Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – Overlooking Addiction


Overlooking Addiction

As a nation, addiction presents itself through many forms. There can be an addiction to drugs, inhalants, alcohol, and many other substances. The United States is dealing with an addiction crisis because of the absence of education and culture around it. Addiction isn’t stressed enough compared to other issues such as obesity, or driving under the influence. Addiction is usually attached to substances that can evoke it, the more common substances being nicotine and alcohol. These substances, when abuse, can cause harm and the person to act erratically. They can lead to an addiction that can result in consequences, but the drugs have become socially accepted to the point where people overlook the harmfulness. People are told they can become addicted, but aren’t told why and how big of a crisis it is. People might not even know they suffer from addiction and because it isn’t stressed enough, people don’t care enough to take it seriously, or don’t know enough to be aware.

Addiction comes with many consequences for the individual. The act of being addicted is not healthy because when someone is addicted, they can lose self-control. Their life revolves around the use of a substance and requires them to be able to function normally. As a result, one can develop health issues, erratic behavior, and multiple issues because of their addiction. For example, if someone is addicted to alcohol, they can become violent, acquire liver damage, or engage in risky activity. Drunk driving, liver disease, and domestic abuse might be a result of alcohol abuse. This damages the individual physically and emotionally, which can result in hospitalization, suicide, or other outcomes. This self-harm can come through any form of addiction, not just alcohol. Addiction is self-harm and it progresses by affecting the individual at a societal level. Addiction can cause the individual to engage in risky behavior that can affect other people. An individual can develop violent behavior which can affect their family. Individuals can commit crimes that can affect other individuals by having them be the victim of their actions. Robberies are common and can be a cause of addiction. Addiction also involves healthcare costs which affect the society as a whole. Addiction to certain substances can lead to health issues and diseases in an individual, which may put them in the hospital. This results in costs not only for family members of that individual, but healthcare costs to address that person’s health condition or issue. For example, someone addicted to smoking can develop lung cancer. This will not only require them to address lung cancer through medical procedures, but the loved ones of that individual will become affected by medical costs and the burden of anxiety about the person’s health.

One way to remedy the crisis is to inform the individuals more about addiction. By starting at the individuals, this can decrease the likelihood that they affect society through their addiction. One way is to emphasize the topic more through educational systems, such as extensive programs or incorporating in classes. These classes and programs can tell stories and promote activities to have a greater impact on the student’s knowledge and seriousness of addiction. By exposing younger generations of people to the topic of addiction, one can develop a solid foundation about the crisis. But, this concept has to be emphasized equally amongst the educational system. Minority communities, or communities with low socioeconomic status, are targets of this disparity in information because these communities might not have the resources to educate people enough on the topic. Some schools have more resources than others so areas with fewer resources can have more people unaware of their addiction, or others who might be victims. Another way to remedy the crisis is to create more shows on the topic that shed a negative light on it. Streaming services are high in demand such as Netflix and Hulu. People are exposed to a multitude of shows, and by promoting more shows that shed a negative light on addiction, one can reach a larger audience and shed more light on the crisis.