Among hypertension, asthma, and cardiovascular disease, is another very serious problem: drug addiction. Addiction to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, etc. does not harm any one particular age group but rather is harmful to all the age groups. The scary part is that any person, at any age can get addicted to drugs, nicotine, and so on. We all need to take steps to prevent drug addiction because people are dying due to drug abuse. According to the article, “The Science of Addiction,” by NIH, statistically more than 90,000 Americans die due to addiction to illicit/prescribed drugs and alcohol (3). Once a person gets addicted to drugs, it is hard to stop the use, but it is not impossible. There are numerous reasons for why an individual may want to use illicit/prescribed drugs. However, the more common reasons are to feel better about one’s self, to join the bandwagon, peer pressure, for help with against anxiety or depression, and or due to their stressful home environment. Prescription drugs are an increasing problem among teens.
Normally, for all drugs it takes some time to show the effects; however, most young people are not aware of this thus when they do not feel the high immediately they tend to take more drugs. Consequently, the increased dosage of drugs can result in a fatal crisis. Moreover, to heighten the effect of drugs, teenagers often tend to mix drugs with alcohol, which is a lethal decision to make. Drug abuse could not only be fatal, but it can also increase the risk of making poor decisions, developing mental disorders, and such. Statistically, high drug abuse is observed mostly among teenage groups. Therefore, to decrease the number of people getting addicted to drugs, schools and colleges should pay extra attention in hold seminar or health fairs to inform students to the negative effects of drug abuse. Similarly, doctors should pay close attention to details such as, the duration of time between refills, when authorizing usage of pain medication or other addictive medicines. Many teens get drugs from their family members’ prescriptions. Therefore, members in the family taking medication should keep track of their pills. I personally think that everyone has to commit themselves to the task in order to decrease the number of deaths/accidents taking place due to overdose of illicit and prescribed drugs.
Drug abuse is not the only issue; underage drinking and usage of marijuana/heroin are also some of the issues that need to be addressed. In the article, “Underage Drinking: A Developmental Framework,” the authors states that “Data from multiple, nationally representative surveys indicate that rates of alcohol use and binge alcohol use increase sharply between ages 12 and 21”(S235). This clearly insinuates that schools and colleges should take some steps to promote sobriety and reduce drug abuse. Individuals do not just wake up one morning and decide to try, let’s say, heroin or alcohol. The majority of them are influenced by their social lifestyles, depression, anxiety, etc. All these factors are frequently observed among students. For example, if the parents drink in front of their children, then their [children’s] usage of alcohol is higher. Hence, adults should make sure that they are setting a good example for their children. As one goes to college, his/her surroundings change, making them more vulnerable to alcohol and drug abuse.
Therefore, colleges should provide new incoming students with role models who can show them around and assist them. Similarly, schools and the colleges should have plays/skits displaying the drawbacks of using illicit drugs and alcohol. In the article, “ In Heroin Crisis, White Families Seek Gentle War on Drugs,” by Katharine Q. Seelye, she highlights a brilliant idea to increase awareness among societies. Family members who lost their loved ones to Heroin and people who recovered from long term substance abuse spread awareness by sharing their experiences. Nothing is better than sharing one’s own experience to appeal to the audience emotionally and encourage them to come forward and accept that they have problem and to seek help. As one gets more and more addicted to the substance, their brain and behavior starts to change. It’s one’s family and friend’s responsibility to take this change in behavior into account as a sign that something is wrong. No doubt, it is hard to give up once a person is addicted to certain substances, however, it is not impossible and it is never too late to stop.