Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - How Addiction Affects Us All

Name: Makenzie...
From: Roanoke, VA
School: Radford University Carilion
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - How Addiction Affects Us All

How Addiction Affects Us All

How Addiction Affects Us All

  • Why do you believe we as a nation are dealing with an addiction crisis?

I believe that as a nation, we are dealing with this addiction epidemic because people are learning maladaptive coping skills instead of healthy ones mostly likely at a younger age. Dealing with stress and trauma can always be very difficult for “normal” people but can be especially difficult for addicts as they can spiral out of control trying to numb the pain with self-medication and self-sabotaging. Coping with life in this unhealthy way can have many consequences such as poor mental and physical health, instability in relationships and keeping jobs/housing, and ending up in jail or institutions. For society, we lose good hearted people to overdoses each year to this disease and there is a terrible stigma that is still present even though addiction has still been defined as a disease; this does make it tough for an addict to feel “a part of” society even after getting clean.

Personally, I have experienced all of the consequences that I mentioned previously but it still was not enough for me to stop. The pain has to get great enough for the person to finally realize that enough is enough and ask for help. In my experience, an addict helping another is best as they have been through the same situations and painful experiences. Many facilities have peer recovery specialists that can help these frightened people by telling them it will be okay, being there to listen, and taking them to their first meetings. Meetings have been the best way for me to stay clean, but some people also need rehab first or an outpatient therapy as well if they need the extra support. For society, I believe that we need to make it not illegal to have a disease. Instead of locking up addicts, we need to reform our jails to be more rehabilitative instead of inhumane. In the rehab that I work for, we get many people that are homeless in our facility. I love that the social workers find a plan that will work best for them such as finding them a treatment center and somewhere to go once that is completed (such as a halfway house or the Rescue Mission here in Roanoke). I believe that the jails need to also be this productive because if we show people that we care about their well-being and make plans to get them help, that will increase their chances of making it once they are released.


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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - How Addiction Affects Us All
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