When it comes to drugs, alcohol, and other substances, abuse is quite prevalent in society. However, it seems that adolescents are taking the cake in this particular subject possibly because they are young, new to different environments, and influenced by many factors. There have been many negative effects on individuals who take these drugs and their lives due to the abuse and regular usage of substances. In efforts to cope with these problems, many people attend rehabilitation facilities and other treatment programs. The person who I interviewed dealt with substance abuse such as cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, and xanax. He has gone through many obstacles in his life that have caused him to get into these dangerous habits and have brought down spiraling impacts on his life. On maintaining the upmost confidentiality of his identity, my interviewee will be referred to as Randy.
Randy and I knew each other fairly well while growing up. He was raised in a friendly, middle-class family that had quite a clean background. The parents never drank or smoked, and were quite religious and sticking through good morals and behavior. While growing up, Randy went to school and played many sports. He was the athletic type and every chance he would get; he would be playing his favorite sport, basketball. Basketball was not only his favorite sport, but also the open door to all the craziness that started happening in his life. It wasn’t the game of basketball itself that led him to start taking in substances; it was his surroundings. In middle school, Randy was on the star basketball team and was always associating with his teammates. It turns out that his teammates had their own little activities after basketball practice. They rolled up a blunt and started to “puff puff pass” to each other and got high. Now growing up his parents taught him not to indulge in any sort of habit that could negatively affect him physically or mentally. However, his teammates quickly became his closest friends and convinced him to start smoking marijuana. As time went on, Randy became a pothead and kept smoking everyday, perhaps even three to four times a day. At first, he didn’t seem to experience any problems at first, but eventually his grades started slipping. The effects that marijuana put on him were similar to those described on the National Institute of Drug Abuse website such as feelings of “anxiety, fear, distrust, [and] panic” along with hallucinations” ("DrugFacts: Marijuana"). In addition he had started to become addicted to the feeling of being high and became dependent on marijuana because without it, he felt depressed.
In order to continue fitting in with his friends, he started drinking alcohol. Just like marijuana, he started off drinking in moderation. However, due to peer pressure at parties and from friends, his alcohol intake started to increase. He would often combine the use of alcohol and marijuana to get “cross-faded”. His addition increased as he threw his “conscience out the window”. At first, he could not handle the feeling but eventually, it helped his escape his reality world since he would often blackout and not remember the mistakes he was making. This affected him not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. He almost always got away with it until one day his parents caught him. He did not get in much trouble so he did not stop taking marijuana and drinking alcohol. This continued even after he ended up in the hospital several times for alcohol poisoning. According to collegedrinkingprevention.gov, alcohol “depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing and the gag reflex (which prevents choking). A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop these functions.” Alcohol poisoning can worsen even while a person is unconscious since “ person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can continue to rise even while he or she is passed out” ("Facts About