March 22, 2023

As kids, we were never told why people turn to drugs

This archived article was written by: Frank Saccomanno

Ever since the third grade, I was force fed reasons why not to use drugs. In junior high, I remember sitting in class listening to D.A.R.E. officers say things like “drugs destroy your body,” “drugs are bad for you,” and “drugs are illegal.” My classmates and I would be shown graphic images of addict’s decaying bodies. We would see mugshots of regular looking people, then we’d see that same person after 10 years of doing drugs. It was disgusting, I must admit, especially in the eyes of a 12 year old.
However, not once did the D.A.R.E. officers ever discuss the reasons why people do drugs. Yes, those pictures did steer me, and probably 90 percent of my class, away from drugs, but what about the other 10 percent. We were never told why people use drugs, it was always just a matter of “we can’t save them all.” As a class we were never told that at least two of us were going to end up using drugs.
I always thought to myself how can people use drugs with the knowledge of what they do to your body, but they still did. Yeah, those people that used drugs knew of the severe consequences, but why would they care. “Drugs will make you lose friends,” but these people were already alone; abandoned by society and parents. “Drugs will destroy your body,” but these people’s bodies were already defiled by molestation and self harm. The illegality of drugs made them want to do them more, drugs make them “feel alive” or just feel in general.
Hopeless people use drugs. How can we expect a child who has lost a parent, been molested, or been abandoned to have hope. All they feel is loss, all they are is broken, nobody can understand what they feel, because what they feel is nothing.
Then they try it, it makes them feel warm, calm and happy. They finally feel comfortable in their own home, all the stresses of school and life suddenly disappear. Their scarred bodies are suddenly filled with a warm lava of disconnection. The drugs are the only thing that make them comfortable in the messed up lives they have been thrown into. Sure they feel like an outcast, but they were before. They are already at rock bottom with nothing else to lose but their life, which seems like a preferable option.

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