When you're a nurse, especially if you have mental health nursing as your specialty or interest , you are taught of this different perspective towards sensitive issues that make majority of the society turn away in disgust, such as promiscuity and drugs. I have embraced empathy so much, that sometimes people think "Do you honestly think that people who do not take responsibility for their acts are still worthy of your empathy?" My answer is: "Everyone deserves to be heard and be given the chance to explain for what has brought them to where they are now, and from there, the process of recovery starts. It's just like a disease… If we do not understand what happened and what's going on, we will not be able to cure it, and the cycle will go on, and everyone will be affected."
Drug abusers. Obviously, these words are negative. When you think of them, they are linked to violence and crime. I have encountered a negative experience with the "rugby boys" before. Me and my friend were walking when we got cornered by kids who were high, and were harrassing us to give them our food, and my wallet. Luckily, some of our guy classmates came to rescue us. This is just one of the negative behaviours that come after being on drugs, and there are other plenty scenarios that are more sensitive than our encounter, such as situations leading to rape and murder.
I know that plenty of us have been affected by these drug abusers so much, that we do not give them the chance to change, because we think they are hopeless and undeserving. I understand where this is coming from, especially if you lost people or even your dignity after being abused by someone under the influence. It is hard to forgive and understand them, and we think of them as irresponsible and "life wasters". Of course, justice shall be and must be rewarded to the offended subjects, but in this post, I would like to dwell on the other side--the drug abuser's side.
I have been dealing with patients who were and still are abusing drugs. If you listen to their stories, they have been through a lot, such as sexual abuse when they were a child by their father and/or brother (leading them to possibly transferring the harmful act to others as a psychological effect). I know what you will say, "I know people who have been there, but they managed to be strong and not depend on other substance to keep them going." Well, maybe that's because they were able to gain good coping skills through the people around them. It could also be because of their personality--they can cope by choosing and using proper resources, plus they may have a good support system, wherein they received help right away. Or maybe they're dealing with it through a more acceptable act by the society, like drinking excessively, which is just the same as abusing drugs, as it also has destructive effects.
We must keep in mind that there are people out there who have weak decision-making & coping skills, as well as a support system, especially if they were traumatized by their past. Usually, they do not have the right people around them to tell them that this is good or this is bad. Aside from the lack of support, they have the external factors that push them to do what should not be done. If these are the kind of people whom they can only run to and trust, then it's the start of their downfall. They are already vulnerable from whatever has caused them to having such addiction, and will continuously be a victim of their own issues.
Also, it could be the composition of their mind and body. Sometimes, there is an imbalance among certain substances and hormones in their body, especially in the brain, that make them think,feel, and act differently beyond their control, wherein they are easily susceptible to the influence of drugs, and during such cases, only medications can manage them. No matter how hard we try to make them understand what we morally think is right, we just couldn't make them because they are not capacitated with the normal physiological factors and mental health that we have.
Everyone is affected by drugs. Whether a user or not, everyone is a victim. It's a two-way process. As a society, we affect them and make them worse with either rejection or harmful acts, and at the same time, we are victims as we are burdened by their behaviour. It will forever be a cycle if we do not act on it by simply understanding the underlying factors that are causing them to dwell on drugs (e.g. bullying), so that we can prevent future drug abusers. Also, help can come in forms of social services, rehabilitation, and promotion of awareness, with focus on healing the cause of such act (e.g. family disputes) to prevent further progression of addiction. They do not mean what they do at times, especially when they are high. There are times that they want to stop, but their body is physiologically dependent on drugs, that if they do not take them, they experience life-threatening symptoms, leading them to continue what they are doing. They could not just stop, and when they do without proper help, they may just die.
They seriously need help. Drug addiction is already a shout for help, and if we keep shutting them off instead of sending them help, drug addiction will continue, and so will the acts that they do which will affect us as a whole. If we help them, we also help ourselves. Remember, they also have loved ones who are deeply wounded by their loss of someone to drugs. We must think of these people too. What if it happens to any of us? What would you want the people around you to do? In the end, basically, everyone deserves a good life--even those who seem to be frowned upon by everyone.
Addiction should never be treated as a crime. It has to be treated as a health problem. - Ralph Nader
About the Blogger:
Traveliztera a.k.a. Steph is a nurse who has been blogging online since she was 13 years old. She blogs about everything which aims to keep people happy, as she wants everyone to realize that life is worth enjoying. Her blog is "Traveliztera: Randomly Entertaining" which covers any topic that is of positive nature. Since she loves to make people laugh, she also vlogs, sings, and makes crazy video productions on her Youtube channel, under the username "mshypersinger". Everything she does has the goal of just entertaining and spreading happiness. Much love! <3