From: Lincoln, Nebraska
Throughout my life, my mother always worked hard to protect me from the bad things in the world. As do most parents although throughout my teen years I have learned a lot about the impact of addiction, to alcohol and other substances, it mostly started to become more relevant for the first time in my life when my biological father had married someone, who struggled with smoking and intense drinking, that had really started the example of how addiction poorly impacts your life and cause many problems for not only you, but others around you…they later divorced, but as I have continued on my journey through high school I have had a few acquaintances struggle with addiction or pass away from overdosing. As sad as that was, I think the hardest one of all my experiences with others who have struggled with addiction, is the man who took my best friend’s life. My best friend, Morgan, had been one of the biggest inspirations in my life and a long term best friend of mine, we did so much together, even worked together. February 16th, 2020…a man under the influence of Meth and other substances had taken my best friend’s life, while she was on her way home from work, he had swerved into her lane, causing her car to flip many times. Although this is still fresh for me, it has been one of the hardest experiences I have ever had to go through. They had shown that this man had struggled with similar issues with other drugs and violence in the past. As an individual this has really brought to life how careless people become when they suffer from addiction and more importantly it is usually the innocent ones who get hurt in the path of someone else’s addiction. Many children grow up in foster homes or addicted to drugs, from either their parents, or a poor home life… really the list goes on and it’s quite upsetting. I believe we as a society struggle with so many people having trouble with addiction because we let society and politics set an unrealistic standard for us as human beings, people struggle, learn, grow, and most importantly have feelings, but we are made to think that having feelings and expressing them is wrong. Addiction is a dangerous game and it is one that takes away many lives. It is absolutely devastating. I feel like as a society, we need to normalize helping one another, learning how to help each other cope, and help each other when we are in need. Not everyone who struggles with addiction is a bad person, I believe there is good in everyone, but some get stuck in a dark place and need a little guidance. Learning how to love and encourage each other would surely help, there unfortunately will always be individuals who struggle with addiction, but it is so important to make an effort to help one another.