Drug Rehab 2022 Round 1 – Empty Promises

Name: Danielle Lawrence

Empty Promises

Addiction is not an individual struggle; addiction affects everyone around you.

Growing up I watched my father suffer with addiction of all sorts, smoking, pain killers and alcohol. His addictive behaviors caused problems with his physical and mental health, his work, relationships and family. Countless times empty promises were offered, that he would quit, he would get help and take care of it. And countless times his family was left with disappointment from these unkept promises.

Witnessing the effects of addiction firsthand has shown how crucial it is to be open and honest with this problem, to know the resources to get help individually and help others. My father is one of many who struggle with addiction. Others face addiction much more severe causing more pain than I have faced. Spreading awareness and can help those already suffering and help prevent future pain caused by addiction.

Addiction is so prevalent in our nation due to a desire to fit in. Addictive behaviors have become romanticized by social media trends. It has somehow become “cool” to sneak some of your parents’ pills or indulge in other addictive behavior. These videos, pictures and posts are receiving countless shares, comments, and likes. Rather than seeking help, those struggling seek unhealthy validation from those who have romanticized their addiction.

This unhealthy behavior has severe consequences. Youth in a fragile mindset that are easily influenced by those they idolized are introduced quickly to the frightening world of addiction. From a young age they have access to gateway drugs and substances. Rather than offering help, their friends encourage, support and participate in such risky behavior. There is not enough education at a young age about the issues that arise when participating and partaking of drugs or other addictive substances. Rather than addressing the problems, schools, churches and families brush over the issue assuming that the issue is not as bad as it seems.

As individuals, rather than encourage addictive behavior we can and should offer support. Support does not include minimizing, hating or pushing away those with struggles. Support requires love, patience and empathy. We can offer support by praising the good we see and the good they do, offering helpful resources and lending an ear. We can be patient when they fall and learn to understand recovery is not an overnight process.

As a society we can offer more education from a young age. Offering classes that discuss addictive behavior, how to avoid drugs and how to seek help if needed. We must learn to not romanticize addictions but offer loving support when someone struggles. Help needs to be offered to all, without discrimination.

Recovery is possible for anyone, but it is much more difficult to achieve in isolation. We must work to offer affordable care, community support, patience and understanding. While working to educate and inform from a young age to help prevent future addictions.