Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend that prompted me to type this article.  I think this is a very important subject, but the world doesn’t seem to be getting the message.

My friend told me the story of a person she knew who had become addicted to the prescription drug oxycontin, which he was given after an injury.  He became so dependent on the drug that he couldn’t function without it.  Desperate to get more of the drug than his prescription amount, he robbed a pharmacy using a gun and consequently ended up in prison. He is a decent person who was out of control and desperate from use of this drug.  How many times have you heard this kind of story? I know I have…many times.

What he should have done was to ask for help, not rob the pharmacy…okay, that’s obvious.  But for anyone who has ever experienced dependence from a strong drug like oxycontin, you know how the drug takes over your body, your mind and your ability to function.  Drugs make you crazy, distort decision making and turn a person into someone they are not.  Of course, street drugs destroy the body in the long run.

I personally know the sick feeling…even feeling like I was dying from withdrawal of a prescription drug I was given.  These prescription narcotic-like drugs (meaning any drug that causes dependence) sneak up on you.  You take them as prescribed and, voila, you’re addicted (I’m told the correct word is dependent…what’s the difference?) I sincerely wish doctors would be more diligent about prescribing these in the first place but more importantly, monitoring their use. Endlessly renewing prescriptions cause people to become…dependent. The drug I was prescribed, ativan, is widely used and has a wonderful calming effect as an antianxiety agent.  But taking the drug as prescribed…which was way more than I needed (I had no idea), and taking it for four months, I was hooked and sick from it. The issue of having to deal with coming off of the drug severely affected my life, my job and raising my children.  It took me six months to get off of it, and I did it myself.  It happens to all of us at some point in our lives that we need help. Experiencing this effect from a dependence causing drug has given me understanding as to how difficult it is to function once these drugs take over our bodies.  Okay enough of my story. 

Then my friend and I contemplated all the destruction that drug and alcohol use does in this world.  Of course I’m talking about excessive use, unmonitored use, and street use. 

How many people are likely in jail, no matter what crime they were convicted of, where the underlying issue is some kind of drug or alcohol use?

How many people die from drug or alcohol related accidents or overdose?

How many teens and young adults die or are severely disabled because of their experimentation with drugs or alcohol?

How much money is wasted on acquisition of drugs and alcohol?

How many lives are destroyed from drug or alcohol use…including family members?

How many people spend their lives in a fog of just surviving because of drug and alcohol use?

But the biggest questions to ask…

Why do we need them in the first place?

Why do we need that kind of high?

Why do we need to have an artificial high in the first place?

Why do people choose to destroy their bodies from drug and alcohol use?

If drugs and alcohol are so wonderful, why are there centers to treat their destructive use and help people get off of them?

Why are drugs or alcohol more important that what we can do naturally to enjoy life?  What’s wrong with the high we can get from life, love, going after dreams, people, and all the wonderful things there are to enjoy that are free?

(And if your drug is a prescription, please monitor its use yourself, because in the long run you are the one suffering the effect.)

Yesterday I had an ah-ha moment in realizing just how prevalent the use of drugs and alcohol is and how much it destroys lives. 

You don’t need this so just say no from the beginning.

Enjoying life naturally is a whole lot better than any drug. This you do for yourself and for the people you love.  I hope this helps just one person (at least) to rethink using drugs or alcohol at all much less excessively or illegally.