Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – Living Around People With Addiction

Name: Aalyiah Walmsley

Living Around People With Addiction

Around People With Addiction

I grew up with in a family where addiction was no stranger. Growing
up around my family in Arkansas, I have witnessed them deal with the
struggles and repercussions that come with addiction. My father,
mother, brother, aunts, uncles and even cousins have some story about
how they dealt with and even overcame the hardships that an addiction
brings into someone’s life. During my childhood, seeing all of this
may not have been the best, but it helped shape my view on how I
wanted to live my life clear of anything that could hinder my goals.

Both of my
parents dealt with addictions to methamphetamine during a good amount
of my childhood. It got to a point where my parents lost custody of
me and my two brothers, and my grandparents had to step in and get
custody of us. There were intervals where either mom was not around,
my dad was not around or sometimes even both. My older brother had
even found some of their drug supplies in their room. Although my dad
did have a consistent job and helped support us, my mom usually did
not. Eventually my parents divorced, with my mom having another
boyfriend who abused her. This lasted until high school started and
they finally both had sobered up.

Seeing this
happen did not stop with my parents but I also saw how my cousins
were going through the same thing. My uncle on my dad’s side was
dealing with an alcohol addiction and did not fully sober up until a
two or three years ago with the help of a rehabilitation facility. My
aunt and second cousin also dealt with an addiction to
methamphetamine. One of my cousins passed away at the beginning of
the school year from heroin, and recently found out another one is
being treated at a rehabilitation facility right now. My older
brother started playing around with pills and marijuana in junior
high, and has since stopped taking pills but continues to smoke. I am
very close with my family and am very thankful for some being able to
get help and overcome their addiction.

I believe that
people in our country turn to drugs as an escape. Everyone has a
story of struggle in their life and some see substances as a quick
way out – a fix. People can see it the easier way, rather than
dealing with what the problem is. Mental health is important to
recognize because struggling with things like depression can lead one
to look for help in the wrong places. After a talk with both of my
parents they agree that a big factor in our society is the change of
times. Peoples mentality of right and wrong are different than what
they used to be. Drugs do not have as bad of a connotation as they
used too, with marijuana being majorly used for recreational purposes
and even becoming legal. Not that marijuana is even as close to as
bad as every other drug, but it is something close to them.

The affects
addiction can have on someone’s life are very burdensome. I have
witnessed this first hand. It can tear apart a person’s life,
whether it is in their career, family or even their health. Being
addicted to a drug can make someone’s health decline rapidly and
even kill them. Many deaths related to drug overdoses happen more
frequently than one would think. Addiction can even cause a loss of
freedom. Once a person is addicted, they lose the ability to
rationally think about themselves and others or the consequences that
come with it. The consequences for society are great. The loss of
productivity and increasing incarceration of drug users.

The remedy to
this crisis is not an easy answer. One step is education, know the
effects that drug use and addiction have on someone’s life. Also
knowing how to properly help a person dealing with addiction. Jail
time should not be the first step, it should be going to a
rehabilitation center. Jail can be harder on a person’s mental
health which is most likely what got them into using in the first
place. It also makes things harder on the family, something I can
testify too. Rehabilitation may not work, and jail should only be an
option after the chance of help was given.

Living my life
seeing addiction around me I believe with the right help it will be
the greatest moment in someone’s life when they overcome it.
Getting the right help for someone is extremely important and from my
experience it is not only positive for the person dealing with
addiction but also everyone around them as well. Once again, I am
very thankful for everyone in my life that has been able to get help
and overcome the hardship that they had been through. My family is
one the most important things to me and it is a great blessing to be
able and have them in my life. Viewing how addiction rules someone’s
life I have made sure to never let that happen to me. I want my own
life to be clear of the things that I saw hurt people I love and be
able to live happily.