Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – The Right Direction

Name: Linnete Legaspy

The Right Direction

The Right Direction

My walls are painted mauve, a Jack Skellington coffee mug hugs my gel pens, a “LOVE” pillow’s propped above my bed. I despise when my mom moves my shoes when she’s mopping because I depend on control. I wear size 7 and ½ converse, although size 7 fits better. On special occasions, I spray onto my neck a 360-collection perfume that’s slightly bitter. Daily, we conform to routine and nuisances believing it leads to stability. Addiction is a coping mechanism our mind psychologically and physically induces because it’s something people depend on. Addiction carves its way onto 40 million lives in the United States. Enlightening on why it’s an issue, examining the consequences, and determining a remedy will shed light on the issue of addiction.

As a nation, we are dealing with an addiction crisis because we fear of what we cannot control. The world is full of things out of our reach. Addiction is an, often chronic, disease which affects one’s brain and body. Symptoms include loss of control, chronic use, obsession with using, and incapable of quitting. Addiction can range from eating peanut butter sandwiches every morning to failing to function without them. If you think about something that makes you feel nice and warm inside – psychologically of course – you don’t want the feeling to end. No matter the origin or details of the addiction, what’s common is increased levels of dopamine. According to Live Science, the brain adapts and finds a balance through the dopamine surges. Therefore, withdrawal will create negative psychological or physical feelings as a defense mechanism. What started as a way to perhaps forget problems at school or work transforms into a raging disease that, with hesitance to conclude, will be hard to get rid of.

The raging disease also comes along with consequences. The younger you are the more susceptible you are to become addicted. Some contributing factors include genetics, trauma, co-occurring mental illnesses, or poor social skills. These factors can also contribute to how harsh the consequences will result, as well as they type of substance or behavior. In some cases, abuse of some type of substance may cause or worsen medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and cancers. Sex addiction has a great risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Injectable drugs can lead to hepatitis C, HIV, or other infections. Alcohol or substance abuse can lead to accidents, overdoses, crime, school problems, violence, and possibly suicide. However, this will not only affect the person addicted but those around them, such as in a car accident. Often, addiction will induce behavioral deviation from one’s self, which may negatively affect social relationships, schools, or workplaces. Especially loved ones concerned for one’s wellbeing.

To preserve what has or will be lost, one must fix the crisis. Treatment varies depending on the individual. They do, though, all require a long-term treatment plan with regular monitoring and support. Behavioral therapy may be the most efficient. It encourages people to participate in drug treatment if needed, offers coping strategies, teaches ways to avoid relapses and what to do when nearing one. It’s not only beneficial for the individual but also for their damaged relationships, improving communication and family or friend dynamics. As a society, there’s a lot of misconceptions regarding addiction. It’s typically associated with illegal activity – although that is a prominent category – however, it consists of much more. One thing it can agree on is that addiction is not a crime that can be handled through court-ordered therapy or googling an answer. Addiction is a public health issue that needs more solutions and resources to deal with the growing problem spreading to the unexpected. It’s a battle with no end or quick fixes, but patience and knowledge.

No one truly has the right answer towards shedding light on the addiction or freeing the world of it. People say that the first step towards solving a problem is by admitting that we have a problem. People are right. As individuals and part of a community, we must recognize addiction as a prominent disease, just like diabetes and cancer, with a solution awaiting. The path towards fresh air won’t be easy but recognizing the problem is progress towards what’s deemed impossible: the step towards the right direction.