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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

01-05-17 | By

3 Things Everyone in Their 20’s Should Know about Addiction

A Message to Our Youth about Addiction

This new generation gets a lot of grief.

We often hear that millennials are soft or entitled. I admit that even I couldn’t believe hearing the story about how college kids needed safe spaces when Trump got elected. Everyone in my office got a real kick out of that.

Whether or not millennials have it easier than those before them is up for debate. However, if there is one area where this generation fell into a much more difficult set of circumstances, it is that of addiction.

Preparing for the drug and alcohol scene is an often overlooked aspect in raising kids. Americans drink more and do more drugs than almost every other country in the world. We have to think that parenting plays a factor somewhere.

When kids leave high school and head to the workforce or college, they are completely unprepared to cope with how drugs and alcohol will effect their lives. Here are a few things that every young kid needs to know about drugs and alcohol.

The Heroin On the Streets These Days Isn’t Really Heroin

In the last 5 years, we have seen a very deadly and very dangerous trend of heroin being mixed with much more powerful drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil.

I know I mentioned this before, but my father is a medic in Philadelphia. When the fentanyl-laced heroin hit the streets he called me to tell me about how many young kids he watched die and how many kids he had to bring back with Narcan. His stories were haunting.

The saddest part about it is that it is 100% true.

Dealers are blatantly and ruthlessly mixing these insanely powerful drugs with heroin in hopes that they will get their customer base addicted and keep coming back for more.

Listen kids, you should never want to try heroin. It’s not a good idea. But if you are having thoughts about experimenting, you need to understand that the heroin that goes around these days is not really heroin. It’s something else. There is a very good chance that it will kill you in one shot.

These are not scare tactics or sensationalized language. These drugs will legitimately kill you in one shot. Please please don’t mess with it.

A Pill for Every Ill

The pharmaceutical industry is creating a nation of addicts.

I am not going to be protesting outside of pharmaceutical labs any time soon. I think the problem is way bigger than a few evil genius’s inside a conference room deliberately flooding the marketing with painkillers.

RELATED: Tim Visits a Pharmaceutical Lab

However, it has been proven time and time again that the pharmaceutical industry knows about the problem that their pills are creating and turns a blind eye in order to keep profits up. In fact, I read a very alarming article series about a drug firm in West Virginia that deliberately targeted towns where overdoses were above average. It’s crazy.

Pills appear harmless. The bottles have a doctor’s name on them, they are regulated and they don’t have any other drugs in them. You know what you’re getting.

Kids may feel more comfortable taking Xanax or Vicodin at a party, but kids need to understand where this leads.

It is not the first pill. It is not even the first couple pills that get you. But eventually, these drugs will get in your system and you will wake up one day craving them and you don’t know why.

It’s very simple. These drugs are addictive. Eventually, your brain chemistry will be altered and you will find yourself doing things and having thoughts that are unrecognizable to the person you once were. It’s just chemistry.

Stay away from these pills. I know that when you are young and at parties, people may be taking these pills, everyone seems to be having fun and feeling good and doing so without any real consequences. Come back 5 years from now and see what happens.

You do not want that life. Trust me.

Drugs Aren’t What They Used to Be

It’s great to look back at old videos of the 60’s. All the hippies are topless and dancing around, obviously tripping on acid or having just smoked a few joints.

I wonder what would happen if you took the drugs that are around today and gave them to those poor hippies. It would not be as fun loving and “peaceful as we’ve seen in the footage.” It would be chaos.

*I’m having a mental image of half naked hippies running around Woodstock in a panic. Sorry, I had to laugh.*

On a serious note, drugs are cheaper and way more powerful than they ever have been before. Marijuana is something like 20 times more potent than it was in the 60’s. Cocaine is more potent and we have already been through what heroin is like.

Young men and women need to understand this. They need to understand what they are signing up for when they begin to experiment and try new things.

I’m Not Your Dad…

It is difficult writing articles like this because the last thing I want to do is come across as preachy. I have never been a “just say no” kind of guy and I have always believed that addiction isn’t actually about drugs but rather about a malady of the mind, body, and spirit.

With that being said, this information is important because when you are dealing with what is now being called an epidemic, there is a level of control that you are forfeiting.

What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter how mentally strong you are or how strong your relationship with your family is or how much you believe in God. If you take prescription painkillers enough times, you will get addicted.

After that happens, you may very well find that painkillers are too expensive and you have a friend who can get cheap bags of heroin. He’s a good friend so you trust him.

Come to find your friend was getting his dope from another friend who gets it from another guy who laced it with carfentanil. You take a hit and next thing you know you are fading out and suddenly your friends and family are lining up at your grave telling everyone how shocked they are and how “you were such a good kid.”

This isn’t make believe, trust me. This happens every day. I see it happen every day.

You are not special in this regard. Addiction does not recognize special snowflakes.

If you mess around with these kinds of drugs, you will get addicted. Addiction doesn’t care about your past or your family or your circumstances. It won’t go easy on you or treat you differently than anyone else. It will haunt you and torment you in the cruelest of ways.

To the youth of this nation and to the world, I suggest you live your life the way you chose to. But I strongly suggest you respect drugs and alcohol as though it were a T-Rex. If you mess around with it, it will kill you.

No questions asked.

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