Name: Jodi Di Donato
From: Tucson, Arizona
What I Have Overcome and Plan to Share With Others
I have had to go through so much loss to be where I am today to make me appreciate the gains and gratitude in every moment I have, everyday, just for today!
I believe as a nation that we are dealing with an addiction crisis because more awareness has been made available to cso many communities and it is affecting so many close to us that it can be ignored any longer. I tend to feel that people are overlooked and don’t realize what trying a drug just once could change their perception and create an addiction so quickly. There could be so much more education on drug abuse and creating a way to properly educate children rather than them having to learn so close to home in such a negative aspect.
The consequences of addiction as an individual creates such a loss of support and losing who you were. Personally I started losing everything all at once and it has taken so much work on myself and proving things to others to be where I am. The consequence though is not just loss of people and respect it is so much more than that. You commit crimes and create criminal records, loss of children, loss of life, loss of self, and everything you can imagine. I believe that addiction changes for everyone differently and at different paces and no matter what our journey has brought us to support groups that teach us that we’re not alone. The consequences as a society is that all addicts are prejudged and that goes along with what class you are considered in as well. Low class people addicted to drugs seem to get treated differently than high class people that are addicted to drugs in the world but yet it creates the same actions.
I feel like the way that we can create a remedy to the individual addiction crisis would be to be able to provide more affordable rehab centers that aren’t always privately profitable. Placing people in jail and treating the crime they committed rather than the addiction they are facing does not create a better mind set for addiction. To remedy the addiction crisis on a societal level would be to show that addicts can change and for the better. You don’t know what positive impact a hand up compared to a hand out can make on a person’s life. All it could take is one person to smile or to show that someone has a valid support and to create more positive stigma that comes with talking about addiction. If there is more awareness and education available to more services for addicts to become successful and for people that are open minded just take a chance on someone that seems lost that could be the last time an addict uses from someone reaching out.
I know that these things would’ve helped me when I was so low and was killing myself slowly and it took so much more strength I ever thought I would have to get me where I am today. I am a full time employee, a full time student, and a full time mother of 5 and if you asked me 3 years ago if I thought I would be a functioning member of society with readiness and willingness to provide empathy to others I would have not said anything being because of how close to being all the way gone I was. Thank you for taking the time to listen to my views and making this scholarship available!