My perspective on Addiction
Addiction is an act of being addicted to a particular substance,thing, or activity. Although the meaning is very simple and clear there’s a need to shed more light on the issues surrounding addiction. We as a nation need to understand the cause of the addiction crisis, consequences of addiction, and implement changes to improve the addiction crisis.
The first few years of my life I lived in kensington, an area located in philadelphia, pennsylvania. The area is known for having one of the highest crime rates, drug overdoses in the city of philadelphia. I was able to see how addiction was not only affecting my family, but also the neighborhood I was growing up in. Many of my family members became addicted to things such as pcp, percocets, alcohol etc. While my neighborhood became the most popular drug stop for all addicts.I started to see more cops patrolling my neighborhood to ensure anyone wasn’t overdosing rather than trying to prevent people from using drugs.
It started to feel like we were adapting to the addiction crisis rather than coming up with a solution for it. We ignored the addiction crisis,while believing that people were choosing to become addicted to substances. I began to realize that the addiction crisis was more serious than individuals choosing to become an addict. We have to take into consideration the challenges they face daily. Because we do not recognize those challenges, we are still dealing with the addiction crisis.
We need to publicize and educate everyone on the different causes of addiction. For instance, substance abuse can be hereditary. Individuals who have relatives with addiction problems have a high risk of developing similar addiction. Individuals with a lack of guidance are most likely to be peer pressured to do illegal substances.Trauma such as sexual abuse, physical abuse can lead to addiction. Same as Mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety can cause individuals to lead to illegal substances.
Without being properly educated on the causes of addiction we can’t prevent addiction or stop the side effects of addiction. There are few signs that can allow you to notice if an individual is dealing with an addiction crisis.First, physical side effects such as bloodshot eyes, tooth decay, weight loss, pale skin etc. Second, declining Health side effects such as a weak immune system, abnormal heart rates,and seizures. Then there’s social side effects which affect our society as a whole. Individual addicts can get involved in legal problems such as drug possession which in turn result in jail time. In some cases individuals can neglect their children causing the department of children and families to step in. There’s even been cases of individual addicts being abused physically due to their vulnerability. There are even instances of individual Addicts becoming the abuser.
I have personally witnessed the effects of drug abuse in my community. My community and I are traumatized because when we walk out our front doors, we are met with people strung out on drugs and witness the occasional overdoses. Our streets are filled with thousands of needles and other drug paraphernalia.Worst of all you are witnessing hundreds of people battle an addiction that feels like a never ending cycle. Family members even lose their children due to them not being able to care for them properly because of their addiction.
However, I have hope that we can improve the addiction crisis. Because of the drug addiction crisis in my community, I chose to study the field of Psychology. I want to be able to help my community heal mentallly and emotionally from the effects of drug addictions. I feel as though we as a community need to spread more awareness about mental health. As a community we should make people feel more comfortable seeking mental health services.
The community should join together and create non-profits organizations. The organization should cater to people who are affected by drug addiction. The most important thing the non-profit organizations should provide is inpatient and outpatient drug rehabs. The organizations should require that the people stay inpatient for 1 year. The patient should be learning how to live a healthier and drug free life. The re-enter goals should be obtaining permanent residence and a career. The community health workers should check in every month to continue to provide support to the person once they are discharged from the inpatient stay.
In summary, I feel as a community we need to educate ourselves and others about the consequences of addiction. We need to recognize the crisis can’t be solved overnight; it will take time. As Long as we educate ourselves we can help point someone in the right direction to overcome their addiction.