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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

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Addiction Kills [Personal Column]

Credit to Violet Newton

I’ve spent my entire life sitting through presentation after presentation about why I should never use drugs and how drinking alcohol and smoking will end up leading to nothing but harm to my body and will eventually kill me. The whole time I wondered to myself if these presentations were available to the older members of my family when they were my age if it could have saved their lives.

I feel as if I’ve been exposed to the concept of addiction long before most children were. For as long as I can remember, members of my family who I would see on a near-weekly basis would chainsmoke nearly every single time I saw them. To make things worse, I had really bad asthma as a child so being exposed to the smoke would make it to where I almost couldn’t breathe if I was around them.

As I grew older I started to move away from people anytime they would smoke near me. I always thought to myself that it wasn’t fair that I had to be punished for something that, in my mind, they could easily do without. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve now realized they weren’t trying to hurt me but it was an illness they couldn’t control.

My first grandfather passed away in 2011 from a heart attack and it was my first major experience dealing with death. In 2018, my second grandpa passed away from a heart attack just a mere day before I was supposed to spend the night at his house. Both experiences made me resent smoking more and more, but as time has passed I’ve realized that the best thing I can do is understand that they truly didn’t enjoy smoking, it was just a habit they never could break.

I have made a personal pact since the day my second grandfather passed away to never smoke a day in my life and I’ve honored it ever since. Addiction isn’t an easy thing to see constantly affecting those you love, but the one thing you can do is help those in your lives who may be suffering from an addiction of any kind instead of berating them constantly, as you never know what the mental struggles those going through addiction are feeling.

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