Personal Reflection

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Substance abuse is unfortunately something that has affected most of our lives in some way. Whether it involves an immediate family member or just someone we know of, a memory or picture comes into our minds when we hear the words drugs, abuse, addiction, etc. I personally believe that although addiction is a disease, the steps that lead to it are choices.
Many people tend to be uneducated about how a person becomes addicted to a drug. It is often assumed that abusers lack common sense, moral principles or willpower. Drug addiction is actually a very complex disease that requires much more than good intentions to overcome. The initial decision to consume drugs in any way is voluntary for most people. After that, changes in the brain occur over time and challenge a person’s self-control.
So why do we harm our bodies and take drugs? The possibilities are endless. Many people feel that it is necessary to drink or experiment with drugs to satisfy a certain stereotype or to fit in at social gatherings. Others use drugs as a way to cope with daily stresses such as tension from school or work, relationship distress, or even physical illness. Drugs are also used as a way to compensate for feelings of guilt or low self-esteem. None of these reasons are “rightful” or “equitable”.
I personally believe that here in the United States, drug use and abuse is a problem. Drug abuse and addiction have a much greater amount of negative consequences than they ever will have positive. These consequences don’t just affect us individually; they also affect our society as a whole. The total overall cost of substance abuse in the U.S. exceeds $600 billion annually. Family disintegration, loss of employment, failure in school, domestic violence and child abuse are all non-monetary implications of drug abuse.
No single factor can predict whether a person will or will not become…...

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