Addiction- A Sad Reality
February 11, 2020
As warmer weather begins making its way through the city and the state surrounding, an itch starts to flow into the air. The kind of itch that makes its way from the subconscious thoughts that hide in the back of your brain, all the way into the tips of your fingers until you find yourself doing, well, just what you want to do. After all, you’re young, just about if not out of high school, beautiful, your friends think you’re hilarious, this all must mean you’re totally 100% invincible, right? Wrong.
The need to stay alert and safe, during the warmer months especially, is still just as important to remember as the urge to go out with friends, have fun, and get a little messed up starts knocking at the door. As much as parents, teachers, and other peers don’t particularly like to think about the less desirable activities young people participate in, they have to be recognized and brought up occasionally to keep awareness. Marijuana, prescription medications, and other vaporized liquids on vapes are just a few of the many “pastimes” teenagers find themselves joining in on. With participation in such activities comes the wavering danger following directly behind the fun.
Fentanyl was involved in nearly 73% of overdose deaths in 2018, many were in combination with other drugs such as the beloved teenage substance: marijuana. In other words these unfortunate individuals did not get what they expected leaving them in a fatal situation, no matter who they were. While the number of deaths from drug overdose remains low overall, the rate of overdose deaths among teens is increasing every so gradually. An estimated 4,235 teens ages 15-24 die annually from recreation related overdose. Also making drug overdoses the current leading cause of death in the United States for those under 50.
Overdose can not be predicted nor does this phenomenon pick and choose who’s family it wants to effect, leaving everyone vulnerable. Though you can’t always catch the tragedy before it happens, extra measures can be taken to make sure you keep yourself and the ones you love safe and don’t become another tragic statistic. There is a strong misconception when an individual overdoses and loses their life, that the victim was nothing more than a junky, a loser, a freeloader and so many more hurtful stereotypes when that simply just isn’t true. When a life is lost as a repercussion of addiction, a father, mother, son or daughter, a human being with a family and with purpose also lost their life. Addiction or overdose can happen to anyone, of any race, age, or ethnicity. You’re not invincible. You are human.
If you ever find yourself in a hole you dug too deep, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support. No matter the situation you find yourself in or the people you find yourself around, there is always time to turn around and get the help you deserve:
- National Drug Helpline – Call 1-844-289-0879
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) – Call 1-800-NCA-CALL (622-2255)
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Call 1-301-443-1124
- The Partnership at Drugfree.org – Call 1-855-DRUG-FREE (378-4373)