discussing personal experiences and observations related to drug addiction and the information learned from the reading on different states of consciousness. reflecting on personal experiences and observations related to addiction and how it can be influenced by family history and cultural norms.

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discussing personal experiences and observations related to drug addiction and the information learned from the reading on different states of consciousness. reflecting on personal experiences and observations related to addiction and how it can be influenced by family history and cultural norms.

This week’s reading was about different states of consciousness. One way to alter one’s state of consciousness is through the use of psychoactive drugs. Do you know anyone who has or did have a drug addiction? (I’m not asking anyone about their own drug use but if you want to talk about yourself that is fine). Did the information in the book make anything clearer to you? Did you recognize some patterns that were consistent with what you know from observing this other person or persons? If the person was able to “kick the habit”, how did they do it? You don’t have to answer all these questions just share your thoughts;
Respond to 3 peers 7 sentences each separately.
Peer1: Drug attention is, unfortunately, something that has affected the life of my family. My Father was addicted to drugs which resulted in him being dismissed from the military, and ultimately resulted in incarceration. In the meantime, he had six children. I never had a relationship with him, and he died over 10 years ago. From a hereditary standpoint, his Father was an alcoholic, and very abusive. I never met him, he died before I was born. All three of his sons, my Father’s brothers, struggled with addictions their entire lives. In consideration of this I never used drugs, knowing that I was most likely predisposed to have an addictive personality. My brother began using drugs while he was still in High School. Beginning with alcohol, then pot, and cocaine. He had five children along the way, two of which I am now raising. His drug use not only affected his life, and his ability to keep jobs and relationships, but most importantly, his children’s lives. Both of my nephews have also had difficulty staying away from drugs and have experienced some of the harmful effects on their lives. Though, heredity is a factor, I am a strong believer in choice. It would seem unbelievable that two boys who were not taken care of properly by their Mom or Dad, would want anything to do with the drugs that took hold of their parents lives. I find it ironic that the saying “History repeats itself,” is so true in the lives of many families affected by drug use. Three generations out, and this continues to affect our family. It is my position with my nephews that my love is unconditional, which means I will not be a part of enabling them to destroy their lives, or their children’s, when they have them. One is now a Senior in High School, the other a Junior, and together we are being “real” about the reasons they feel the need to turn to drugs, and other options to replace those needs. A part of that process is counseling, but the biggest factor is facing it with honesty, imposing boundaries, and allowing them to experience the effects of their choices, even when that is painful for me, and them, while they still have time to learn what life will look like if they continue using drugs. I pray for wisdom from God in each situation that arises, because I know His plan for them is beyond my understanding. I have hope that the cycle can be broken, they are both very smart and have the ability to make positive choices. And for now, they are doing well. Some may think of drug use as a casual thing, a no big deal thing, a having fun at a party thing. But, I know, hereditary factors or not, drugs are powerful. It is a slippery slope.
Peer2: I do know that my great aunts, great uncles, and my grandma used hard drugs very very often and were 100% drug addicts. I only know about this because my mom told me stories from when she was a little girl and teenager and saw their drug addiction daily. My mom raised me to always say no to drugs because she saw the ugliness of it and never wanted me to see it or experience it. This is also why she ran, literally, from Brooklyn, NY, to Virginia at 17 years old, so that she could raise me away from the community addicted to it. To this day I have no knowledge of my mom doing any drugs, ever, and neither have I, ever. I haven’t done any drugs because I’ve always been scared and have seen that addiction is hereditary.
Some patterns outlined in the chapter aligned with the stories that my mom used to tell me. Many of the stories involved my great aunts, great uncles, or grandma stealing, being unnecessarily violent, manipulative, desperate, and impossible to live with. I believe my grandma kicked the habits completely once I was born (she began slowing down in the ‘90s I believe), in 2003. This was because my mom was her youngest daughter and my mom told her that she needed her in Virginia to help raise me, but she wouldn’t be allowed in my life if she continued. My grandma now says that what led her away from that life was finding God and following Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, my grandma’s siblings did not slow down or quit and they passed in the mid-late 90s. For my entire childhood, I’ve always seen my grandma in the most beautiful light and I cannot see her personality being the exact opposite of my mom’s childhood. The stories my mom told me sound like she’s talking about a stranger. I couldn’t be more grateful to have my grandma alive and sober to be in my, and others’ lives. I believe addiction is 100% a disease, but can be overcome with the right choices. Peer3: Growing up in a West Indian culture, it was a common occurrence for men to consume alcohol during gatherings or even at home. However, as I grew older, I began to notice that my uncle had a tendency to drink more than what was considered typical. It became clear that he would turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism when faced with difficult emotions. Unfortunately, this often led to him becoming intoxicated and expressing his emotions in a vulnerable manner, unintentionally revealing the underlying issues that had been bothering him. Eventually, he would enter a state of negative self-talk.
After reflecting on my uncle’s drinking habits, the information I came across in a book shed light on the situation. It explained that alcohol is a depressant, which aligns with my uncle’s tendency to enter a depressive state after consuming alcohol. This understanding helps me make sense of his behavior, as he would use alcohol as a means to temporarily alleviate his emotional distress, only to spiral into a state of self-criticism afterwards. This realization has provided me with a deeper understanding of the complications surrounding my uncle’s drinking patterns and the underlying emotional struggles he faces. It’s sad to see him do this to himself but in country like Guyana, there’s not much resources available to help those who struggle with addition.

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