Mikaela D. Pennsylvania

Drug Abuse

One of my best friends passed away over the summer of 2016 at the age of only 15 because he didn't grow up with the proper education on the dangers of drugs

Dear future president,

At the age of only 15, one of my best friends passed away over the summer of 2016. Drug abuse is very serious and we should do our best at trying to end, or at least prevent, the use of drugs in the United States. Most people don't understand why or how people become addicted to drugs. Drug abuse is a complex disease, however, and quitting takes more than a strong will or good intentions, but drug abuse/addiction can be prevented.

Most civilians assume that people under the influence of drugs lack willpower and that they should just be able to stop taking dugs by simply choosing to. But, quite frankly, those people are wrong. Drug addiction, or just addiction in general, is a chronic disease. Usually, the decision to take drugs for most people is voluntary but repeated drug use can lead to challenging an addict's self control and prevent them from their ability to resist sudden urges to take drugs. When someone is addicted to drugs they find their drug use compulsive even though they fully understand the harmful consequences.

Many individuals that have never done drugs, or only done them once or twice believe that addicts should be able to quit the second they decide to, but sadly that's not how it works. While on constant use of drugs, the brain adjusts to the excess dopamine, that it creates on the use of drugs, by making less of it. This reduces the feeling of being high, making the addict want to take more of the drug to regain the high feeling. Because of how the use of drugs affects the brain, drug addiction is considered a relapsing disease. This basically means people in recovery from drug use/addiction are at the risk of using the drug again even after a few years of not taking the drug. More people need to understand this disease so they know that once addicted to drugs it's extremely hard to quit even when the addict wants to.

So, can drug abuse be cured or prevented? Well, as with other diseases like diabetes or asthma, treatment helps but isn't generally a cure. However, it is treatable and can be successfully managed. Also, drug use is preventable. Research shows that prevention programs are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction. I strongly recommend that our next president takes action in making sure kids grow up with the proper education on drugs. We should start by teaching younger children that drugs are very bad and dangerous. As kids get older, around fourth and fifth grade, they should start learning about drugs in more detail such as what drugs do to our body. Once kids have a better chance at using drugs, around eighth grade through high school, we should be learning about drugs very seriously, without anyone sugar coating the subject. They should learn things such as, what people look like before and after using drugs, what drugs do to your body, graphic pictures and videos of people on drugs, and deaths caused by the use of drugs.

To conclude, the topic of drug addiction should be taken very seriously because it takes over someone's life and it's almost impossible to quit once addicted. We should add more classes about drugs in all schools and encourage parents to teach their kids about drug abuse. We need to make sure everyone one knows that drugs have long and short term affects. We all need to do our best to prevent the use of drugs in all areas of the United States.


Mikaela D.