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Addiction

By , Marietta, GA
Many people have parts inside of themselves that have turned rotten. It may be because of a past suffering that person has endured. It may be because of a psychological disturbance. Or, it may be because of a different example; one that has affected thousands upon thousands over the past years – addiction. Maybe sex addiction. Maybe a smoking addiction. Or, in my cousin’s case, an addiction to alcohol.
Alcohol interferes with the communication between the nerve cells and all the other cells, and impacts many centers in the brain. Alcohol abuse is said to kill over 75,000 Americans each year and also shortens those life spans by an elephantine 30 years. This type of abuse affects about 10% of women and 20% of men…. Most beginning by their mid to late teenage years.

My cousin was a very bright high school student, which unfortunately was not reflected in his grades. He always scored very highly on standardized tests, but by his sophomore year he was mixed in with the wrong group of people. He started sneaking out on school nights, smoking, and eventually, drinking heavily. He started college, but did not finish his first year and instead dropped out within the first six months. He was arrested several times for various minor charges after, and fired many times from different jobs.

In his mid-twenties, my cousin decided to clean up his act. He quit smoking, and settled down with a serious girlfriend that would in later years become his fiancé. However, the one thing that he just couldn’t shake? The amount of alcohol he was consuming.

As my mom was cooking our dinner one night, she picked up the phone with my hysterical aunt on the line. Through sobs, my aunt explained how in a drunken stupor, my cousin had overdosed on painkillers and almost killed himself. His girlfriend had come home, saw him on the floor, and rushed him to the hospital. Thankfully, he was currently in stable condition.

After my cousin got out of the hospital, my aunt urged him to attend AA meetings. He agreed, and the family started to see positive, albeit slow, progress in him. Dependence on alcohol is a serious issue, and it seems we do not realize it until it gives us a slap in the face with something as extreme as suicide. Thankfully, many organizations are out there to help – a few include Al-Anon Family Groups Headquarters, Inc. (a support group), and the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention.

Alcohol addiction also relates to Transcendentalism and its characteristic of nature and perfection. Dependence on alcohol creates an evil inside of someone that cannot be tamed. It claws its way out of their insides, altering moods and one’s perception on life. Every definition of transcendentalism relates back to one main point – nature and its beauty. With the addiction of alcohol, a person is unable to see the pure simplicity of nature and all its perfection, and instead seems to be swallowed into a hole of evil based on uncontrollable dependence. The constant yearning for a depressant causes them to only see the black in the world.




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