Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – Addition Awareness

Name: Jillian Desmond

Addition Awareness




is something that has the ability to ruin lives, but it doesn’t
always have to. Rehabilitation for drug addicts has the ability to be
life changing, but it isn’t always. In my life, I’ve seen
addiction around me with an air of untouchability to it. Some of my
friends spoke of drug attacks like they were horrible people, and for
some time, I had not known any better and agreed. We were in middle
school then, at the same time we were all being taught that drugs
were unacceptable, and to always say no. When high school came
around, it seems my friends forgot their old opinions of drug
addicts, as they were becoming them themselves. When the first person
in the group starting smoking weed, they introduced it to all of the
others. After weed came psychedelics, and then came cocaine, and
then, for some of my friends, came heroin. It seemed to sneak up on
them, as I always heard them say they would never try hard drugs, and
then that they would only try them once, and then hear them say,
“They aren’t that bad, I can stop whenever I want.”

is when I realized that addiction is a sickness. That people
suffering from addiction must be shown help, and kindness. It was a
string of choices that led my friends to where they ended up, but
they did not know they would end up there. They did not know that
when they tried an addictive drug once, that they would crave it
again, and again, until they did not have the ability to spend their
money on anything else. Until they could not live a single day sober
minded, because their cravings haunted them. It destroyed their
grades, it destroyed their friendships, and it destroyed, for some,
their future, as one cannot be resurrected after a fatal overdose.
This led to a destruction in their families, within their schools,
and among their friends.

do not know why as a nation we struggle with addiction. We were
taught about it in school, we were shown lungs after 40 years of
cigarettes and livers after 40 years of drinking. People are against
it until one day, they aren’t. The common theme among those friends
that turned down this path was mental illness. Some of the friends
that didn’t have depression before drugs got it after they started
doing drugs as it turned their lives for the worst. Starting smaller
with accessible drugs and leading to more while in high school has
the potential to make or break the years after high school is over.
Once it is over and that path has been chosen, it’s highly linked
to homelessness which further enforces addiction on the streets.
Perhaps if we had a larger focus on healthy ways of coping with
mental illness, or any illness, people would not turn to such paths
as often. Perhaps, if instead of scaring children into not doing
drugs, they were educated on how it can hurt their families and
friends, they would feel more against it in their hearts. Once you
see your friend do a drug and enjoy it for some time, it makes drugs
a lot less scary, and a lot more appealing. I find that scare tactics
do not typically work in teenagers, as that is the time in their life
that they are most likely to be unstable, or to think they can handle
anything. To think they are untouchable.