Name: Samantha Bethoney
From: Boston, MA
Addiction: A Downward Spiral
As a nation, addiction has been overwhelmingly been taking over people’s lives. Due to society normalizing the use of strong drugs and alcohol, the spiral of addiction is something that is growing easy to become a part of. Advertisements portraying parties as fun because of their alcoholic beverages or vapes, display to people that the way to have fun is by using their product which is easy to become addicted to. The health effects are never mentioned and the countless stories that lead to addiction, trauma, and death are left out of the picture. It has become easy to acquire different drugs, alcohol, vapes, etc for people which only leads to an influx in use and more addiction stories.
People are under extreme pressure nowadays due to their family life, work, and school responsibilities and they feel they may not be able to handle it so they turn to drugs, for example, to take them out of the situation they are in for a bit and calm them before they have to go back to the real world and handle business. People also may see addictive substances as a way to have fun and let loose from their normal persona and world. A consistent use of the substances, however, affects the brain of these people, changing the molecular composition and reward circuit in the brain to only associate pleasure and happiness with the use of the substance. This can lead to mental health issues as well which can increase substance use and then increase the addiction.
These consequences not only hurt the individual but also that individual’s family and friends. It can lead to job loss, losing relationships, and ruining one’s self. In turn, society is affected because it loses valuable members whose intelligence could have been used to enhanced society. Society then has to put further funding into programs to help aid those facing addiction, to bring them out of the spiral, and help save them. It is possible to end a person’s addiction to something through a strong support system, guidance, and care. By being more strict about substance selling, the accessibility to them, and being more informative in commercials and advertisements about the dangers and consequences of using such substances may help remedy an individual and society. I think by coming together as a country and addressing the issue at hand by also ending the stigma around addiction and seeking help, will encourage more people to to be inclined to make a conscious difference.