This weeks interview takes place between O.D. and a 22 year old college student. She shares her view on the stigma of addiction, provides rationalization for her use of substances, and explains her view of the difference between dependency and recreational use. Note: The perspectives shared in this interview do not reflect those of Open Discussion. With that being said, it is important for us to gather a wide range of varying view points. I personally found this interview interesting because my perspective was once identical to the one shared. Please share her story with anyone who might be able to find it inspirational…
How do you feel about addiction?
I think that people should be allowed to do what they want to do. If you want to try drugs you should be able to. Or if you want to drink in the morning then you should. I don’t want to worry about being judged because I just want to feel good.
Is that addiction?
That’s what people say. If you do drugs ever or drink in the morning then you are an addict. But I disagree.
Define addiction in your own words?
Losing yourself to something
What do you think the difference between recreational use and substance dependency is?
You can kind of start to tell when someone is dependent. They become less fun and less themselves. Drinking or doing something a few times a week is more recreational.
Even if you’re doing it every week?
Yes. Because you’re not doing it all the time
How do you draw the line?
I think it would be based on how you feel. Friends will look out for each other. And they will let you know what they see. Everyone is so uptight about everything, maybe that has a part to play in the aggravation of repeated abuse. Because if you use once then people stop trusting your ability to rationalize why you’re using or drinking.
Do you drink in the morning?
Only wine. Or sometimes breakfast alcohol drinks. It honestly helps me to relax
Have you ever thought about trying something else to relax, yoga or writing?
It’s just not the same. Having a drink or popping a xanax has an instant effect on me. I want instant relief.
Relief from what?
The way I feel.
Have you tried any hard drugs?
I’ve tried cocaine, but it isn’t really my thing. I do often take Adderall to stay awake and study. If I snort three or four of my pills I almost feel similar. But honestly I really prefer to feel relaxed because I am very anxious most of the time.
Do you have a prescription for anxiety medicine?
I used to have a prescription but my doctor said I had been on it too long. She said people can become dependent on it. I mean duh, if it makes you feel better then you’re obviously going to want to take it. She doesn’t understand that. But I can get a lot of Xanax from friends and on the streets. Usually when I buy it I buy quite a bit of it.
Do a lot of your friends do drugs or drink in the morning?
My roommates and I every Thursday and Friday have Mimosas. But it’s just champagne so that doesn’t really count and it’s not hard drinking.
Do you think that you are an addict?
No, because I try lots of different things. I don’t do one specific thing a lot.
Has anyone in your family had addiction problems?
No, everyone is fine. In fact they’re all happier and more successful than I am.
Have you seen your friends go through any rough spots because of their drug use or drinking?
My friends get DUI’s all the time. I don’t drink and drive, that’s one thing I won’t do, because my best friend in high school was killed by a drunk driver.
Do you recognize the stigma attached to addiction, how do you feel about it?
I understand how some adults might think college kids are crazy, but like I said as a person if you want to try something then you should be able to. It’s part of growing as a person. I can stop any time. I just choose not to because I like the way I feel when I do drugs or have a drink. It doesn’t make me bad.
Would you support Open Discussion Apparel?
Yes because I think that these issues need to be spoken on so people can stop being judged and misunderstood.