Should we redefine what an addiction is?

This thought occurred to me as I was watching a movie. A really dramatic and quite ridiculous movie to be exact, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. To just give a super brief summary; a crazy drug lord lady poisons her supply with a deadly virus that will infect whomever uses the drug. It will induce paralysis, psychosis, and eventually death. She does this, and uses it as a threat to the government for money, as her leverage is she has the antidote. In the movie we see millions and millions of people being affected, even some political officials, just everyday people. It’s a ludicrous idea, but it left me thinking. Say something like this seriously did happen, almost every single one of my friends, and even some relatives would be dead. Most of my school would be gone, the people on my block, kids, teens, adults, dead. That is a scary thought.

The legalization of weed is practically on the brink of happening, but lets clarify the real reason why. The government is not legalizing it because they really believe it would help people, it’s a money pit. Same thing with opioids, they are deadly, but again, money. Many people will disagree with me, and I am so open to conversation, but I speak from downright personal experience. Friends that I have since high school have changed for the worse, and it is because of pot and other socially accepted substances. People can not tell me these things are not addictive, because they are. I have friends who have told me, crying, “I can’t stop” or “I wish I could be like you and just say no”. The same goes for drinking. A girl I know drinks half a bottle of wine in between classes because she gets shaky if she doesn’t. Am I the only on that thinks this is a deep issue?

I am a minority, most people I know that are my age drink on the daily. And I’m not implying like going out after work and talking. I mean it’s a mission to get black out drunk and not feel for a while. Friends I have can’t go a couple of days without some sort of substance. They use to do drugs during lunch, rolled joints in class, while driving. They were, and still are addicted.

Granted, these friends and fellow classmates of mine didn’t just stick with weed. They upgraded eventually to acid, shrooms, coke, LSD, even ecstasy. The weed wasn’t enough anymore, and they needed the next best high. Friends I had in HS are now college dropouts, and the worst is seeing recent pictures of them. They look old, and quite frankly, like drug addicts. Newsflash, they are! I’m tired of people, especially kids and teens, being under the impression that pot and alcohol are natural therefore ok. Thinking they can stop whenever they want. That’s not the truth. It is an addiction, I’ve seen it, and so has the rest of the world. My generation has become overwhelmingly stupefied. We classify addiction as a dependence on and inability to stop using a substance. Well, then a huge portion of the young population are addicts. When that becomes the go to, the craving, the need in order to engage in social interaction or function, it is, by DEFINITION, an addiction.

Marijuana has helped adults and children I know with their chronic illnesses or special needs. It hasn’t however, solved anything for my former fully functioning friends. I can see it physically, emotionally, and cognitively. It has been proven that these things deplete the brain of the ability to process information in those who start abusing the drug at a young age. The other side of the argument is that many of the youth now are depressed and need something to cope. That’s not the way to go about it. It’s the same argument for people in pain, they are given opiates and can never really get better. Their “coping mechanism” becomes a full-blown dependence. They don’t even know if they are still in pain, because they have never been given the opportunity to feel without the drugs. This is the same with emotional trauma or problems. We aren’t addressing the issue, we are suppressing it. And just for argument’s sake, is it possible that many of the youth are depressed because they haven’t been given the chance to function normally?They have been given these drugs in the hopes to fit in or seem cool, and can’t get out from under themselves. Why are we normalizing this behavior?

Children with epilepsy and people with cancer arent rolling joints and smoking habitually, they take it in other forms or smoke it occasionally to try to alleviate symptoms of their struggles. So yes, legalize it, but make it clear that it really should be for cases like those. Same thing goes for the excess drinking and other substances, my generation, the one previously and the one following, are becoming addicts.

And I am tired of being shamed because I’m not one.

O

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What it’s like to be an Antisocial Butterfly

To start this whole adventure off, I just wanted to state, this is not a place to mope and project the whole “Woe is Me” attitude. This is a place for those who feel that way to engage in thought about why they aren’t alone, or strange. To stop questioning what is wrong with them. The simple answer is nothing. My whole life I have never felt like I fit in. Yet, I wasn’t the girl who was staying up late at night, praying to some higher power, wishing I could become the popular girl. The truth is, I was never unpopular. I have always been very well liked, and sought after in social settings. However, I feel like I never belong anywhere. My favorite part of any social interaction was, and still is, saying goodbye. I am referring to the fact that I don’t subscribe to the social norms people do today. I do not smoke, I do not drink, I don’t like frat parties, and I never figured out how to use Tinder. I mean for crying out loud, the only streak I have going for me is the fact that I haven’t posted for 20 weeks! Many reading this may think “thats not a big deal, who cares?”, but many of us know, people do seem to care. Well, actually “care” isn’t the word, its more like they seem confused. To reiterate, I am a college student, in New York city, and I don’t like what has been presented as the way to “enjoy your youth”.

Despite what many say, it does become a struggle for those like us. It becomes a big deal when your out with friends at a bar they picked out, and you ask for water instead of a beer. Peoples heads tilt. Or when your at someones home, sitting in a literal social circle, playing hot potato with a blunt and you don’t take a hit. Expressions become those of  offense. Many of you know the looks I am talking about, and you understand what it’s like to to feel you have to try to defend and explain yourself. Eventually you may have gotten to the point where people just don’t invite you. Not because they don’t like you, but because they know you wouldn’t engage in what they are planning. Thats a horrible feeling. It hurts because you haven’t done anything wrong. I think the feelings of sadness come from the fact that we try and do everything right. Go to work, try hard in school, maybe even exercise, drink eight glasses of water a day, whatever it is, we try to do the right thing. And yet, it feels wrong. Even my boss and coworkers were confused as to why I, an underaged girl, wasn’t drinking off the free wine cart with them.

I am listing all these experiences because I want to convince you, not peer pressure you, into feeling that I understand, even though many people don’t. I have these experiences every day of my life. I know what its liked to be social but to feel embarrassed for what you don’t want to participate in. To try and hide how you feel because you’re afraid of  being alone. This is why I started Odd One In. I want to build a community in which people feel supported for doing the right thing and not looked at as lame. You are not. We are not. I can assure you, as well as myself when Im in doubt, just because we don’t meet people like us often, it doesn’t mean we are alone.

O