Dustin Pettit

Professor Ramos


31 January 2020

Fighting Addiction

            Addiction is a worldwide struggle that has carried on for decades. Some people are unaware what having an addiction may even really mean. An addiction is, “chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain” (NIDA).  Genetics, environment, and social media are the three main factors that contribute to substance abuse and trauma in one’s life for today’s day in age. Proven statistics have shown that an immense amount of people have struggled from this grueling disease. Therefore, individuals need to become more aware of the steps to take to solve the issue and keep it from affecting them in the future.

            The nine months that a mother is pregnant with her child are very crucial to possible effects that addiction can have on a child’s life. Every substance taken in goes straight through the placenta and to the embryo. If the mother or father is an addict, then there is a “40% to 60% risk of addiction” (Scot). Genetics that the child will carry also play a factor on how these addictive issues will come into play in the future. Treatment to the issue can be taken place in many different ways. Educating the child when young about the genes he is capable of having and how to be smart with the decisions that revolve around the problem is key. If one is ignorant about the decisions they make, then addiction can be an increasingly higher possibility. Therefore, introducing the topic before the problem has been strung along can help decrease the chances of it becoming detrimental.

            The surrounding environment from a young age plays a factor to how someone can become an addict. If someone has a group of friends at school or around their neighborhood abusing drugs it can be brought upon the individual in different ways. Peer pressure among adolescents is very common. A child may be influenced by a peer to just try something once that triggers them to something becoming a bigger problem. This perception is made that everyone around is doing it, therefore it is okay. One who is persuaded by peer pressure is trying to “make themselves appear cool” (Peer Pressure). The reputation they are viewed by is more important than something becoming a possible health hazard down the road. Not only is your school a factor of possible substance abuse, one’s household is crucial to what they are around and begin to see as okay. If their parents are doing it why is it not okay for them to as well. Having the influence by seeing parents socially use or even abuse substances can strike a fire under you that is slowly intensifying. It is encouraged that if the issue begins to come present that help is sought. Help is available in many places if the individual gets themselves out there and not afraid to fight the problem.

            Social media is also a huge platform where addiction can begin to take place. If someone has an idol that is posting about drugs or alcohol, they may become more susceptible to thinking these substances are not harmful to them. “Nearly 95% of teens have access to a smartphone” (Renzoni). With this quick access to any social media website, adolescents or even adults can be visualizing celebrities or friends partying and involving themselves with different addictive substances. Constantly seeing these posts can lead to trying something that gets someone hooked. Social media can also be a way to access alcohol, marijuana, or any addiction present. It is advised to be aware of all the possible factors that can contribute to health issues or addiction.

            In 2017, “one out of every 8 adults dealt with abuse from illicit drugs and alcohol” (Scot). In the same year, “19.7 million American adults ages 12 and up suffered from a substance disorder” (Scot). There are many places to go and seek help if needed. Although, “11 percent of individuals aged 12 or older with alcohol or drug addictions received treatment in 2013” (Reed). Addicts are afraid of the change so many do not seek help. Not seeking medical attention can lead to fatal health problems or even losing mental cognition.

            It is never too late to seek help for an addiction that someone or oneself may be struggling with. There are many solutions to treating addiction. Rehabilitation centers allow patients to achieve their goals of becoming substance free. Although not all rehab centers work for everyone. Each individual struggling with an addiction has to find the perfect approach that works for them. This is highly advised to be done with a medical official just to maintain proper progress and stay completely healthy in the process. There are branches of rehab. There is inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient is “individuals who are hospitalized for a minimum of twenty-eight days” (StartYourRecovery). Outpatient is individuals who still receive care just they are allowed to stay at their own home. Treatment for these problems will always be an option if an issue comes into someone’s life and it is too strong to control. Never be afraid to seek help when it may seem to be needed.

            Addictions can come in all different sorts or types, but with hope and action it will not control the lives we live. In the future, it is important these issues are addressed and educated on so that each individual has a fair opportunity ahead of them. Addiction is real but should not be feared, attack the problem and seek the solution to gain the result deserved in the end. It cannot be done alone but should be tackled as a whole for humanity. Be stronger than the disease itself and continue to fight for it to not be introduced to on coming generations or prepare to assist when these individuals are in need to remove the issue before becoming too overpowering. Addiction will forever be a world issue but can be prevented and assisted by the accessibility of support available.  

Annotated Bibliography

“How Much Influence Does Peer Pressure Play on Teen Drinking?” Alcohol.org, 27 Dec. 2019, www.alcohol.org/teens/peer-pressure-drinking/.

  • I felt that peer pressure was a huge topic to touch upon when talking about addiction. Children can easily be persuaded by friends who they see to be “cool kids”. This is just them trying to fit into a position that they may not necessarily even consider themselves like. They were just along with the group and the situation came about where they were not strong enough to say no.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics.” NIDA, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-use-addiction-basics.

  • This article gave me a brief explanation to what addiction is and ways that it works. This was important to implement so that the audience was able to understand what addiction truly is and how harmful it can be. Addicts sometimes cannot help the fact they are addicted. Although they need the support to get the issue taken care of.

Reed, Carey. “Report: Most Americans with Drug or Alcohol Addictions Don’t Get Treatment.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 6 Sept. 2014, www.pbs.org/newshour/health/substance-use-mental-health-estimates.

  • This specific piece I felt was important to implement because there are many people who are addicted but not getting the help they need. It is important to show how very few of those in need actually got what they needed done. Why this is exactly, I am still researching but it is extremely sad to see that so many individuals who need help have not reached out or done something to receive care.

Thomas, Scot. “Addiction Statistics: Drug & Substance Abuse Statistics.” American Addiction Centers, 3 Feb. 2020, americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics.

  • This specific person I used as a resource a couple times because the information made the essay stronger. By adding some statistics and showing how genes can affect how you can become an addict is very important. Some people are unaware how strong the gene is until it is already too late, and they are struggling from a severe addiction.

“What Is Rehab?” What Is Rehab? Types, Costs, & Whether Rehab Is Right for You, startyourrecovery.org/treatment/rehab-centers.

  • This specific rehab website gave me information that I could present to have a better understanding of rehabs and how they work. It also shows the different types of programs patients can use. It was very resourceful and gave details I could use throughout my writing.
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