2013 PSA anti-drug commercial
I was quite reluctant at first to talk about this sensitive subject. People could think I’m only sixteen, I don’t know much about life. And I understand why people could tell me that. Therefore, I was very perplexed about it; as it is delicate but also personal in some way. Then, I read an article in the newspaper regarding people hiding the fact that they know drug addicts. I also went through vile online comments from people blaming addicts, asserting they should not be treated because of the waste of money of the State. Such comments outraged me. Eventually I made up my mind and decided to open up about drug use and addiction. If someone has to tell their own story to get the others really aware, then I’m ready to be this one. If we keep quiet about this sort of issues, how will future generations – your little sisters and brothers – will apprehend the topic?
I have seen such substances almost ruining lives in the past. I live in an environment in which people constantly smoke whatever substance they can obtain. My father used to do drugs sometimes with his brother in his twenties. I assume that they were doing it for fun. He was dragged again into this vicious circle, after launching his own restaurant with his brother, less than eight years ago, due to overwhelming financial problems. He eventually went to rehab for alcoholism and drug abuse of a strong substance. I became aware of what had really happened during this time only years later, and it came as a shock. He is nearly ten-year sober now (2016), living a nearly healthy life (2016 note: at the time I was writing this because since then he contracted a chronic disease as a result of his past abuses > thus leading to more health problems). However, he has a daily methadone treatment to follow meticulously. He does keep smoking cigarettes but I guess that after enduring years of addiction it may never leave him.
On the other hand, I go to school and see lots of young people doing drugs regularly. I presume they always feel the need to. Every five-minutes break is an opportunity to get cigarettes, when it’s not something else. Whether it be to fit into groups, to look cool or in order to forget about personal struggles. Yet, drugs tend to emphasize other struggles, adding only more problems to someone’s life. I feel like young people don’t think about that aspect but that’s what my father’s story taught me: it only makes it worse.
People at times tried to convince me so bad to start smoking in order to have fun and be less tense. Yet, I always refused. Should I demolish my health and take the risk to become addicted just to seem cool and trendy for a little while? No way. Nowadays, it is completely normal to be stoned at school, isn’t that surreal or am I a total old-fashioned chick? The more time elapses, the more you do greater things at a younger age. There are plenty of cliques in school, obviously there’s the stoner one. Is drug use in this environment a new way of being friend with someone and discover all the beauty of life. For now, they are just smoking joints, but they clearly are addicted; so what if they start something harsher tomorrow? Would they ever be able to stop? Yes, no, perhaps? Whatever happens afterwards, the use (and the abuse) of drug obviously will have strong consequences one the user’s health.
Nonetheless, I’m even more upset by people blaming drug addicts for a money matter ‘because it’s always a choice, they’re bad persons and they could never change’. In most cases, it’s not just a choice. It is a great amount of emotions intermingled together at some point in someone’s life. Moreover, you can’t judge a drug addict only by knowing the fact that he or she is a drug addict. How about overdose afterwards? I presume it’s savage, yet it still happens that people claim that the ones who succumb to such tragedy deserved it as a punishment for using it. What a dreadful mistake is to think that!
To be honest, I am against cigarette too. I mean it does ruin your condition. Numerous expert studies have proven it. They are lectures in almost every school in developed countries about cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, addiction and yet students don’t listen anymore although they are literally ruining their health. The question of how damaging these products are compared to others has arisen. The legalization of such drugs in the some states of America as a “recreational product” is confusing. In fact, some studies might have proven that there is no great danger about it (I haven’t read any of these, and wouldn’t affirm these statements). Nevertheless, these are addictive substances and anything used at an extreme level becomes harmful. I wonder how would those teen smokers react if they apprised that their beloved mother or father were diagnosed with lung cancer because of their smoking habit? There are thousands of children dying of genetic cancers in hospitals who won’t ever be able to grow up like you and me and have as much fun as we get. They’ll be having tests and new treatments on a daily basis, while eighteen-year-old boys and girls are actually destroying themselves thinking it is amusing, wasting precious time (because you wouldn’t have any idea of how much it really is). I call it disrespect as I have seen for years my mother’s cancer making life almost feeling like hell at times.
Of course, the effect of drug use is usually perceivable on a long-term scale like he harshest drugs (as cocaine and heroin) have shown on a series of pictures published last year (link). It might start with pot today and end up with cocaine in twenty years, because we never know what life’s made of.
I have this prestigious pride that I never ever attempted to use such damaging things and I do admire people with that quality. Doing drugs only add more problems to your life, I do not think it is a way to have fun and solve your problems. Do not be influenced by everything people will say around you. Stand up to these friends of yours who hardly want to persuade you to try it ‘just once’; be smarter even if it’s hard, I’m sure you can do it.
And if you encounter an ex-drug addict someday, don’t be judgmental. Listen to their story and let that story be the reason why you choose to abstain from doing drugs, the same way I learned from my father’s history.