To The Girl Asking Us To "Stop Calling Your Drug Addiction A Disease," Please Stop

To The Girl Asking Us To "Stop Calling Your Drug Addiction A Disease," Please Stop

That's not how that works.
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I recently came across an article titled Stop Calling Your Drug Addiction A Disease, and I was struggling to see eye-to-eye with the writer and her stance on addicts’ so-called “you chose it” conditions.

I'd like to think that I am fairly open-minded and accepting of differing opinions, but I disagree with the vast majority of what she had to say.

Not only is it incredibly offensive, but it demonstrates her apparent lack of knowledge regarding addiction and its everlasting effects on all parties involved. I would like to instead educate people on how addiction is, in fact, a disease, and that there is much more to the story than many of us realize.

First things first, addiction is a disease. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the definition of drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.

Once a person becomes tolerant of his or her drug of choice, it becomes seemingly impossible to break the habit. Withdrawal is a scary reality for addicts, as symptoms can include things such as excruciating pain, insomnia, and emotional detachment. The physiological consequences of not having what your body now needs can be absolutely brutal.

That being said, has it become more understandable as to why most addicts cannot sober up without help? Does it make sense why the opioid issue in our nation is referred to as an epidemic?

SEE ALSO: Why I Don't Regret My Cutting Addiction

Let me eliminate the following conditional statement: addiction is a disease, but only because it is brought on by those who suffer from it. Nobody wakes up one day and says to themselves, I'm going to become an addict.

That is not how it works.

There are several factors that come into play with how someone could end up an addict. For example, there has been speculation by psychologists and medical professionals alike that alcoholism runs in families. With the alcoholism gene comes other motives for use that can affect a person’s risk of becoming hooked.

Some people may find that drinking is a way for them to cope with other issues, such as stress brought on by work or school and struggling with mental illness. Every addict has a story to tell, and very few of them will say that their addictions came out of left field.

I wish for the stigma involving drug addicts’ “oh, poor me” attitudes to be done with -- not just for the 23.5 million people hooked on drugs and alcohol in the United States alone, but for their parents.

Their siblings. Their loved ones. Their children.

Put yourself in the shoes of parents who just received a phone call that heroin took their son or daughter’s life. I dare you to tell me that all you would have to say is, well, they chose drugs.

The CDC reported that 91 Americans per day die of a heroin overdose. That number must go down, and it is not going to happen if people do not stop criticizing addicts for their conditions. Why? Because if they are made to feel ashamed of themselves, then they will hesitate to ask for help.

No addict made the direct, conscientious decision to become part of such a devastating statistic; they did not want for their lives to become a living hell.

It is time to stop bashing addicts for what they go through on a regular basis, and instead, we need to provide them with love and support on the road to recovery. I hope that what I have said instills compassion and understanding in those of you who may feel otherwise.

Cover Image Credit: The Atlantic

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Temple's Tobacco-Free Policy: Not Necessary Or Bright

This non-smoker has some choice words for the tobacco ban.

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Temple's tobacco-free campus policy was just revealed, and as a non-smoker with asthma, my first instinct was to be glad.

However, upon reflection, it becomes obvious how disastrous, counterproductive, and yes, even elitist, this plan is.

The obvious problem with having a "tobacco-free" campus is that we also have an "alcohol-free" campus and a "marijuana-free" campus. Do you see where I'm going with this?

The other obvious logistical problem everybody is seeming to ignore is that Temple is smack in the middle of North Philadelphia: which is an urban campus with local residents constantly on Broad Street and obviously, these rules do not apply to them.

So, given the fact that there will already be a high number of people with the rules not applying to them, why does Temple think it can enforce this?

Speaking of enforcing the rule, how exactly does Temple plan to enforce this? Will the Temple police be riding around looking to confiscate various cigarettes and vapes? Do I really need to explain to all of you why this is a terrible idea?

Is this the type of environment we want to promote? I do not think anybody has a "right" to smoke, but giving some sort of authority to yank things out of people's mouths? I do not think it would not be radical to think of the slippery slope this could lead to. We are a public university with our own police force.

Not only that, but should we really be taking Juuls away? Now I personally think Juuls are the teenager version of a pacifier, but despite that, some people that use a Juul are doing so to quit their addiction to cigarettes. We should not be in the market of interfering with a person's attempt to quit.

This is doubly ridiculous when you consider all of the alternatives, too.

Temple has a policy where one is forbidden from smoking 25 feet from a building. Why not just enforce that? Or stop selling nicotine products at the 7/11?

And how can we claim that tobacco is the immediate problem when there is a bar right on Liacouras Walk?

This entire policy is the result of a bunch of annoying liberal children wanting to feel like activists and enshrine themselves in a veil of moral superiority. The "Task Force" is just some liberal elitist students that want to show off how woke they are and ruin everybody else's fun so they took this cause because it seemed easy.

You can see this by how I just poked all of those holes in their platform.

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