Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign – Addiction: A Timeless Issue

Name: Steven Grant Lackey

Addiction: A Timeless Issue

A Timeless Issue

The causes of
addiction can be debated endlessly and to be honest the causes will
end up being different for each and every person who falls victim to
it. We can make generalizations and assumptions that apply to many
people but finding a cure to substance addiction is a very
far-fetched idea. Addiction has become very prevalent recently for
the same reasons it has been prevalent in the past. One factor is
marketing, and another is the natural rebelliousness of kids and
teens. What follows the development of an addiction is more
straightforward and easy to see, very much opposite of the solution.

A big cause of
addiction in today’s society along with in the past is marketing.
Not only have there been some clever and successful marketing
campaign for products such as cigarettes and vapor devices, they have
also been strategically placed. Ad’s for these companies
(cigarettes in the past and e-cigs now) have been placed in front of
the eyes of very persuadable kids and teens. Whether it be depicting
cool images as being associated with using these products, sponsoring
events that teens will be tuning in to on TV, or even just creating
fruit and candy flavors for these addictive products. These companies
get teens to try their product and a young age with the goal of
getting them hooked and potentially addicted soon after. It is proven
to be more likely for a young person to pick up a new habit then it
is for someone of advanced age. So the advertisements are targeted to
the people who are more likely to get hooked on the products and will
buy them for many years to come. These teens start to spend a bunch
of money to keep feeding this addiction and these companies are
getting filthy rich.

Another large
reason for the outbreak in the addiction crisis now and then is the
natural rebelliousness of teens. It is seen and experienced that
teenagers are inclined to do exactly what they’re told not to do.
Smoking cigarettes back then and vaping now is something that is
first off illegal till 18 years old but also something that almost
all parents would be furious about if they found out their kids did.
As teens though there is a certain rush felt when they get away with
doing something they’re not supposed to. Also making the decision
to disobey gives the sense of responsibility. Responsibility in the
way of making a decision on their own, no outside input, in fact
outside input against the decision. Thinking they know better than
the authority figure in their life is a primary trait of a classic
American teenager. This is a cause that will most likely not get a
solid solution to ever because of the deep psychological motives
behind it that have been present for centuries. So on no part of the
companies producing the addictive products or anyone else really,
teens own natural tendencies cause the addiction process to start on
their own.

There are
several consequences of addiction especially on the individual. There
is the obvious drug affects that the addictive agent will cause. As
in the examples used previously popcorn lungs, lung cancer, heart
attack and stroke are these affects. Also though, there is the
increased probability that the most common addictions in our nation
lead to larger more dangerous addictions later on. People moving on
from cigarettes or e-cigarettes to harder drugs and substances are
much more likely. These drugs cause people to lose control of
themselves and consume their lives. Failing a drug test at their job,
losing their job, and continuing with using the substance causing
them to stay unemployed and spending all of their money feeding that
addiction they can’t shake now. This is a major cause to the size
of the homeless community in the U.S. That is how this addiction
crisis in the U.S affects the overall society of our nation.

Solutions for
this problem have been difficult and the results slow moving in the
past. Also right when progress is made, there comes a new form of
addictive chemical to attract a new age of consumers and most of that
progress is lost. The biggest steps forward have come with the
government’s laws on advertising. Starting with the ban of
cigarette advertisements on TV and the required warning labels on
every poster, package, or advertisement of anything containing
addictive chemicals. The marketing committees are still clever and
find ways to get their product out there but limiting the avenues in
which their allowed to do so is always a huge step forward. As
mentioned before there are always going to be factors as to why
people fall to addiction that are specific to the individual.
Generally though, the most effective solutions have been to limit the
exposure to young minds to these addictive products and flood the
media with anti-drug, anti-substance messages which has been in full
force as of recently. The biggest goal moving forward would be to
stop this cycle of addiction. Stopping it or slowing it down for now
is great but as we have seen before, it can and will come back.