Declaring War on Addiction
Addiction is a huge problem in our world today and sadly many people are affected by it. There are several different forms of addiction, the most common being drugs but another important one is self-harm. These addictions to drugs and self-harm have had a huge impact on my life. And play a huge role in several others. But what makes this such a big issue? Why is it so prevalent in our world today?
I believe that most addictions are caused by underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, etc. Our world is a very loud, stressful place and our lives are full of everyday stress that come from jobs, school and even relationships. On top of that, depression and anxiety rates are skyrocketing. Yet despite these things being so prevalent, in my experience, they are not really talked about. It is one of those things that make people so uncomfortable that they do not want to or do not know how to talk about it. This leaves so many of these problems unaddressed. The result: those having to deal with anxiety, stress or depression do not feel like they can talk about their issues, so they just push them down. And sadly, this is oftentimes where addiction comes in. People do not like being depressed, anxious or stressed out, so they start looking for solutions. And with no one to help or guide them, they start finding solutions in the temporary relief drugs and various forms of self-harm can bring them. This can very quickly throw them into a cycle of not only using it to “cure” them of their depression or anxiety but to temporarily free them of the guilt caused by their actions. This cycle is extremely dangerous and those in it get into a lot of trouble and be severely damaged by it.
Because of these addictions millions of people are dying, getting arrested or put in hospitals. They invest all their money into their addiction and end up homeless and with no way to take care of themselves. Yet despite the troubles they face due to their addictions, they continue to chase that high and will seize every given moment to get their “relief”. At the end of the day they are left, not only with emotional and mental scars but also physical scars. They are left with these scars their entire lives and those scars will always be there threatening to take hold and suck them back in.
The individual is not the only one being affected though. Everyday people around the world are losing the ones they love in death. The addicts end up overdosing or cutting too deep in the wrong place or are driven so mad from what they are doing that they purposely take their own lives. Leaving behind heart-broken family and friends. Not only are they a danger to themselves but they could even end up hurting or killing someone else because they are not in their right minds. Every day, hundreds of children are being taken away from their parents due to addiction and are left with a huge void needing to be filled. And this may cause them to turn to the same things that took away their loved one. So how can we fix this? What can we do to fight against this issue?
We first need to be more aware of the underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress. We need to know how to tell if someone is suffering from these things and how we can help them address these issues. I believe that if these issues are more widely discussed, the people who suffer from them will feel more comfortable opening up and sharing how they feel. This can give us the chance to help them. They need to be heard and feel they are being listened to. But they need more than just a listening ear, they also need to know how to tackle these problems. By doing our best to understand their condition we can help them to come up with a game plan and start fixing these problems the right way.
But what if they have already begun to find their own solution in drugs or self-harm? Are they a lost cause? Not at all! We can still try to reach them before it is too late. Although we can be a great help there are people who are more qualified to help them. One of the biggest things we could do to help is to refer them to a recovery program where there are people more qualified and more knowledgeable about these problems and can better help them come up with a plan to recover. But we do not have to stop at just referring them to a program. Most people in these conditions need motivation to keep with their program and to want to recover, so we can be there to support and to cheer them on. Perhaps we could give them a ride to their programs and encourage them to talk about what they are learning. Ask them how they feel about the program and the things they are learning. Sadly though, there are still those who either have not addressed their issues before they worsen or simply refuse to get help. So it is important to be there for those who are being affected by that individual’s actions. By supporting those affected we could save them from taking the same course as the addict.
The battle with addiction will always be there but we can come together and fight it. It is important to remember that it is not just the individual suffering from addiction that needs to fight, but this is on all of our shoulders. If we want to tackle this problem, we need to be more aware of the causes and what healthy solutions there are to help. By doing our part we can save the lives of millions around the world.