Dear Mr. or Mrs. President,
I always dreamed of going to an Ivy League college. It didn’t matter how far, as long as it promoted my dream-job goal, paleontology. Until a few years ago, I had no doubt I would accomplish this. But one day after one of my many basketball games, my mom broke some terrible news, my older brother passed away.
I didn’t get the full story ever, just bits and pieces I put together along the way. He was a rugby player, from what I understand a pretty good one. One day he got injured in a game and went to the doctor they had on campus. They prescribed him oxycontin, a strong opioid pain medication for a merely minor injury. He took one as prescribed, on the next day he took more, and on and on. Until he reached the bottom of the bottle. He wanted more, he needed more. He was addicted. He bought more online, but he was a college student, he didn’t have that much money to keep spending on the expensive drugs. There must be a cheaper way to get the same feel, right? Keith turned to heroin, cheaper and stronger. March 18, 2014, after deciding to visit for a week he overdosed on our living room couch. This situation was extremely unexpected and could’ve been prevented.
Before this, prescription drug abuse had already increased so much it was the second most abused drug behind marijuana. Center for Disease Control stated that in 2011 3.7% of drug deaths among 15-to-24-year olds were attributed to opioid pain relievers compared to 2.2% illegal drugs. The misuse of these drugs can lead to cardiovascular issues, seizures, and respiratory problems. Not only are these drugs hazardous, but they are gateway drugs to illegal drugs, mainly heroin. Almost 50% of young heroin abusers admitted to opioid abuse before beginning heroin. With heroin being cheaper, easier to find, and giving the same or stronger high, it is the perfect alternative. Or is it?
Zogby Analytics conducted a poll in which students and parents felt there was little or nothing to prevent prescription drug abuse. My mom has already decided I am not allowed to got to college more than an hour away. This can change. By educating college students we can decrease abuse. Not those middle school assembly or Health classes that no one takes seriously with the Rent-a-Cop teaching. In ways that make people think they are figuring it out themselves. Some great ways to promote awareness are good commercials or school rallies with alarming but truthful facts.
So, Mr. or Mrs. President, I hope you read this to give you insight about drug abusers and its effect on the people around them. To understand the seriousness of this increasing issue and how easy it is for someone to slide into the habit. To honor my big brother who just made one mistake. And to help me achieve my goals and my dreams with a drug free college with my mom not falling asleep worried every night that I am gone.
With optimism and honor,
Future Paleontologist Xxaria Makely