Anyone can become addicted- old, young, male, female. When addicted to a substance, you have no control over the choices you make. Someone can be addicted to something after the first use or it could be longer than that. Different people’s bodies react differently, however drugs and alcohol will almost always have a detrimental effect on the body and mind. After a while of using drugs or alcohol, the brain starts to look and function differently from how it did before. You change physically and mentally.
Addiction destroys you. Being dependent on a substance can negatively impact your relationship with your family and friends. Being dependent can lead to issues with work or school. Being dependent can ruin your life. Henry David Thoreau supported self-reliance and he asks, ”If I am not I, who will be?” (Journal) Thoreau would not approve of relying on a substance or anyone else besides you. At some point, an addict no longer has a distinct personality because the addict’s only wish is to get drunk or high. The addict’s self-reliance diminishes. An addict has no control over his or her actions, actions that might even take his or her own life. Alcoholics are dying from alcohol poisoning or from a car crash as a result of drunk driving, cocaine addicts are dying of heart attacks or brain damage, heroin addicts are dying from overdoses. Your friends, your family members, your classmates, your co-workers might die from being addicted to various substances.
If you suspect a loved one is addicted to a substance, you can call a help line. You can find an abundance of help line numbers on the internet. Try to help a struggling addict to understand how this substance is hurting their life. Most substance addicts feel they are not addicted and refuse to admit so. The first step to solving the problem is admitting that there is a problem and having the courage to get help. Narcotics Anonymous offers meetings to helpless addicts trying to find clarity. The website has discussion boards and they offer events all around the world all centered around helping struggling individuals.