Name: Olivia rucker
From: Phoenix, AZ
The devil takes insurance.
The fact that anyone today can deny the level of addiction crisis were in heartbreaking as well as mind blowing. America has been living in a self-chosen bubble fueled by a cycle of generational conditioning and abuse.
Alcohol even being one of the deadliest and addictive substances. It socially has become engrained in our minds to be acceptable. No matter if that means to loosen up and party or drink the pain of the situation away at home alone. Falsely reassuring themselves saying “Well at least I don’t drug like meth and heroin addicts”.
People are dying left and right to overdoses of all kinds imaginable, rotting in prisons or they become the next Facebook obituary to cross my feed like the 41 of my friends the last 6 years who did not make it.
The Purdue settlement was too little to late to the victims and families of those who did not make it. The scariest part for me I feel is that those individuals who moved onto more hardcore substances, 9 times out of 10 it was prescribed it by a physician first. Not a whole lot of people randomly wake up and decide they want to go for some person whose selling heroin. But then once they’re hooked the legal way it is off to the races. Do not forget however, that the money to buy it requires a job to keep the insurance to see the doctor. Never ending cycle. That when Street drugs like heroin and fentanyl are cheaper. This point and time ladies and gentlemen are the fork in road where you must ask yourself. Will I realize I have an issue and get help?
Before My dignity and self-respect is something I shove deep deep down so you can make it through things you will have to do for those drugs. Just to have to use them to forget what you’ve just done to get them. Fun stuff, right?
That right there is the vicious and deadly system that both men and women off ALL demographics and walks of life can and do get trapped in.
The true consequences of addiction spread across entire generations of families and become a family affair.
A bit of personal information about myself. I am a grateful recovering addict going on 5 blessed years sober. Single mom to a rambunctious toddler named Eden. A true gift of sobriety. Coming from 15 years of hardcore IV use of the hardest substances. I was your neighborhood run of the mill A&E kind of addict, anything and everything you got.
However, the consequences were painful and numerous. Individually, you lose your entire true support system because who would really want to be around you when you are like that. You lose your health and looks. Your teeth begin to rot and fall out, skin looks oily and forty years older than you even are and the bags under your eyes can only match Louis Vuitton. Financially, it does not matter wealthy you are in the beginning because that is all going to go bye bye. Cars, Homes, Checking and Savings, 401K and IRA are nothing but a distant memory. Drugs will drain you for everything plus some. Not just from you either but from the ones you love and even people you do not know.
Now once you have successfully exhausted every resource from your friends, family and loved ones near and far, sold anything and everything of yours that bears any monetary value and thought of every get rich quick scheme you can do in under 4 hours. Here comes the harder part.
Society does not and will usually never look kindly on those of us who have been considered “afflicted”. Unfair as it is, even once you have drug yourself from the depths of hell to a functional member of society. People will still feel you are the same. Now it’s not all malice and judgment. Fearful and uneducated sound to be a more accurate fit. Employers are rightfully concerned of a relapse and you remaining dependable. Police and rescue personnel put themselves in danger when having to respond to drug related call or overdose. The risk posed to the public is all too well known but sadly not changed in volume.
Drunk driving or driving high is so common and always so deadly. Socially and romantically now, people you meet may have past issues or their own prejudice about it, they do not want to be your friend or date you due to your “habit”. These all sound so terrible and I will not lie, they are and sometimes they hurt a lot. Active addiction does not have to be a set-in stone thing or a death sentence. There is hope for us all. My favorite saying is “One addict helping another is without parallel.”
The Individual key to freedom against the disease of addiction is the 12 steps by my main man Bill W. Personally I found my home in Narcotics Anonymous, but I started in Alcoholics Anonymous with the big book. These steps are solid tools and the blueprints you are going to need to survive sober. Solid support systems of people who are continually moving forward, people who truly want to support you and see you succeed. Stick with the winners.
The day you know that you cannot fix this by yourself but are WILLING, even just willing is the first step. Honesty, Open-mindedness and WILLINGNESS is HOW we stay sober.
Society will have more work externally in the long term that the individual whose focusing on his personal recovery interpersonally and introspectively. Society’s task lies in changing their perspective, truly having the willingness to be open new information. Starting with beginning to change their thought process so much it goes from judgment and disgust to compassion and understanding,
We need better public education to be able to have enough of the public at bare minimum think about their judgments or feelings of those with an addiction. Providing them with facts and not misinformation is an absolute must and may be the simplest way build some compassion.
People are ignorant of addiction as a disease and its prevalence in our society and communities. We are obnoxiously overdue on setting up plans in place to treat people that are clearly in crisis, with dignity, respect and compassion. Compassion is a lot of the time is rare, but I have always found it to be a tried-and-true gem when you use it. The lack of affordable housing, low-cost clinics and more access to mental heath services is barely as start but it’s a good one.
In conclusion, Society has so much work to do in the long run. Changing perspectives, proper education and care early on as well as destigmatizing mental illness and addiction. In not only the public setting but healthcare workers and physicians alike. Healthcare workers have shown disturbing trends of not being properly trained to handle addiction and mental health crises. As well as having strong and often mean feeling about addicts in their care. A lot due to not being taught or to only certain specialties. Every healthcare work needs training on addiction and mental health,
A final personal tidbit, during my active addiction, I overdose on heroin and my heart stopped. I was revived by the grace of my higher power. At the hospital after being given Narcan the opiate reversal drug, I had to wait 12 hours to see if I would slip back. I did not thank god. But I could hear and see doctors talk about “the junkie in the hallway”,” doesn’t she know she look like death?” “pathetic”. All the while I can hear them and took it to heart. Thankfully, I used that as motivation and am here to change things and help others. The need for proper sensitivity and educational training would be a great place to start. We can do this. Compassion and understanding can get you far.
Thank you for taking the time to read my essay and understand how I think and feel for a few pages 😊