Addiction | Teen Ink


January 5, 2012
By Caroline Walsh BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
Caroline Walsh BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Imagine yourself skating on ice, dancing like an angel tranquilly. Until suddenly, one of your new friends dares you to glide over the thin sheets further beyond the ponds shallow water. Wanting to know what it’s like, you accept the challenge. As you first enter the thin layer you spin and glide, enjoying the sensation. It makes you feel great about yourself. You feel as if your now friends with that “dare devil” group. You continue swaying wanting more, soaring with the sounds of the sharp blade cutting at the smooth ice. Craving more, you skate deeper into the pond. With your skates scratching up the fairy tale surface you feel the ice grow slicker and slicker under your skates. There is no longer a directorial voice beneath your mind signaling you out of it. People try to pull you out but you refuse. All you want is more. You feel that you cannot function without this sensation. You hardly realize, but your brain is slowly rewiring and your acting different. You no longer have grasp of the movement beneath your skate. It is at this point where you plunge, breaking through ice. Sinking into cold water. Abandoned. Wrecked. Damaged. Addiction is the uncontrollable use of a mind-altering substance or behavior that harms physical, mental, and spiritual health and requires professional support. This follows the definition of health, the balancing of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being using food, rest, exercise, and elimination.
Addiction affects your physical health in many ways. From constantly using, your sleeping patterns may alter. Exercising also may not be in high demand for you no longer, so you will no longer have a healthy, fit, body. A substance such as alcohol can affect your physical health greatly, if a person was to consume too much alcohol for their body to handle, it will be released into the bloodstream. In class there were teens that had overdosed on drinking and were sent away in ambulances rushed to the hospital. The alcohol content in their body was so high that they had their lives at risk. After this class viewing activity, I now know the effects alcohol impairs your physical health by binge drinking.
Addiction affects your mental health greatly. For example it changes your ability to reason. Your decision making varies when you are addicted to a substance. But most importantly addiction spoils your brain. It damages it so severely it is rewired. From the video we saw in class, “The Hijacked Brain.” It showed us how the brain harmed from alcohol was affected. The man’s life changed. He was no longer able to keep a job because of him impaired mental health. His relationships slipped and everything went downhill, the change in his mental health caused him to have a different attitude. He had new interests now. The video further enhanced my understanding on how mental health is affected from addiction.
Although addiction weakens physical and mental health critically, it harms spiritual health just as much. Particular ways addiction upsets spiritual health are family relationships, depression, and low self-esteem (when not high on substance.) When family members are hooked on a substance it can break out into fights. Depression and low self esteem come into play because sometimes the person can hardly get up out of bed without using or get through their day because they believe that their life is so messed up. That guy/girl thinks that they are nothing without it. In class we were gave a homework assignment that gave us a chance to be put in an addicts shoes. We were told not to eat sugar for 24 hours. This activity showed me that the addict can’t just stop. Sugar is tempting to us kids as drugs are tempting to many other people in the world. The sugar activity exposed to me the craves that many addicts must go through. Using makes them feel good about themselves spiritually, as rewarding ourselves with sugar does. I have learned that dopame comes into play in everyone’s spiritual health and that addicts think that drugs and alcohol are giving them their source of it. The sugar activity changed not only how I interperated spiritual health’s play on addiction, but also how it was to be like an addict and that it’s much harder that it seems.
Physical, mental, and spiritual health are harmed greatly from addiction. You are transformed into a new individual. I have learned that too much use can put your life at stake. From learning about the six stages of addiction I know that I want to stay at abstain for all my life. Learning about what these people had to go through from drugs are horrifying. I know that I will be firm to peer pressure and stick to my clear path. If I was to be asked, “Ya want one?” I can distinguish the right answer from what I know about addiction.

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