They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

They are just like me and you.
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The Heroin epidemic has taken countless lives over the past few years; too many lives. There have been multiple deaths in one week from overdoses in the state of Ohio and along the South Shore. There are two kinds of people that will approach heroin addiction: the uneducated and the one's who relate. That's the biggest problem with this stigma right now; also one of the biggest problems with mental illnesses, death and internal diseases. You will never understand unless you've been through it. A person who has a one sided opinion on this will automatically say that their opinion is right. I came across someone while I was scrolling through my news feed one day who came out and basically said "Heroin addicts need to die". That is the coldest statement I have ever heard. What people don't understand with heroin addiction is that they no longer have control. They absolutely made that choice to get that first high but they didn't make the choice to continue to do it after. No one understands why someone would destroy their life like that and I have a simple response for that: you don't know their story. That young man who was your next door neighbor, who was an honor student, maybe suffered physical abuse at home. Maybe that girl in English class who was always cracking jokes was raped as a child or maybe those siblings just recently lost a parent.

SEE ALSO: Support The Youth Lost To Heroin

No one has a right to make an assumption on a human being if they don't know their story. The person who's making those decisions knows why they did it in the first place. Sometimes in life when you feel like you can't suffer anymore with internal pain, majority of the time you will resort to the negative. The easy way out, I should say. The word "junkie" in my eyes, is on the list of horrible things you can call someone. I'm not perfect, I have called someone a junkie before and then I take a step back to think about what I just said. I do not know that person, I do not know what resorted them to use heroin, I shouldn't be judging them by what I see on the outside, I do not know what they are suffering internally. I'm a very empathetic person; I feel too much and I get emotional if I say or do something bad to another human, which is a rare occasion. When I thought hard on that, it made me realize that I want to help these people. These people were kids like us. They played with dolls, they played with trucks, they had a mountain of stuffed animals, they kissed their parents goodnight. Heroin just darkened the light in them; sometimes for eternity. The word "junkie" will destroy someone. When you call someone a junkie, you're being a coward. You automatically assume that they're so messed up that they can't comprehend an insult. News flash everyone, they still understand. Just because they numb their feelings doesn't mean that insult is something that doesn't stick with them. Heroin addicts will continue to use without seeking help because of the stigma. The stigma is so bad now that when a addict actually reaches on to get help to find a detox through a hospital; the hospital staff will brush them off like they're drug seeking and keep them caged in like animals. There is little to no help still when it comes to addicts seeking sobriety. Not all addicts steal or cause violence against another human. Not all addicts will get so high that they forget about their child in the car. When you're so far gone into addiction the thoughts are either when can I get this next high or why can't I stop? It becomes a physical and mental addiction. I don't believe that it's a disease; I believe it has the same qualities as a disease because of the physical and mental aspects of it. Everyone in the entire world is addicted to something: cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, gambling, sex, video games, etc. The habit you form becomes a lifestyle. Addicts live in this entire country, so why do we only resort in branding heroin addicts "junkies"?

No one will ever understand unless they lose someone to heroin or someone close to them becomes addicted. In a previous article, I wrote about my best friend's baby brother who I watched die from heroin. I knew that heroin destroyed families but to watch it happen right in front of me changed my life. It was absolutely traumatizing watching that twenty two year old boy lose to heroin. A boy who had so much potential and love in his heart. He loved hard and he cared hard and now he was gone because of this drug. These people aren't insects that you step on; they're not rats living in a gutter, they are someone's family. They are someone's baby.

Your bias and uneducated views are one of the reasons why we are losing these people. Don't voice your opinion if you have no understanding on it whatsoever. If that's what you will continue to do, then so be it, you won't know until it happens to you.


Cover Image Credit: https://recruiterpoet.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/hug1.jpg

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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