It goes without saying that drug use around the world is illegal. And while the dangers of ingesting these substances warrant their illegality, there is also another facet to drug addiction (or any type of addiction, for that matter) that is just as important, and does not get nearly as much recognition in the media and in everyday life. That facet is the health issues that drug addiction cause. While we spend a lot of time and money focusing on drug addiction as a criminal act, we must spend more time addressing its severity as health issue. This is where the root of the problem lies. This is where attention to detail must be paid.
Understanding that drug addiction is a health issue is something that many people cannot wrap their heads around. People often view drug addiction as a self-imposed act of idiocy, and nothing more. Realistically, however, drug addiction is often kick-started through a mentality that is both broken and isolated. And even when addicts begin the search for help, this preconceived societal attitude remains decidedly negative. For any positive change to occur, we must change this approach first and foremost. We are part of the health crisis becoming so much worse.
Rehabilitation is a process that only really works when the individual themselves is entirely ready to make the change. When an individual makes the courageous decision to pull themselves out of the haze of addiction enough to simply admit that they need help, we should be doing our absolute best to encourage and support that train of thought. Without encouragement and ongoing support, this train of thought passes through one ear and out the other, and the person falls back into addiction as quickly as they fell into it in the first place.
The severity of the health implications caused by drug addiction is so massive, that it realistically needs to be explored in depth. But in short, individuals who suffer from drug addiction cause significantly more damage to their bodies and minds, than those who do not use drugs and other illicit substances. Sometimes, the damage can become too much, and the body succumbs to the addiction. Death by drug addiction is becoming more and more common, and there is an innate sense of panic. We have the capacity to be part of the problem. We must make the choice to be, and to be every day, not just when it suits us.
Drug addiction is one of the most dangerous forms of addiction because of the short amount of time that it takes to take tight grasp of the people it affects. The health issues that surround and are directly associated with drug addiction (and again, all forms of addiction) are issues that demand more attention – not just from the medical industry, but from the world. Being supportive and open is the only way to help these people walk through the fire, and find their way through to the other side. And everyone – I repeat, everyone – deserves that chance.