Essay on The Drug Epidemic Of The United States

Essay on The Drug Epidemic Of The United States

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The drug epidemic in the 1980’s and early 90’s was tumultuous time period for the United States as a whole; drug over doses became a norm and families were commonly torn apart because one or more members became addicts. Rueben Casteneda in his memoir, S Street Rising depicts the disastrous consequences that happen when the desire for crack cocaine manifests into an addiction. Casteneda not only uses his own life, but individuals from various classes in the heart of the country, to emphasize the harsh reality of being addicted to crack cocain.
People in general disillusion themselves into thinking that the junkies seen in the street somehow could have avoided their addiction. “…No way I’d become one of them.” (Pg.37), This universal sentiment that Casteneda also shared, is the creation of the addiction; the justification of trying the drug because people who haven’t tried the drugs could resist the urge to try it again and again; something the junkies in the street could not do. Implicitly ignoring the fact that the attraction of the drug already proved to be too much to not try. Casteneda, later went as far as believing he wouldn’t “need” the crack pipe anymore. This expectation that the want and the feeling that he experienced during the first couple high’s will somehow wipe away from Casteneda’s memory is just as naïve as having a piece of chocolate cake once or twice and never thinking about the deliciousness again, except for that fact crack has a more unyielding presence in ones mind. The want for the euphoria of cake or crack eventually does become an unavoidable need (ch.1, pg. 60).
The addiction usually arises within a the person before ever realized, “One more party wouldn’t hurt you” (Ch. 2, pg. 125). This is the fundam...


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...s of a junkie getting high; of one of the most prominent mayors in the country being arrested for getting high; of prostitutes selling their bodies for the sake of getting high. Yes, could one find all of these instances in a novel, but the overall message would be less meaningful, because it would be coming from a character.
Casteneda exposes the most vulnerable time of his life to the world, and by doing this, readers are not just getting the message of “Say no to drugs” they’re getting a real life testimonial to the detrimental hold that a drug has on a person once they have tried it, and why you should say no in the first place. Casteneda proves that a does not have control over the manifestation of the addiction. The message that a memoir creates a depiction of the gripping reins that drugs have on a person in a more authentic way than any other genre could do.

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