Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - Ending The Stigma

Name: Kelly Mu...
From: Dublin, Ohio
School: Roosevelt University
Votes: 217 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - Ending The Stigma

Ending The Stigma

Kelly
Faherty

Ending
The Stigma

My
dad was a creative man. One of my favorite memories of him takes
place in our living room. Lifting me upon his shoulders, he would
peer through the blinds with me to gaze at the moon. Fumbling to his
pocket, he’d raise his phone up to me, and tell me that the moon
wanted to talk to me. I would tell my troubles and small victories to
the moon and when I was done, he would take back his phone and hang
up for me. I can still visit this version of him sketched within my
eyelids when I dream at night, but it is surely fading, just as he
did.

Drugs
can take even the most loving person and turn them into a shadow. In
the beginning of the addiction, I had no idea why my father wanted so
much less to do with me. Boarding himself up in his room, my little
brothers and I would be left to ourselves for hours. Being young and
innocent, there was nothing more to do than to bang hands and feet
against the truth; to scream and whine at it, and hope it crumbled at
my feet. It was that same mentality that kept me positioned at the
bedroom door of my dad, continuously yelling for a way in. But drug
addiction does not grant little girls an entrance, it only pushes
them away.

My
father’s opioid addiction is something I struggled to comprehend
for a long time, but I am not alone in my struggle. Drug addiction
has robbed my father from my life, and that is already enough of a
reason for neeeding change.

Drug
addiction is the epidemic among whisperers that has been violently
taking lives in silence since it first commenced. Being an extremely
taboo subject, most people, including victims and survivors, speak
merely in privacy about the matter. It is very rare that people tend
to be open about drug addiction. In 2017, it was recorded that more
people died from drug addictin than car accidents, yet the majority
of Americans let it remain a silent statistic. People are dying,
families are being torn apart and intelligent, worthy people are
losing grip of their dreams.

The
epidemic appears intimidating, but in my heart, I know it is
beatable. The first step to victory is a simple as taking
responsibility in educating yourself. A portion of the drug crisis is
due to the fact that many do not believe addiction is more than an
issue of willpower. The
truth
is that drug addiction is
chemistry.
In summary, people with lower levels of seratonin or predisposed
genes are more likely to succumb to self-medication with drugs. This
causes continued use of drugs, ultimately requiring an increased
usage to produce the desired amount of seratonin. At this point it is
extrordinarily difficult to halt usage. If more people understood
these facts, I believe people would be more empathetic to those
affected by the crisis. This brings me to the second part needed to
ellicit a solution: a dismantling of shame. We as a society need to
stop shaming addicts for being addicts: it actually hinders recovery.
Victims of every bodily disease recieve support from America; it is
beyond
time to treat mental illnesses the same way. If people are too
embarassed to come forward for help, they will never heal. We must
encourage recovery rather than discourage having a problem.

I
will not lie and say that I do not still feel brokenhearted. I will
not say that I do not look up at the moon and still think of my
father.

But
I will say that I have shifted into the positive mindset of showing
the truth of addiction, and trying my best to achieve my own goals
without drugs.

And
I know he would be proud of me. The solution will come.


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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - Ending The Stigma
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