- Mental Health»
An addiction story I know far too well...
Lets Play Pretend...
Let's put you in the position of a former druggie from a rich area in the US. For the purpose of this article, please pretend that you are John/Jane Doe, 25 years old from a rich suburban area in New Jersey. You work full-time and don't associate with many of the people that were in your circle of friends from high school and even college because of their odd but common behavior. Many people in your age group have fallen deep into drug use and you are trying to stay away from those types of people, but you find it difficult to stay away when all your friends have at the least some kind of association with drugs. Your town, which happens to be one of the richest towns in America is also a town rich in drug use among young people.
You did experiment with drugs in high school, and for the first couple of years during college you engaged in drug use, but your main focus in life was on working and finishing school. You were basically a functioning addict, but in your mind, you had control over what you were doing. Your definition of experimenting with drugs was doing it every once in a while, but in large amounts to see how it feels. And you felt good. You liked it. But you knew it was bad for you. You were lucky. You have a great family support system, very loving and always there for you. Somehow after seeing all the dangers of drug use, your family values and religion helped you step out of the drug scene.
Then reality hits...
In the past couple of years, you've heard bad news about a few old friends that overdosed and died from heavy drug use that became a trend in your teen years, a trend that you yourself participated in. You are grateful that you did not fall deep into the drug scene as many of your fellow peers surely did. You've stayed away from drug use for about 3 years now, and have seen a lot through the years in how it can ruin your life. Drug use that starts from adolescent years has many different effects and affects on people. All people experience situations differently and the body reacts differently in all people as well. You've seen many different types of situations, from bad family life and family values, to peer pressure, to bad school values, and you yourself have experiences some of these negative issues. Now, since you did your experimentation does that mean your off the hook as a drug addict? Does that mean your body has recovered from the negativity you fed it in the past? Your "experimentation" lasted for a couple of years. Does that make you a recovering addict?
What do you think?
In your opinion, is John/Jane Doe a former/recovering addict?
Addiction, what is it?
Addictions. We all have them. Not necessarily drug addiction, but it can be anything. Smoking cigarettes. Soda. Chocolate. Anything. Addiction is a compulsive use of a substance that is known to be harmful by the user. Obviously some addictions are worse than others. But any addiction, ANY addiction, can eventually cause one to lose control over their lives. Addiction is habitual which may mean you engage in use everyday, every week, once a month or even a couple of times a year. If it is consistent and done in large amounts, knowing it is harmful to your body or life, it is considered an addiction. So my question to you is, is John/Jane Doe considered a recovering/former addict? With drug use being so widely used in today's society, and so many people abusing it more than others, is it correct to say that John/Jane Doe's experimentation and secession to drugs considers John/Jane Doe a recovering addict? Let's just say John/Jane Doe doesn't think so, what do you think?
Drug Use is TOO common nowadays
The reason I wrote this article is to get a viewpoint from the general population on what they think a drug addict is. I grew up with so many people doing drugs around me, that they thought they weren't drug addicts and probably still do. In my opinion, and according the the definition of being an addict, if you use drugs consistently, meaning everyday, once a week, once a month or even a couple of times a year, you are a drug user. You have to completely stop to be considered "normal", and a non-drug user. Drugs, even a little bit here and there, messes with your mindset and will change the way you think and feel about things forever after use. You will never be the same again. And the more you use the more it messes with you. I think it's sad how most teens and young adults think of drugs as a normal activity in life. Not all do but a good majority do, and it is not normal and does affect you negatively. Look at all the rich and famous people doing drugs, they have everything they need in life and they are still doing drugs. Why?! Because their mentality is such like John/Jane Doe's as I mentioned above. But that mentality is not a good one, and people need to be informed of the dangers associated with drug use in a more persuasive way, even when occasionally used. I don't think people really understand that when it comes to drug use, you are taking a risk in your life. You can die. I know a couple of people from high school that have passed away from drug use, and although I didn't know them personally when it happened, I did know that they occasionally used as teenagers while we attended high school together. It is so sad to hear of people you saw everyday for years while in school with them, all of a sudden grew up and instead of finishing college or becoming a working adult, they lost themselves to drug use.