Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – Addiction Epidemic

Name: Faith C Southard

Addiction Epidemic


I believe that we
as a nation are dealing with an addiction problem because we have not
been taught how to properly deal with our emotions and the ability to
control ourselves. I think that we have no real outlet or venting
mechanism that is encouraged. In fact, people are likely to tell you
to just hold it in and toughen up! You’ll hear, “Everyone has
problems,” instead of “What could I do to help?” We ignore
people who show signs of depression and anxiety because it is easier
that way. The more we ignore these things, the more and more people
we see having addiction problems, or worse, suicidal tendencies. I
think people take drugs or alcohol to help them cope with however
they are feeling or to numb themselves. It’s even encouraged in
college to drink after a hard test or to let off some steam.
Something needs to happen to change this. How many more people are we
going to let become addicted, or even die, because of their lack of
ability to talk about their feelings.

I want to first address the fact that I have personally watched
someone undergo drug addiction. Within the last ten years, my cousin
has become a meth addict, heroin addict, and whatever else she could
get her hands on. For her, the consequences were astronomical. Her
parents were heartbroken that the drugs took over her life and they
wanted to help. After her first offense, her parents were forced to
adopt her children because they had an absent father and their mother
was obviously not capable of taking care of them. The court ruled
that she would no longer be able to have custody of her 4-year-old
daughter and 1 year old son. Losing your children because you are
strung out and not able to care for them can’t be easy. The drugs
became the most important thing in her life.

this was just the beginning for her. She has been charged multiple
times for drug offenses and her own parents had provided their home
to her when she was out on parole. She attacked her mother more than
once and began to hide drugs at their house. After this happened, her
parents were forced to get a restraining order on their own daughter.
There are so many people that are in the prisons and jails with the
same offense that there sometimes wasn’t any room for her. When she
isn’t in jail, she’s wandering the streets in hopes of getting
some more drugs. She didn’t want to act like this and lose her
relationship with her kids and parents, but the need for drugs was
too strong and it changed her personality completely.

society, it puts everyone else in danger. Addiction to drugs and
alcohol are not always caught by authorities and they are a danger to
everyone else. Not only is it a danger to people who are not addicts,
but it becomes so normalized that it allows non-addicts to want to
become an addict, or at least makes it quite easy to become one. The
legalization of marijuana has made it so much easier for underage
kids to get their hands on it and it has been discussed that it could
be considered a gateway drug. Children are the most at risk,
especially when they start so young. My cousin started smoking weed
at 13, and for her, it was a definite gateway drug.

think that we could remedy this crisis on both the individual and
society by requiring therapy and private discussion groups to
convicted drug addicts. I know that most of these things are
voluntary, but maybe they shouldn’t be. I also think we need more
required group counseling at schools and/or private sessions for
those who feel like they need a one-on-one session. We need to be
spending more of our tax money for things like this, especially in
schools. If we could catch the addiction before it even begins, then
we have a fighting chance of reducing this terrible epidemic. I think
we are teaching kids that you shouldn’t have feelings or let anyone
know how you feel, but that is the root to all of these addiction
problems. Those who are already addicted need to be in safe
environments where they feel like they aren’t judged and can be
helped in a way that makes them feel okay.

isn’t something that we should take lightly. We need to help those
that can no longer help themselves and instead of treating them like
they’re trash, (they probably already feel that way) we need to
treat them like human beings. That is the first step to beginning to
gain humanity and sanity back for those people. If we can unify and
help these people, we are one step closer to ending this.