Name: Payton Shortridge
From: Sellersburg , Indiana
Essay on Addiction
Essay on Addiction
On April 5th, 2020, my boyfriend was shot in his leg. And you might wonder what this has to do with addiction, but when you have grown up seeing different forms of addictions from the people who are supposed to be setting an example of how to live for you, it has everything to do with addiction. My boyfriend’s parents were both opiate addicts during his adolescent years. One of his parents also suffered from alcoholism. He grew up living with his grandparents who still to this day suffer from alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse. Once he got shot he had a difficult choice to make; to take the opiates prescribed by the doctor, or to take more mild, less addictive medications.
According to the NACOA, “The influence of parental attitudes on a child’s drug-taking behaviors may be as important as actual drug abuse by the parents. An adolescent who perceives that a parent is permissive about the use of drugs is more likely to use drugs.” While growing up he saw that not only was it fine to do these things, but it was almost a necessity to do these things. Many children who come from homes where their parents are substance abusers, often turn to those kinds of things. My boyfriend knew that because he had come from a home of opiate-addicted parents he should not try to use the opiates if he did not have to.
It is very easy for anyone to get addicted to opiates with the amounts that doctors prescribe. According to cdc.gov, “As many as one in four patients receiving long-term opioid therapy in a primary care setting struggles with opioid addiction.” Considering it being very easy for just anyone to become addicted to opiates, he knew that he had a heightened risk based on his background. He could have chosen to stick to his prescribed dose, or even follow in the pathway of his parents, but he did not make either of those choices.
He decided to cut the doctor’s recommended dosage in half. He would not take medication unless he was in excruciating pain. He wants to make sure that he does everything in his power to make sure he does not end up the same way as his parents. Even suffering a gunshot wound, he chose to be stronger than his odds and push through. Growing up seeing nothing but addiction your whole life there are two choices you can make. You can walk down the same path, or you can turn you back. He chose the latter option. Seeing how abuse can destroy lives, and destroy families changes you and your mentality.
That boy makes me more proud than I could ever put into words. I do not know that I can say I would be strong enough to make the same choices he did if I were in his place. He teaches me every day how to be a better person, and to make better decisions. Because he chose to turn his back on any chance of addiction, he may have helped to secure a successful future for himself. You have to take life one step at a time, always stepping forward. Making smart decisions helps to ensure you never take a step back.
Fleming MF, Balousek SL, Klessig CL, Mundt MP, Brown DD. Substance use disorders in a primary care sample receiving daily opioid therapy. J Pain 2007;8:573–82.
Nacoa. n.d. Resources – Nacoa. [online] Available at: <https://nacoa.org/resources/> [Accessed 1 November 2020].