Amanda, 19, joins the discussion with OD today to share her perspective on addiction growing up in Owosso, an area where drugs have become commonplace. Amanda volunteers at a community kitchen and oftentimes sees the effects drugs have on her community. She shares her experience dating a drug addict, talks about his attempts at suicide in the form of overdose, and gives her thoughts on rehab in America…
What are you thoughts on addiction?
It’s very easy to fall into and I see it this way, everything has a consequence. Of course there is gonna be consequences.
How has it impacted you personally?
Me personally, I have never been addicted but I have seen people I love turn into monsters because of addiction.
What is the hardest thing that you had to go through?
Seeing one of my exes almost, not seeing them, but knowing that they almost died. They tried to kill themselves. I was not there, but I knew something was going on and I didn’t get a lot of details which worried me a lot.
He tried a couple of different times?
First, he tried to overdose on Xanax
How old were you when you were dating him?
I was sixteen. He was actually my first boyfriend, and I was pretty sheltered before then. So getting into a relationship like that was pretty interesting. There is actually one story. I stayed the night at my boyfriend’s friend’s house with him and when we got home the next day, his eyes were naturally brown when we got home that day, his eyes were crystal blue, and he was acting like he did not know where he was, or what was going on and I was really scared, I didn’t know what was going on with them.
What did you do?
There was nothing I could do. He was up, he was like, “Wait what’s going on,” then he fell back asleep then he was up again. I had no idea what was going on.
Your ex-boyfriend, you knew that he was using drugs, why did you stay with him?
Because I wanted to take care of him, I wanted to see if I could change him. It would make me feel more self-fulfilled.
Other than Xanax, do you know what other kind of drugs he was doing?
Every drug in the book, honestly.
How long were you with him after the first time he attempted suicide?
I would say a month or two honestly.
Would you be able to tell if he’d been using?
No, never, I don’t think he was ever sober honestly, he was always on something. So that was just kind of the norm.
How did being with someone who was abusing drugs affected you?
It drained me, because those things were happening out of my control, but eventually I did learn to let go of those things.
What helped you?
Trying so hard in learning, and accepting.
How do you feel about the social stigma attached to addiction?
Well, in Owasso I honestly see addiction everywhere. When I’m walking around downtown I can look at a person and I can tell they’re probably on something right now and they’re probably struggling a lot. There in a place that’s not realistic.
What do you think about rehab?
I think that for some people, it can crush them but for some people it’s really good. Withdrawing from a drug, I can’t imagine how awful that would be, but as soon as it’s over, it’s over hopefully.
Do you know anyone who’s been in rehab?
Yes, it actually made them go insane because religion was pushed onto them and they’re not religious, it didn’t literally make him go insane. I think that rehabs, there so plain and so I don’t know. They’re too scheduled, they’re too uptight, no one is happy when they go to rehab, they need to have some inspiration, they need to have some passion and what they already like besides drugs.