Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – Abuse disorder

Name: April Salmeron

Abuse disorder

Abuse Disorder

The word
addiction itself has a negative connotation in our society. I believe
this is because it is often associated with substance use and from
there on being “addicted” to anything is seen as dangerous and
healthy. I strongly believe that the nation as a whole is dealing
with an addiction crisis due to the lack of awareness or prevention
happening to those who are at a higher risk of encountering the
substances necessary to develop an addiction. In middle school, I
remember having maybe 2 days dedicated to the awareness of substance
use and the harm it causes not only internally but psychologically,
mentally. In high school substance use is only talked about in health
class, that is freshman year where I am from and even then, it’s
only a topic for a week at most. I understand that it should be
common sense “don’t do drugs” and “stay in school and away
from drugs” we have heard it our whole lives in this society.
However, what happens if we do try those drugs? Why can’t we do
them? All this curiosity builds up as to why those drugs are
described as monsters and killers leading up to the use of these
drugs that are so easily found. The consequences for this addiction
are not only on the individual level but on the societal level as
well. For the individual the consequences vary but all go up to the
possible deaths of those lives, if not dead then living in this
society with mental problems, and more causing those people to be
more of a liability to the society than a help. Where I grew up, a
small-town majority of population being made up of minorities, there
was a lot of access to drugs growing up, a lot of my friends “trying
new things” as they said, in high school, which is not surprising
considering that about 36% of high schoolers report frequent use of
Marijuana, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse
Statistics. One friend in particular would smoke marijuana every day
for about a year and a half, 25%-50% of daily marijuana users become
addicted to it, and I was afraid that’s what was happening here.
When I asked, why so much smoking, their response was, the feeling of
being in control and owning up to the thoughts that couldn’t be
spoken out loud without the excuse of a substance. This friend is
beyond intelligent with a lot of potential to make their deepest
dreams come true. That being said, I am doing my best to help those
that are close to me get control of the urges to try substances
because of the harm to themselves first of all and the harm to the
society. The society has tried to get addiction under control
starting at young ages, youth programs, retreats, but the answer to
most of those addiction cases is “I don’t know what else to do”
and give up. It is at that point of “I don’t know” that I think
should be the point of new ideas to make those young lives productive
members of the society that they are living in. If there is a bad
education at an early age there is a lower chance of continuing to
higher education and thus failing to advance to much in society and
taking the society’s resources away instead of helping add to it. I
have had my share of curiosity and “trying new things” but unlike
many teenagers I have put that experience into use by continuing my
education and majoring in Psychology with a specialty in substance
use. We can alleviate the crisis on the individual level by providing
a safe space for the youth or younger people in order to go and have
an environment to be themselves and somewhere away from all the
temptations to abuse of drugs. While on the societal level there are
funds towards those that need it.