The Truth About Addiction

The Truth About Addiction

Demons are demons, and they haunt us all.

Addiction can be defined in many ways. In the dictionary, addiction is defined as "the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity." Sounds nicer that way, doesn't it? Addiction seems okay when it's just a word in the dictionary, when its grip doesn't determine your every move, when its power doesn't destroy your family, or your dreams, or your life. You use addiction as a way to justify your mistakes. You may be a lot of things, but at least you're not an addict, right? At least you aren't the lowest of the low, right? For some reason, that makes us feel better. We put addiction into a category that we consider ourselves so far away from. No one we love can possibly be low enough to be an addict. We don't associate ourselves with those kinds of people. Addiction isn't meant for people like me, right?


You think you know exactly what addiction looks like, how it comes about, the kind of people it reaches; we look down on addicts like they're trash on the street, like they have another choice. Addiction seems so beneath you; until it's your best friend, or your son, or your mom. It seems like it's only meant for the outcasts of the world, until you find yourself lying awake at night wondering where your child is, wondering if they're safe, or even alive; wanting so badly to pull them up from the black hole they've fallen into.

See, the truth about addiction is that it's everywhere. Addiction sees no race, no social class, no education, no neighborhood. Addiction touches every type of person. It's a disease. It is a process in the brain that tells an addict "I need this to live" and it outranks everything else in a person's life.

No one wants to live the life of an addict, I can promise you that. No one dreams about putting a needle in their arm to make it through the day. No one wants to wake up in the floor in some disgusting and unfamiliar place. No little girl or boy hopes that one day a glass of whiskey will be the only thing to bring them peace. No one wants to disappoint the people they love the most; steal from them and break their hearts, lose their kids, lose everything that's important to them.

Addiction is a disease. That's not an opinion by the way; it's a fact. It's an incurable disease that more often than not claims the lives of its victims. It rips fathers and mothers from their kids, it ruins families altogether, and it creates a dialogue of death and destruction wherever it goes.

The truth about addiction is that it's real and it's everywhere. The truth is that it touches every single one of us in some way. The truth is that we are all human, and we all have our demons.

The truth is we are all just doing the best we can, and addicts deserve just as much of a chance at life on the rest of us. Don't look down on what you don't understand.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Stop Demonizing CBD Just Because You Associate It With THC

CBD doesn't get you high, do your research.


I'm sure you've heard about CBD already, but if not, then let me break it down for you. Cannabidiol, CBD, is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant, but unlike the THC in the marijuana plant, it doesn't have any psychoactive properties.

CBD doesn't get you high.

When extracted from the plant, CBD has proven to be effective in the medical field. It has shown to be effective in the treatment of epilepsy, in the management of pain, in reducing depression and anxiety, and relieving cancer symptoms, among a host of other uses. New research from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York has revealed that CBD may be beneficial for society as a whole, too.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital conducted the study to understand how we can fight the opioid epidemic through the discovery of alternative treatment options by assessing the potential effects of CBD on craving and anxiety in heroin users.

42 drug abstinent men and women between the ages of 21 and 65, who had recently stopped using heroin, were recruited for the study. Two groups were formed out of the participants: a control group that received a placebo and a test group that received CBD doses ranging from 400 mg to 800 mg per day. After administration, participants were exposed to neutral environmental cues and cues that would be considered drug-use inducing over three sessions. The cues in the environment were tested because an addict's environment and the cues it gives are the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.

The results of the research hold great promise for the future of CBD.

Participants who were in the test group and given CBD had significantly reduced cravings for heroin, and noted feeling less anxiety when exposed to drug-use inducing cues. Moreover, the CBD had a lasting effect on this group as it continued to reduce cravings and relieve anxiety for seven days after the last dose was administered. In essence, this is the most important takeaway from the research: CBD had lasting effects well after it was present in the body. Numerous vital signs like heart rate, skin temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation were taken to ensure only objective results were obtained since cravings and anxiety are subjective feelings. Another finding was a reduction in participants' heart rate and salivary cortisol levels, which would have both increased in the presence of anxiety-provoking images.

I think the evidence points to a logical conclusion: CBD is safe, it is effective in treating opioid addictions, and it is beneficial for those who experience a host of issues from pain, to anxiety, to epilepsy or to illnesses. Now is the time to keep pushing for legalization to continue larger scale studies and introduce CBD as a valid treatment option.

"A successful non-opioid medication would add significantly to the existing addiction medication toolbox to help reduce the growing death toll and enormous health care costs." - Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

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