Name: Lauren Kneisley
From: Willow Street , PA
The addiction crisis across America is not secret. I feel that one of the reasons we are facing this problem is because we are such a prideful nation. Many people who suffer from addiction also struggle with mental health problems, whether they are diagnosed or not. Those who struggle with mental health but do not get help are more likely to end up with an addiction than those who do get help. I think that if we had less of a stigma surrounding mental health, then more people would reach out without feeling ashamed, and then they would not feel the need to self medicate.
There are many consequences of addiction. First, there are health issues to the people with the addiction. Drugs and alcohol have adverse effects on the organs and rest of the body. The person with the addiction also poses a danger to those around them. I know this first hand. In March, 2019 I was involved in an accident caused by a man who was high on pills and marajuana. I was injured and now, more than a year later I still wake up with pain in my neck and knee. I have also suffered emotional trauma and was diagnosed with PTSD. This is just one way the society and innocent individuals are affected by addiction.
The public needs to continue to be educated. Since elementary school, kids are taught that drugs are bad, don’t do drugs, ruin your life. But the man who hit me was 55, not a kid. Adults need to be educated too. Just because they are older does not mean they will make better choices. On an individual level, we need to remove the shame surrounded by asking for help. People often feel weak asking for help and we need to change that and let them know that asking for help is the best thing they could do.