Name: Tabitha Starks
From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Addiction Awareness: Our Nations Addiction Crisis
in Malibu WorLd Class treatment center Scholarship Essay
Awareness: Our Nations Addiction Crisis
The Words He Would Never Get to Say
were sitting in my newly bought camper, laughing, and talking about
my “old times” with my Uncle John with his son, who we
called, Little John. “…and to this day those stickers are
still stuck to the hat he wore.”, I said.
sitting on the shelf in his closet.”, John assured me.
I even had time to smile, the sound of a loud bang filled, the now
nippy, air. The door to the camper had been flung open by my other
uncle, Dustin. He stood there his face a shade of purple and blue I
had never seen before, a purple so dark it almost looked black. His
eyes were bulging, bloodshot, and scared. I, immediately, jumped to
my feet. He had only been out of the camper for about 5 minutes. I
had watched him walk out the door and into the trailer, saying that
he needed to use the bathroom.
a matter? – He can’t breathe you guys! What did you do, Dustin?! – He
can’t breathe you guys!”, I screamed, almost all in one breath.
My fear was nearly palpable. Little John and my fiancé, Kody, took
Dustin by the arms and started leading him further back outside to
get fresh air.
looked at Kody and John. “I’m going to die.”, he was barely
able to breath the words. He suddenly began gasping further, his face
turning an even darker shade of purple than before. He started to try
to jam two of his fingers down his throat. It appears he was trying
to force his airways open.
unexpectedly and suddenly stopped. His bloodshot eyes getting even
bigger. “No, there isn’t enough time!” I knew in that
moment we didn’t have much time to get to the hospital before my I
lost my uncle for good. “Get him to the hospital. You’re going
to have to take him. My car is messed up.”, I said to John.
“You’re going to have to go, NOW!”, I stated a little
more firmly and began to help my fiancé move my uncle towards his
put hand on each of my shoulders, squeezing them to get my attention.
He turned me towards him and looked into my eyes. He was about to
die… we both knew it. His eyes held fear. Fear of the unknown. His
tried to use his facial expression and eyes to try to say the words
that he would never get to say. I could see the pain behind his
John pulled the car up quickly beside us. Kody and I immediately
began to help my uncle into the car. Little John put the car in
reverse and punched the gas, sending the car backwards and flinging
gravel across the driveway. I watched as Dustin’s eyes closed and he
let his head fall onto the center console of the car. He was gone
before Little John could even get out of the driveway. I lost my
uncle to the shot of heroin that he had taken in the trailer next to
my camper. The trailer my Daddy had killed himself in.
Is Our Nation Dealing with An Addiction Crisis?
awareness of addiction within our nation, according to the National
Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2018 there were an estimated 67,300
deaths from drug abuse. Alongside the genetic predispositions of
addiction, and trauma, co-existing mental health disorders and
illnesses are the contributing factors for most addiction cases. Like
my experience with my uncle our nations people lose their loved ones,
due to this epidemic, daily.
relation, Indiana’s ratio of estimated persons with a mental health
disorder or illness to licensed psychologists is 1 to 999.
(Information calculated using data provided by the United States
Census Bureau.) Without the proper number of licensed psychologists
to cover the mental health field demand, our nation’s people are
unable to get the assistance necessary for their recovery.
are the consequences of this addiction for the individual and
consequences of drug addiction are innumerable. Some of those
consequences include physical health issues, mental health issues,
children being taken and placed in foster care or placed for adoption
by the Department of Child Services, and loss of friends,
self-respect, self-esteem, and motivation. As well as, miscarriages,
damages relationships, loss of trust, and homeless.
not only affects the people abusing the drugs, but also, their
children, family, friends, and community. Addiction increases crime
rates, death rates, and leaves many of our Nation’s children either
homeless, orphans, and/or placed into their state’s foster care or
adoption system. It lowers employment rates, spreads and increases
risk for disease, and was even calculated to have cost the United
States $180.9 billion in 2002, according to the National Drug
We Can Reduce Current Addiction Cases and Prevent Addiction
is a plethora of ways that we can help to increase addiction
awareness and awareness of the consequences of addiction. My unique
and different ideal for raising awareness of addiction is to expose
our children to “a day in the life of an addict”. Similar
to an A.A. meeting, recovering addicts could come to the schools
(under the supervision of the schools administrators, of course) and
provide the school’s students with “how it feels to be an
addict” and “what being an addict has done”. Not only
would the children see the physical effects of drugs, but the
emotional and life changing affects, as well.
an increase of licensed psychologists would help to treat the number
of addicted persons our nation has, now. I believe, if we support and
help those that have an addiction, rather than persecuting and
belittling them, we will have a better chance in remedying the
Nation’s current addiction crisis.