The World Needs To Take Drug Use Seriously In 2018

The World Needs To Take Drug Use Seriously In 2018

Now is not the time to be naive

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We all were taught since middle school that drugs were bad, thanks to the D.A.R.E program. Now let's be honest here, how many of us actually paid attention? We were all focused on the mustache we sketched on the lion from the booklet that was passed out to us. Or maybe we were laughing at the scenarios stated in the pamphlet, assuming those were just made up and that it never actually happened in the real world. Oh, how naive we were. In 2014, 1.3 million teens were diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder.

All over the media, rather it is the news on your television or the twitter notification on your phone, you always see a headline regarding drug use in the celebrity world. Most recently, the world saw Demi Lovato fall into an overdose of heroin. As shocking as this was, Demi has made sure that her following and her team were aware of her previous struggles from early on. She even made a YouTube documentary, Simply Complicated, explaining her substance abuse, alcoholism, and depression.

This incident took social media by storm. I caught myself constantly thinking about someone I lost to heroin, then my mind trickled into an abyss of how many people actually pass away solely due to heroin. My friend who passed away was under the age of 20 and was strung out from heroin every day, according to a journal he kept in his bedside. 21.5 million Americans aged 12 and older struggled with a substance use disorder involving heroin in 2015. This number has only increased over the years, and honestly, it is scaring me.

Now, who do we blame for this in particular? Definitely not the police officers who were forced into a classroom full of kids that weren't paying attention. What about the media? Think about it, all of the songs being played that could influence the children, the tabloids spreading pictures of celebrities. No, that also doesn't sound logical. Surely, I can vouch that it is not the person who experimented with drugs.

Addiction is not a choice, and nobody is actively searching for a psychological addiction.

People are dying no matter what. The moment you are born, you are perceived to be dying. Rather, smoking cigarettes, for example, are known to "speed up the process." Drugs are most commonly used to numb the pain the taker is experiencing, and to distract the mind from something that is not the pain their feeling. Globally stopping the use of drugs is inevitable, but there are some solutions to decrease the statistics of drug use, such as painting, singing, and dancing around your room naked. Seriously.

The world is in drastic need to understand that drugs are impacting how we live on this earth. People are passing away before they should, they are becoming dependent on the feeling of being intoxicated, and their support system isn't as strong as it should be. We as a society need to promote healthier coping mechanisms to decrease the number of deaths and usage of drugs, although as stated before, it can never be laid to rest.

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Mac Miller Is Dead At 26 From A Disease We Still Refuse To Acknowledge

We cry tragedy one day and move on the next.

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Mac Miller was reported dead on Friday, September 7 of an apparent overdose following an open battle with drug abuse and addiction.

Miller's disease has landed him in multiple altercations with the law in recent months. In early May, he was arrested for fleeing the scene after crashing his car into a utility pole while under the influence. Looking back, Miller called it "the best thing that could have happened... I needed that. I needed to run into that light pole and literally, like, have the whole thing stop."

These words hold a heartbreaking echo in our hearts today.

For those of us that have lived through these rock bottoms, we know these words all too well. And we know how empty they can be. Today's tragedy and the inevitable dozens of others that will occur in the next couple of months can feel like a painful reminder to those of us who have been there with addiction that, sometimes, what we consider our rock bottoms are nothing compared to the ultimate rock bottom: death.

We as a society have become somewhat complacent with drug abuse in the past handful of years, especially when it comes to the rap scene. Rappers are seemingly dying left and right from the same drugs that their colleagues will continue to make rhymes about the next day.

Let's not forget that we have an up-and-coming star on the tip of everyone's tongue whose chosen name is literally after that of a drug responsible for nearly 7,000 overdose deaths in 2013 alone, 30 percent of the year's overdose casualties.

See also: Stop Praising Demi While Judging Every Other Addict Around You

But looking at the bigger picture, we continuously turn the other cheek to addicts in our society and we pretend that this disease is a choice despite how problematic and incorrect that assumption is and how little it does in terms of solving the problem.

We do the bare minimum when it comes to drug policy in this country, basically getting to the point of incarceration and that's about it. But we'll all be crying "tragedy" when another valuable life is lost at such a young age to a disease that we're ignoring.

We need to do more.

We need to come to terms with where we are and start making some changes that might not feel good but will do good. Supervised injection facilities. Government-funded rehabilitation. Getting rid of the stigma. Changing the conversation.

Mac Miller isn't the first and won't be the last. At least not at the rate we're going.

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We Need To Stop Ignoring Addiction And Actually See It For The Disease It Is

BE KIND.

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Addiction means something different to each and every person. To some it is something they or loved ones have had to deal with, others see it in celebrities/people they look up to, and some really know nothing of it other than media or television.

But to me, it is nothing to be ashamed of.

People can be addicted to many things from shopping to eating, yet where the stigma comes in is when we start dealing with drugs or alcohol. Don't get me wrong, those things are nothing to be proud of but we should NEVER be treating these people like less than, especially if they open up and want help.

I firmly believe that addiction is a disease and not only it being a disease but it can also be in a family's gene pool. Many people and researchers such as the Center on Addiction, Health Harvard Blog, and Addiction Campuses believe that it is a chronic disease. Research is showing how some people are more susceptible (genes). In knowing this, we cannot be pushing these people away and making them feel worse than they already do. We can't just stand by and help them in a way only conducive to yourself.

There are many different ways to help people with addiction. Taking them to get help, not embarrassing them, respecting them as a person, and most importantly to be kind. The ignominy that comes from being an "addict" in our society let alone wanting to open up to someone and ask for help is downright scary.

If someone ever reaches out notice how brave they are and take them in with an open mind. If you see someone with a problem with drugs or alcohol do not try to judge them because if we do that we are further ostracizing addicts from society. Do not let this be a disease we refuse to acknowledge and lose even more of our loved ones.

Above all else BE KIND.

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