From: Sugar Land, Texas
School: Dulles High School
A Positive Outlet is all You Need
A Positive Outlet is all You Need
I believe that we as a nation are dealing with an addiction crisis because people are experiencing pain and suffering and have no positive outlet to relieve these feelings. As a result, such individuals turn to alcohol and substances as a means by which to try and alleviate their pain, and it works but only temporarily. The highs that these individuals experience make them forget about all of the difficult things going on in their life however it is followed by a return to reality. The next time an individual feels this way they remember how the substance made them feel the first time they consumed it and thus give in to it again. As a result, the cycle of addiction begins. So many people fall victim to addiction because they have nothing else to turn too; I believe this is why the Opiate Crisis has garnered great prominence. All people really need is someone to talk to about the heavy and dark things they are experiencing. Additionally, I feel as though peer pressure plays a big role in the national addiction crisis. In a way peoples’ peers glamorize drugs and alcohol which entices others into trying it. Substances are also very romanticised in the media for example in movies and TV which also contributes to the crisis. People often view substances as fun, cool ways to relieve stress that are completely harmless. This can be the case until it is not anymore; addiction always seems to find its next victim
The consequences of this addiction for the individual include severe and intense negative changes in the individual’s overall wellbeing. Afterall, a person suffering from addiction is not him or herself because addiction is a disease that affects the person’s brain and thus their outward behaviors and attitude. Specifically, consequences include withdrawal symptoms, increased tolerance, and physical dependence. People who are addicted experience denial and think that they can stop whenever they want. However, if they were to quit cold turkey or simply to reduce their intake of the drug they would experience serious withdrawal symptoms. These are negative effects such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, vomiting, loss of appetite, etc that are associated with decreased use of substance. Withdrawal symptoms hit the victim hard so as to encourage them to continue using. Increased tolerance is somewhat worse because it facilities strengthed abuse of drugs, alcohol, and other substances. In order to experience the same high from a drug one would have to up their dosage which only creates a stronger addiction. The consequences of addiction become apparent in a person’s behavior due to their increased physical dependence to the substance. Drugs can make a person more aggressive, especially alcoholism, sluggish, decrease productivity, and make an individual’s entire personality fixated on the substance. This drastic change is because their body now requires the drug to function. No one expects to become addicted so it is good to be aware of the consequences that can result. In regards to society at large the consequences are quite similar just on a larger scale and with the negative effects of addiction impacting many more citizens.
We can remedy the crisis on both the individual and societal level by destigmatized addiction as a whole. In the media especially, addiction is portrayed in such a negative light that shames the people who fall prey to it. Also, the media makes it seem as though victims can just stop becoming addicting just like that and if they try hard enough. However, that is not the case at all; addiction is a very serious disease that alters one’s brain chemistry, hence why it is so hard to become sober. A person is never really able to “get rid” of their addiction but instead it is a lifelong journey to becoming clean and sober. Society also needs to normalize talking about one’s feelings and having healthy and productive conversations with trusted friends and family. It can be really difficult for an indcla to have to go through a dark time in their life completely on their own, so one should try and reach out to others and others should be more willing to listen. In addition to conversation, there are many positive outlets such as taking up hobbies or fun activities that people can engage in to mitigate their feelings of stress and anxiety. Turning to drugs and alcohol is never the answer, and people just need love and support to see that.