Most of us probably know someone or know of someone who suffers from addiction. Maybe you yourself even suffer from addiction. The word "addiction" has always had a bad stigma to it. People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are mostly looked down upon by society. People look at them as if they're damaged goods for being addicted to a substance. I think it's about time to end that stigma. Addiction has become one of the biggest epidemics in the United States. According to the CDC, six people die every day from alcohol poisoning. Opioids killed more than 49,000 people in the United States in 2017. It's scary that making one mistake in your life can result in becoming an addict. For some people, it is not too difficult to bounce back from being addicted to drugs or alcohol once they admit they have a problem and get through the withdrawal symptoms. Most people, however, aren't as lucky.

If you or someone you know has suffered from addiction, then you know just how very difficult it can be to admit that there's a problem and receive the proper help you need. The physical and mental need for the substance overrides the knowledge of knowing you need to stop. The fear of living life without your drug or drink of choice is truly terrifying. Admitting there's a problem is really not an easy step to take. Instead of looking down on those with addiction, we should be doing what we can to help them. Whether it's giving someone a ride to a nearby treatment center and staying by their side, or donating to a non-profit organization for those who suffer from addiction. Addiction can happen to anyone. Remember to be kind to those around you. Educate people in your life about drug and alcohol use and explain how dangerous and addicting they can be.

Not too many people in my own life know that I suffer from alcohol addiction. For some people, it can feel shameful to admit to others, even those they are close to, that they have a substance problem. At this point in my life, I am comfortable admitting that I had a problem and am willing to talk about it with anyone but believe me, it took a while to get to where I am now. I am proud to say I am over one year sober. Be supportive of those you know who suffer from addiction, whether they are comfortable shouting from the rooftops "I am an addict!" or if it's something they would prefer to keep to themselves. Let's erase the stigma about addiction, and remember to always be kind.