The Dark Truth
The Dark Truth
It is quite easy to believe that one will never become addicted or have to face the repercussions that come along with addiction. However, this is beyond untrue once I had watched someone have addiction take over their lives. In today’s society, addiction rates continue to rise and the devastating consequences that follow thrive among those struggling and left behind by those struck with addiction.
For the first 8 years of my life, I grew up alongside my single mother. She worked hard to provide a stable, supportive, and loving household for me to grow up in. To which, she did very well. Eventually, a man came into our lives. While I wasn’t extremely thrilled to have someone else come into my mother’s life, though, happy for her to have someone to lean on. Someone I would be able to call my dad. He did become someone that I called my father for around 8 years before disaster struck.
In 2016, he had got into a small accident that supposedly left him in some pain and was prescribed hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Dilaudid is commonly known to be a high risk for dependency and addiction among those who take it, unfortunately, this reigned true for him. This prescription had begun to build dependency that would lead into a debilitating journey of addiction that continues to this day. Suddenly his behavior seemingly changed overnight. Ranging from withdrawing from people, fits of rage, and hiding different things. All common symptoms that occur due to addiction. When approached about it, he finally admitted as my mother pleaded for him to get help though this is not where it would stop. He began to search for other things that would produce even more of a high before he would eventually leave with no trace, leaving my mother in debt he had racked up.
As a Health Sciences major, it can be difficult to place some blame on the medical system, not only for his addiction but thousands of others. I happen to believe that we are facing such an addiction crisis in today’s society due to a lack in regulation, care, and follow up in the medical field on narcotic prescriptions. While there are regulations on some prescriptions regarding how often they can be refilled, it leaves an opening for many people to go beyond legal means to gain access to these narcotics. For a decent amount of prescriptions, there is never a follow up with the patient to access whether or not they may be experiencing addiction symptoms. In combination with this, the negative stigmatization of addiction makes it hard for many people to come forward without being shamed, exiled, or labeled as a bad person. Ultimately leading to many repercussions for those addicted and society. Solely looking at those who are addicted, they lose a sense of self, family, jobs, reputation, and so much more. Especially if they do not reach out to get help. This directly affects those around them, such as how it did with my mother, left in debt and attempting to find a way to fund a college career as well as another child. While for society, a major consequence is we become desensitized to it and expand the stigma. Becoming desensitized is dangerous, it bars society from correcting the issue and letting it progress rather than halt it.
While it seems hard to remedy this addiction crisis, there are a few steps we can take. Create follow ups for those prescribed high risk of addiction drugs as well as others and train our doctors to be able to better identify such symptoms. Work extremely hard to reduce the stigmatization of addiction and reaching out for help. As a society we need to educate ourselves on how to deal with addiction, help, and provide support. This goes for making rehabilitation more affordable and more support systems in place. There is also a great need in learning to not become desensitized to it as it only hurts society and individuals rather than help. It is important to allow individuals to know that addiction happens and if it does, it is important to reach out for help while it is not okay to not do so.