The Drug Addiction In S Street Rising By Rueben Casteneda

1001 Words3 Pages
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
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2, pg. 125). This is the fundamental phrase that gave the drug full power over Casteneda; Moving to another city across the country for a higher paying job, his dream job, he couldn’t resist the crack urge, and by downplaying the need, referring to using as a “party” further conveys the in denial of the fact that crack cocaine had over taken him. People in general use “oh just one more, wouldn’t kill anyone” for their own benefit, again usually about chocolate cake or a slice of pizza, and they do it to not feel guilty. By Casteneda justifying his crack use in DC, essentially easing his guilt allows for the addiction to grow because after the first party doesn’t hurt him the others don’t either. Just like someone having an extra slice of chocolate cake every night would cause would eventually cause a dissatisfaction of just the one slice of cake, as the parties became more frequent, so did the Castaneda’s tolerance for them, “My tolerance was gargantuan.” It even got to the point where he couldn’t the feel pleasure he didn’t feel any pleasure, “barely” (ch.6 pg. 354), registering in his system. Once the want goes away and the need sets in, to the point where one is just spending money for the sake of needing the drug illuminates the dictator-like hold that said substance has on the person. This amplifies how defenseless one is against their…show more content…
This book disproves the distorted ideals that we as a world conclude when we hear the word “addict.” That they can’t be successful people or this book depicts raw scenes 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

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