Name: Courtney McCray
From: Texarkana, TX
I had always thought of addiction as a concept that was beyond me when I was growing up. I had simply associated it with drugs and alcohol, things that I could never see myself getting involved with. As I have grown, I have experienced life and been through troubles. I realize that addiction can be much deeper than the typical things that we see with drugs. All addictions should be recognized as well as resolved to lead to healthier lives.
I see addiction as an overuse or abuse of a thing in order to cope with an issue a person is trying to avoid. Therefore, a person can be addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, and even people. The main issue of addiction that we see when we think of the word is the abuse of drugs and alcohol. The main reason I believe that we deal with an addiction crisis as a nation is the media. Everywhere that you go you see these things. It is on social media posts we like, in songs we listen, and parties that we go to. There seems to be no way around the glamorization of drugs and especially alcohol. Despite the number of deaths we see from drugs in the media, people continue to use simply because they may not see themselves ever getting to that point. The biggest danger I see with a lot of drugs is that you never know exactly what is in them; drugs can be laced with different things that you can be unaware of, and the dosage may not be what you thought it was. The use of alcohol around us is even worse. Alcohol is much more accessible to the average teenager, which leads to it being used more often. What people fail to realize is that alcohol is a drug too. You can get addicted to it, and sometimes people do not even realize that they are addicted to it. When artists sing and rap about resorting to alcohol for their issues or to have a good time (often in relation to sex), this creates the idea that it is an acceptable way to live. It seems as if the only people that have not become addicted to this way of living are those who have made the conscious decision and effort to avoid it.
Addiction as a whole can lead to the destruction of lives, from relationships to careers. For instance, a person addicted to another person, such as an ex, may not be able to move forward in any other romantic relationship because of their ties to the past. A person who is addicted to drugs may not be able to move forward in their career due to mental blocks or even failed drug tests. Another big thing that can happen when you are addicted is deception. You could deceive yourself into believing that you are dealing with issues in your life; in reality you could be covering up the problems instead of dealing with them.
A lot of the things I learned about drugs have been from a forensic science class I took in high school. I see education as a crucial part of dealing with our nation’s addiction crisis. I also learned a lot about drugs from the show Narcos on Netflix. Education about drugs could literally come from anywhere. Sometimes the facts are quite frightening, which also helps with staying away from them. Like I stated before, the conscious decision has to be made by the individual to turn away from this behavior. However, since there are other forms of addiction, other approaches may have to be taken. As individuals and a society, we should look into therapy or other ways to learn ourselves. When you know yourself and why you do the things that you do, you could better stay away from destructive habits and deal with issues head-on.