Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - Look at Yourself: The Answer to America's Drug Crisis

Name: Seth Dav...
From: Killeen, Texas
School: Texas A&M University - Central Texas
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - Look at Yourself: The Answer to America's Drug Crisis

Look at Yourself: The Answer to America’s Drug Crisis


Look
at Yourself: The Answer to America’s Drug Crisis

by
Seth Davis

When
tasked with the answering the question, “why is our nation dealing
with an addiction crisis?” many answers seem plausible. One could
argue that our public schools have failed us in teaching our children
to “just say no.” The current administration could take the
blame. Doctors might be at fault for overprescribing narcotic pain
medication, which has been linked to hooking everyday people on
harder drugs like heroin. It could be the downfall of moral America,
an America akin to that of the old black-and-white sitcoms when dad
wore a suit to work and mom wore pearls to cook dinner. Each of these
are each attractive options in their own right. But if you really
want to know who is at fault for the drug addiction crisis in
America, one only has to look in the mirror.

There
is an epidemic in this country far more toxic than drug addiction,
and that is the epidemic of laxity. We expect far too less from
ourselves than we should. This author is not callous to struggles of
drug addiction, far from it. Drug addiction is physically painful,
emotionally draining, and a huge burden on the country from a
healthcare and financial perspective. But every American has the
responsibility of making the choice not to engage in addictive
behaviors. We should expect more from ourselves and from each other.
At its core, drug addiction is a psychological issue. When we are a
behaviorally healthy country, drugs can still exist completely
untouched. When we have the mental fortitude to actually say no, to
use our brains instead of our gut reactions, drug addiction will no
longer exist. Let us examine, then, what drives an individual to use
drugs in the first place.

I
dare you to eat it!” We have all fallen victim to this type
pressure, the pressure to impress others. From that first instance on
the playground when another child challenges us to do something that
we don’t want to do, we are silently conditioned to perform for
others. Not all peer pressure is bad. Some types of peer pressure
make us superior athletes, high academic achievers, or public
entertainers. It is when that peer pressure turns dark, we find
ourselves vulnerable to drug addiction. But to blame peer pressure
for creating our addiction crisis is not only wrong, it is highly
negligent.

Others
fall under the spell due to chronic stress and/or mental illness.
When we do not have the adequate coping skills to deal with life’s
everyday up and downs or more serious depressions, it is easy to turn
to a soothing substance such as drugs or alcohol. It is true, there
is also a mental health crisis in the country as well. We are in
desperate need of more psychological counselors, social workers, and
mental health facilities prepared for dealing with a growing
population of mentally ill individuals. Since we know that this is an
imminent crisis, it is up to us as a society to do what we can in
order to prevent drug addiction. There are free and reduced-cost
programs in nearly every city. Individuals without insurance can get
access to psychological counseling, support groups, and group
activities geared to steer vulnerable people away from drugs and
alcohol. The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) holds events
and support groups for anyone struggling with mental illness free of
charge. In summation, there is a very obvious mental health crisis in
this country that could be blamed for drug addiction, but it doesn’t
have to mean it is to blame.

So,
what is the answer? It all falls back to individual responsibility.
The responsibility of holding each and every one of ourselves
personally accountable for the actions we take every day. We need to
look at ourselves in the mirror and realize how precious our lives
are. To tell ourselves that we will not make the mistakes that our
parents made. That we will not give into the pressures of life, the
pressures of our friends, or the pressures of illness. That, when we
know there is a problem, we will face it head-on and use the
resources we have available to us to make the right decisions. This
author knows that this is no easy feat. If it were simply that easy,
no one would use drugs in the first place. But taking charge of our
own destiny is the first step. And that first step might be just
asking for help.


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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - Look at Yourself: The Answer to America's Drug Crisis
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