Name: Kai Whitmore
From: Kotzebue, Alaska
Hello, my name is Kai Whitmore and I live in Kotzebue, Alaska, a small-town North of the Arctic Circle. Here in this small town, people struggle with alcohol addiction. In Kotzebue, you are almost certain to be exposed to intoxicated people, whether it’s seeing a drunk person walking down the street, or drunk parents or family members. Although drug addiction is not a big problem here in Kotzebue, alcohol addiction has damaged many families in this town of 3,000 people.
Why do we believe we as a nation are dealing with an addiction crisis? I think addiction is a huge problem in our nation because it is easily accessible. In America, people have very easy access to drugs, if you wanted to, you can go buy all types of narcotics or other illegal drugs on the street. In my opinion, I think that is the reason why we have an addiction crisis going on today. If it was harder to get drugs, thousands of people would not be able to get the drugs to fuel their addiction.
What are the consequences of this addiction for the individual and society? People who addicted to drugs themselves, are risking a lot to sustain their addiction. If you are addicted to drugs and you get caught with illegal substances, you get sent to jail, and after you’ve been to jail, it is very hard to get a job. It is also hard to get a job if you are worrying about drugs all day, people who are addicted need to get a fix have a hard time being able to control when they need to fuel their addiction, and if you have to get high at your job to be able to complete your shift, usually you don’t last long in that workplace. As for society, if you have people who are addicted to drugs in your community, it eventually could spread to other people. Like if you are hanging out with some friends, and want to smoke some weed, or maybe you are addicted to cocaine, you probably are going to ask your peers to join you. People who are addicted like to see other people become addicted too, it makes them feel better about themselves. Next thing you know, you have two people addicted to drugs, then three and four, until the society you are in, becomes a community that is not the safest place to live in. I have witnessed this in my community, we have lost teachers, and role models in our community because we have become overcome by aggressive alcoholic in which people do not want their kids to grow up in.
How can we remedy the crisis on both the individual level and societal level? As I said before, if people had less access to drugs, that would solve a lot of problems when it comes to drug addiction. As for alcohol, I really do not know, you cannot ban alcohol in the United States, so that is a much tougher challenge for people that are addicted to alcohol. Alcohol is such an easily accessible addiction, all you have to do is either be 21, or know someone who is 21 to fulfill your addiction. You can also go out and just buy a fake ID, then you’d be able to buy alcohol yourself no matter what age you are, as long as you look enough. So that is a tougher challenge that I, nor do a lot of people, have the answer to.