Name: Jose R Sanchez
From: Houston, TX
How to not create an addict
How to not create an addict
My childhood friend and music collaborator became an addict in high school. My friend started his addiction by innocently drinking and smoking. It quickly progressed and my friend got into harder substances. His personality started changing and he started to become unreliable. At points, I lashed out at him and so many times I wanted to hurt him. Our group of friends noticed how his mental health was breaking down. We were unaware of how deeply lost he was. We as a group had to cut him off from our collaboration and friendship. Years have passed and now we have a better understanding of his situation. I can see we did not know how to help him. So many individuals in our society are dealing with addictions and we as a nation are trying to find ways to treat the individuals.
Younger and older individuals are re-adjusting their dreams to fit their economical and sociological circumstances. The old value that hard work and determination will guide you to a brighter future is sadly not true for an individual who does not have the same financial support or resources that their peers have. There is a constant disillusion of what is possible for the individual and it is this disillusion that creates a need for escape, a need to find comfort in their alienation. This is where the individual is open to excessive drinking, smoking and eventually becoming an addict. We as a nation are only treating addicts and are not trying to prevent individuals from becoming addicts.
Addictions affect our society in so many ways. On the individual level, we lose the potential of an amazing citizen. My friend would have had a brighter future if his addiction had not started. He could have been a citizen that would have contribute and improve our community. My friend was from a lower income family who also immigrated to the United States. His family was not financially capable to get him the help he needs. It is families that are economically and socially disadvantage that are hardest hit with addiction. This will start to affect the society, as the addict will start needing more resources to fight the addiction rather then succumb to continue to pursue their addiction.
Instead of focusing on the addiction, we as a nation need to improve on how we stop creating addicts. Our local and state leaders need to give everyone in our society an equal chance at a brighter future. Whether it’s insuring that our young have food and access to a more stable way of life or educating different communities of what can be done to help their family members. The nation needs to give the hope and promise of better lives for our younger and older individuals. Everyone in our society should be able to reach for an active and healthy life.
My friend would later try to commit suicide by drowning during a storm. A stranger was walking by the beach and saved him. Our nation needs to be the compassionate stranger who will be there before we are in deep water and who can provide a path to safety. The stranger was able give his time to help another. The addiction problem is large and it will not be easy to resolve. To prevent addiction, we as a nation must stop creating the addict and start creating a more caring society. This should be our nation’s main mission, to improve, and uplift the lives of every citizen.