I also believe schools should have more counselors available who specialize in addiction and quitting because while not every addict is trying to stop, there are definitely kids who do want to do drugs and just don’t have the resources or access to quit. Therefore, having a specialized counselor can help.
Addiction is a terrible illness that affects people of all ages. It not only has a detrimental impact on the individual’s life, but society as a whole. Therefore, we need to take action both as people and the government to spread awareness of the issues of addiction and resources to help people quit. That way, we can reduce the number of people in our country that suffer.