Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - My Hero

Name: Tiffany ...
From: San Diego, CA
School: Ashford University
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - My Hero

My Hero


Addiction
Essay


From
a very young age I’ve been around addiction in one form or another.
The one that


impacted
me the most however was my brother.




When
I was younger, as far back as I can my brother was my hero. I looked
up to him and just


thought
he was great. He would be the person that would tickle us and play
with us until we


couldn’t
stop laughing. There was a pretty big age difference between my
older brother and


myself,
when I was born my brother was already fourteen.




It
wasn’t until as an adult that I really understood what was going
on. I remember going on


family
vacations with my parents and younger brother, we would come home to
strangers in my


parents
house, people sleeping in our beds. I didn’t find out until I was
a teenager that my


brother
was dealing drugs out of our house.




Once
my older brother went off to college is when I myself was really able
to see what drugs


had
done to him. My brother would follow around bands in college and
essentially became a


completely
different from the clean cut boy that I had grown up with, he was now
wearing


dreadlocks
and was always sleeping.




My
mom and brother would always argue when my Dad would be at work,
really bad fighting


that
would turn into something physical. I remember one incident in
particular that will probably


always
remain engraved in my brain where my mother was screaming for help
and my brother


dragging
her toward her room, I looked at my brother and I just couldn’t do
it, this was the


person
I looked up to and regardless of what was going on I didn’t want
him to get in trouble. I


was
also eight at the time, I never forgave myself for not calling the
police or my dad just


shutting
my door and sitting against it until the noise was over. My brother
was kicked out after


that.




Shortly
after he also got arrested for dealing drugs to an undercover police
officer and my


parents
were both through with getting him out of trouble that they let him
sit in jail for a few


days,
where he ended up getting pretty badly beaten up.




From
what I know my brother never really got help. Looking from an adult
standpoint I know as


a
family we should have asked that he seek treatment instead of just
throwing our hands up in


the
air. But I’ve never actually heard my brother admit that he’s
ever had a problem. Things


have
just happened TO him not as a result of what he was doing.




He’s
currently almost fifty and now addicted to opioid medication because
of chronic pain that


he
has. Due to my brother’s drug issues I really didn’t want to be
around him as I got older. We


have
had issues getting along ever since I got older and unfortunately our
relationship has


suffered
immensely. I’m not sure if my brother’s previous drug use is why
he has so many


health
issues as an adult but I’m sure it didn’t help.




I
think it’s really easy to tell young children and teenagers don’t
do drugs do drugs because they


are
bad for you. But teenagers experiment and for some people addiction
runs in the family


which
they may not know. So even though they might be ruining their lives
or hurting


themselves
they can’t simply just stop they need help. I think it’s
important to educate the


younger
generation on the realities of drug and substance abuse. I believe
that catching it and


getting
a person counseling or into some sort of a drug program when it first
starts is key. When


someone
has been abusing something for a long time it’s going to be much
harder to get them


sober.




Unfortunately
one thing we’re now facing is the opioid epidemic. Now that people
are marked


as
chronic pain, like my brother, they are able to get the drugs that
they were previously getting


on
the street through a doctor’s office. I was reading up a lot on
this and they were saying that


some
of these medications given out by doctors are as addictive as heroin.




When
I was growing up, even as a teenager I never learned anything about
medications that


came
from a doctor or the dangers to look out for. I’ve just thought if
the doctor’s giving it must


be
ok, however after the experiences with my older brother and working
in a pain management


office
myself I’ve learned a lot. There are people who need these
medications for a legitimate


problem,
but there are a lot of other people who abuse it. Educating children
and teenagers on


all
kinds of drugs and maybe seeing how badly abusing these medications
affected people’s


lives
and relationships with their families, spouses, partner would be an
eye opener.




I
have a cousin who speaks at schools regarding her brother’s overdose
and death. People


who
hear her story and how it has affected her family are touched by it.
I think having a real


face
of a person who could be anyone, would really help children and
teenagers realize that this


could
happen to them or the child sitting next to them. Because addiction
really doesn’t care if


your
male or female, black or white, it can happen to anyone. I pray
everyday that my son is


strong
enough to just say no or if he does have a problem be able to ask for
help.




Another
thing that would also be helpful for children and teenagers would
maybe be to have


recovering
people who have been struggling with addiction tell their first hand
stories. Maybe if


one
of those children or teenagers who already know someone who is having
issues with


addiction
hearing their story will help them or their family. I think with
either having a family


member
or a survivor of substance abuse come talk at schools is a great
idea. This gives


children
a chance to come to these people and ask questions they might not
feel comfortable


asking
a parent or at home.




I
think in society we have this stereotype when it comes to who may or
may not have a drug


problem.
We don’t think about a friend that might have a behavior change or
someone in your


class
who might be getting thinner suddenly. When my brother started doing
drugs I didn’t


notice
anything different, granted I was much younger. It wasn’t until he
had been taking them


for
a while and we started finding drug paraphernalia in the house that I
realized that’s what it


was.



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