Drug Rehab 2022 Round 1 – A Rough and Tumble Ride

Name: Amelia Rose Fritsche

A Rough and Tumble Ride

I am a student at LSU College of Nursing, and I work in the Emergency Room as a tech. I have had academic and real word exposure to this dilemma. In my experience, most addictions start innocently enough. Perhaps a friend at a party pushes a vape pin in your face. Maybe after a simple surgery you realize the pain pills take away the dread of everyday life. You find your cousin’s Adderall and remember your roommate saying she uses hers to stay up all night studying. However your initial contact begins, the slide into addiction is a rough and tumble ride. 

Addiction is a life altering problem. Not only is this true for the person who is addicted, but also for the support system of the addicted. The numbers tell the hard truth about the level of addiction for our nation. According to American Addiction Centers, 38%of Americans suffer from a substance abuse disorder. The reasons for addiction are as varied as those individuals who suffer from addiction. But one might ask, “As a nation, why are we dealing with this level of drug addiction”

The consequences of abuse leave their ugly marks on the abuser and those who love her. Jobs, friends, support systems and bank accounts all fall prey to the world of addiction. But society as a whole suffers also. Resources that are few and far between are stretched thin by those in need. Jails are full of persons with the disease of addiction who desperately need therapy but instead find punishment. Group homes try to bring those seeking help back to society, but often find resources lacking. Those lost in addiction defy social norms to feed their illness and end up stressing emergency rooms and peace officers and using limited tax payer dollars to give short term fixes for a chronic problem. 

What is to be done? Addiction must be addressed by individuals, their support systems and society as a whole. Individuals must admit to the medical disorder and seek treatment. Support systems of families friends and coworkers must choose to lift up those afflicted the same as if they had been diagnosed with cancer. Concern, empathy and basic human decency must follow and be followed up on again and again. Society as a whole must also acknowledge the need for a holistic approach to addiction. Resources must be allocated on the city, state and federal levels to care for these populations. 12 step programs should be made available to those who chose help and free readily available assistance for those who end up in ERs and holding cells. Meeting people who are suffering from addiction where they are on their journey and providing medical care and therapy immediately will benefit not only our afflicted brothers but also society as a whole as we attempt to end this national epidemic.