From: Monterey, California
School: Middlebury Institute of International Studies
The Consequences of Addiction that Cut Deep
The Consequences of Addiction that Cut Deep
Addiction is a crippling disease that effects many people and has a negative impact on many families. It has many causes and consequences and has cost many people their lives. This is a problem that must be dealt with as it has become a crisis, one that impacts different members of society and reaches beyond those who are addicted. The United States is in an addiction crisis, with many societal, familial, and individual consequences. It requires a remedy that can serve as a solution on both an individual and societal scale.
The societal impacts of addiction are far reaching and are inherently negative. Addiction pulls individuals away from being productive and functioning members of society, reducing the function of our society as a whole. It also leads to many deaths; these deaths are preventable with the right treatment and cooperation. However, it can be exceedingly difficult to go through such treatment. Whether the addiction entails alcohol, drugs, or another substance, their impact reduces the number of functioning members of U.S. society and leads to unnecessary death and trauma. Such societal impact is problematic, contributing to a society that is numb to the pain of losing someone to addiction. This needs to change on a societal level.
The familial consequences of addiction are severe and often devastating. The addiction can impact relationships between family members, straining them to the point where ties may break. It also has a traumatic impact on both the addict and those surrounding him or her. This strain can place pressure on the addict’s support network, potentially pushing them further into addiction, while also isolating those around him or her.
The individual’s health, mental well-being, and life are all impacted by their addiction. They can alienate those around them as a result of their addiction. They can suffer health conditions as a result of their addiction. This can ultimately lead to death if not managed. Their mental well-being is also impacted by their addiction. Their life is wholly encompassed by this disease and they lose control of their situation and will. This can have detrimental impacts on their self-image and mental health. Many addicts can become depressed or suffer other mental health issues. Poor mental health, coupled with physical health issues, can lead to overdoses and death. This impacts those around the individual, leading to widespread societal impact.
On an individual level, a remedy for this crisis is to encourage support networks for individuals. A strong foundation of support will give them some base so that they may move on to more serious treatments. This foundation will give the individual the support they need while encouraging them to seek help. If the individual lacks a support system they may begin to feel more alone and will thus isolate themselves further, worsening their addiction and mental health. Following the development of strong support system, the individual must seek programs dealing with addictions. There are a variety of such programs out there, and it may take an individual many tries before they find a program that works for them. This is a frustrating process but is possible if the individual is provided with hope and support from a strong foundation and support group.
On a societal level, this situation becomes more complex. Society must understand the addiction is not necessarily something that an individual can easily control, and so must not isolate such individuals. This can be done by constructing resources for those suffering from addictions, through support groups and programs, with thorough advertisement of such programs. Part of the issue is that addiction is stigmatized to the point where it is kept in the private sphere and is rarely talked about by society. This needs to change. The stigma of talking about addiction must change. This entails a societal change, which can be prompted by open discussions about addiction and programs that the destigmatizing of conversations about addiction.
Addiction is a difficult topic to discuss, but it must be brought into the public sphere to be acknowledged and dealt with. It has many negative consequences that impact both the individual and society. Often the impact on the individual extends out to society, creating a domino effect in a sense. This can be remedied through programs and support systems on an individual scale. On a societal scale it can be remedied with reducing the stigma of addiction and bringing it into the public’s view.