Name: Linnete ...
From: El Paso, Texas
School: Americas High School
The Right Direction
My walls are painted mauve, a Jack Skellington coffee mug hugs my gel
pens, a “LOVE” pillow’s propped above my bed. I despise when my
mom moves my shoes when she’s mopping because I depend on control.
I wear size 7 and ½ converse, although size 7 fits better. On
special occasions, I spray onto my neck a 360-collection perfume
that’s slightly bitter. Daily, we conform to routine and nuisances
believing it leads to stability. Addiction is a coping mechanism our
mind psychologically and physically induces because it’s something
people depend on. Addiction carves its way onto 40 million lives in
the United States. Enlightening on why it’s an issue, examining the
consequences, and determining a remedy will shed light on the issue
As a nation, we are dealing with an addiction crisis because we fear
of what we cannot control. The world is full of things out of our
reach. Addiction is an, often chronic, disease which affects one’s
brain and body. Symptoms include loss of control, chronic use,
obsession with using, and incapable of quitting. Addiction can range
from eating peanut butter sandwiches every morning to failing to
function without them. If you think about something that makes you
feel nice and warm inside – psychologically of course – you don’t
want the feeling to end. No matter the origin or details of the
addiction, what’s common is increased levels of dopamine. According
to Live Science, the brain adapts and finds a balance through the
dopamine surges. Therefore, withdrawal will create negative
psychological or physical feelings as a defense mechanism. What
started as a way to perhaps forget problems at school or work
transforms into a raging disease that, with hesitance to conclude,
will be hard to get rid of.
The raging disease also comes along with consequences. The younger
you are the more susceptible you are to become addicted. Some
contributing factors include genetics, trauma, co-occurring mental
illnesses, or poor social skills. These factors can also contribute
to how harsh the consequences will result, as well as they type of
substance or behavior. In some cases, abuse of some type of substance
may cause or worsen medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety,
and cancers. Sex addiction has a great risk of sexually transmitted
diseases. Injectable drugs can lead to hepatitis C, HIV, or other
infections. Alcohol or substance abuse can lead to accidents,
overdoses, crime, school problems, violence, and possibly suicide.
However, this will not only affect the person addicted but those
around them, such as in a car accident. Often, addiction will induce
behavioral deviation from one’s self, which may negatively affect
social relationships, schools, or workplaces. Especially loved ones
concerned for one’s wellbeing.
To preserve what has or will be lost, one must fix the crisis.
Treatment varies depending on the individual. They do, though, all
require a long-term treatment plan with regular monitoring and
support. Behavioral therapy may be the most efficient. It encourages
people to participate in drug treatment if needed, offers coping
strategies, teaches ways to avoid relapses and what to do when
nearing one. It’s not only beneficial for the individual but also
for their damaged relationships, improving communication and family
or friend dynamics. As a society, there’s a lot of misconceptions
regarding addiction. It’s typically associated with illegal
activity – although that is a prominent category – however, it
consists of much more. One thing it can agree on is that addiction is
not a crime that can be handled through court-ordered therapy or
googling an answer. Addiction is a public health issue that needs
more solutions and resources to deal with the growing problem
spreading to the unexpected. It’s a battle with no end or quick
fixes, but patience and knowledge.
No one truly has the right answer towards shedding light on the
addiction or freeing the world of it. People say that the first step
towards solving a problem is by admitting that we have a problem.
People are right. As individuals and part of a community, we must
recognize addiction as a prominent disease, just like diabetes and
cancer, with a solution awaiting. The path towards fresh air won’t
be easy but recognizing the problem is progress towards what’s
deemed impossible: the step towards the right direction.