Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – Weaning off Addiction

Name: Claira Kelso

Weaning off Addiction

Claira Kelso

Addiction Awareness Scholarship

In our nation today
we see people lining the streets sleeping in sleeping bags, boxes,
and housing in tents are growing exponentially. Some people are
becoming dependent on drugs and are unable to make sound decisions to
care for themselves and in turn, are ending up living without a home
and on the streets. Abuse is more than someone using illegal drugs,
it includes people who began with a prescription from a doctor to
treat pain, or anxiety, or depression. Once the prescription is no
longer available, people often seek other ways to self-treat and
manage their dependence. They fill that need for the medication
because they were not given, denied additional medication, and then
find additional ways to obtain it on their own.

The consequences
are endless, but what I believe is the main consequence of drug abuse
is the inability for many people to make sound decisions while under
the influence of drugs. Recently, I had a major surgery and was given
narcotics and sedatives post-surgery.
Over an extended period of using these, I would see things that
weren’t really there, but vividly believed they were. With the side
effects that came from the one medication I was
changed to a different. This worked, but I soon found how
addictive it was. I would watch the clock and push the button to
inject more medication when I was able to, not only for pain but
because I found it helped me sleep and I didn’t want to be awake.
My parents began to notice how reliant I was on this medication and
told me that I should work on not using it as often. I didn’t
listen at first but realized they were right, and I didn’t want to
continue to be addicted to it. So, I talked to my doctors and we
slowly worked on prolonging the time I would go without the drug and
it began to work. But then one day, I was waiting to have a small
procedure done and went a lot longer of a period without the drug and
my body began to ache, cramp and got incredibly sweaty and shaking.
At first, we thought it was something else, but my mom then realized
I was going through withdrawals. Without
my personal experience of realizing how addictive pain killers were
and the help of my parents and doctors, I never would have realized
the extent of how addictive they really

The consequences of
addiction put a huge strain on individuals, but the euphoria oversees
the strain on the body. They can cause a
cloudiness that leaves us unable to make proper decisions for
ourselves and stay safe. When we have large groups of individuals
with addictions to substances and have this inability to make proper
decisions for themselves and loved ones. Peoples life’s and their
relationships begin to crumble and may even cause those around them
to begin to use. This can have an effect on
society because we begin to see the numbers of abuse increase. The
lack of care grows on an individual level and there are less people
that can make proper decisions for themselves. As an effect, we have
a societal shift resulting in less people being able to safely work
and care for loved ones.

In order to help slow down the number of people who are beginning to
abuse substances we could increase awareness to when prescribing
addictive substances. When being prescribed addictive substances the
healthcare professionals can speak to patients of the potential
consequences of long-term use. This could begin with programs to wean
off prescriptions and require patients to go to a few classes to show
the negative consequences of abuse. We could start with those who are
at higher risk of abuse or are prescribed an addictive medication. By
taking even small steps like these, I believe that the numbers of
abuse will slowly go down. There will be more people that would be
able to attest to the benefits of weaning off additive substances,
and societies would be able to have more people with better health
and able to make safe and sound decisions for their selves and loved

are many people that aren’t as lucky I was to have the help to
realize how addictive drugs are, and have the support to work through
the process of weaning off of them. I believe that this is why we as
a nation are dealing with an addiction crisis.