Today, I’m nearly 7 years clean of drugs and alcohol. I liked whiskey but I couldn’t put down marijuana. I’m bipolar. I was self medicating. You can say I wasn’t the average pot head. I worked a high pressures sales job and I needed it to function. My mental stability depended on me getting high. I had a problem which I now get treatment for and I am in recovery. I am glad, grateful, thankful, and any other joyful word that I am now on the other side of this fight, which is why I write today. First, I ask you to do nothing, go nowhere, say nothing to anyone but pick a side, before I continue.
To those of you unaware, drugs make you feel good. They are dangerous to your health, both mentally and physically, and when you take a drug, you generally want more. It starts with calling the person who gave you the drug the next day or week. It’s followed by a mind game with yourself on how to get, pay attention, not high, but more. The high part is just the outcome of more. Most times, by getting high, you temporarily fill a void, check that, you have the illusion of filling this void, because the drugs feel good. Finally, when you come down from the high, the drug reappears.
We have a drug epidemic in the country. We have a loss of life every day. In 2020, we saw almost 100,000 drug related deaths. Apparently, over 30 million people suffer from drug addiction. Drug addicts are not bad guys. They are sick with a progressive disease which they were likely wounded with a life void which they sought drugs and alcohol to fill that void instead of their fellow man helping to fill it with them.
To put this in perspective, we’re talking about boys and girls who were once children and went to our schools. They rode the bus with us, gave high fives in the hallways. They were at our proms, they got their first job right in town, they hero soldier ware veterans who fought for our country overseas or worked in corporate America to earn a living for their families. They were just like you and I and their progressive disease of addiction got worse.
We are the lucky ones. We had our voids and found healthier ways to cope. Take it from a recovering addict: in addition, you suffer. It is very very difficult to be a functioning addict. It is painful and tiring and it is not fun. After a while, it’s not even fun getting high. You just become dependent. Quitting is unimaginable. You want to, but just can’t. You’re on a run away train.
I believe the first step is choosing a side to fight for. Paying no mind condones loss of life. Paying no mind puts you on the wrong side on this fight.
Currently, our society pretty much waits until they have to step in to do anything. They wait for you to go to jail for you to go to rehab. In state run rehab, a large portion of the people plan to get high as soon as they leave, there just there to appease the court system and not go back to jail. In a private rehab, a large portion of addicts go to appease their enablers.
This drug epidemic needs to be stopped years before this happens. We all grow up knowing that drugs are bad but some type of life void eventually weighs out our common sense.
I believe our middle schools and high schools should be given a period each day to work a 12 step program tailored to age. A 12 step program is a process developed to overcome void or life problems. It could be tailor fit for any behavior or circumstance.
This is not a democratic or republican issue nor solution. In a world where we want a better future for our children, we would give them this gift. Therefore, it should be no problem, right? Who should I ask to help?