Drugs and Mental Illness: Teen Voice



As a senior, my daughter has to do a senior project which is a graduation  requirement. For the project, she has to write a research paper, have some kind of product and do a presentation.

 After careful consideration and much soul searching she decided to settle on mental illness and drug addiction because of her uncle, who is dealing with both issues.  I wanted to share her first paragraph with you. This description is based on what happened when we went to drop off some food to my brother in a 30 day drug clinic. That night she did not go in because she said it would break her heart to see her uncle in such a depressing state. She stayed in the car while I ran down and drop off some of his favorite things. I was not allowed to visit him for too long, just enough to give him a hug and the food.  I’m sharing a part of her writing in hopes that you will get a glimpse of what families go through when they have a loved one in crisis.
“The fluorescent lights shone out of the building touching the dark night sky, like a beacon to the lost. The parking lot was empty except for the beat up toyota that belonged to the family. A nurse from inside waved away the family as they left. The drive home was as quiet as their surroundings, as the previous moments were heavy with sadness. Having a family member with a drug addiction did not just affect the user. It was as toxic as the drugs used. Having a family member with a mental illness was inexplicably hard. Having a family member or friend with both is unimaginably difficult.”

Her water color that she did as part of her presentation, depicting a drug addict.



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