Day 1: Sobriety Awareness — a student’s perspective

The World Health Organization defines sobriety as “a continued abstinence from alcohol and psychoactive drug use.”  Lebanon Valley College has designated October 3-6 as Sobriety Awareness Week.  Various events are planned to promote discussions on sobriety.  Click HERE for those events. 

Mike Fry’s FYE class is studying addiction.  Students were asked to write a story about something or someone who helped shaped one’s attitudes toward alcohol or drugs.

La Vie is posting the stories of six students, who all agreed to the publication of their submission.  These writings are unedited.  They appear as how they were submitted for the class assignment.


Day 1 The power of learning from another’s mistakes

By: an anonymous student


Most people learn about drugs from health class.  They learn of the consequences and the gruesome impact they have on a life.  Some people do not witness the genuine effects of drugs, so they don’t quite receive the lesson.  Me?  I learned the lesson from someone very close to me.  Someone I used to consider family.  My dad.

I do not remember much from my childhood, but I have a few solid memories of him.  I remember what he looked like and the car he drove.  I remember him picking me up from home to go bowling or to Chucky Cheeses every once in a while.  My last memory of him was from when I was 7, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.  It was a breezy fall afternoon and he was picking me to go to Chucky Cheeses, our normal routine.  On the way, he wanted to stop at his cousin’s house to ask him if he wanted to join us.  I waited in the car for about 20 minutes before he finally came out of the house, without his “cousin,” and we went on our way.  I had innocently asked him why it took so long, and he made up a ridiculous excuse that only a naïve 7-year-old could believe.  Although I did not realize it at the time, I later learned that it was not his cousin’s house, it was his dealer’s.  On our way to Chucky Cheeses, he had bought crack cocaine.

I have not seen him since he took me out that day; my mom would not let him interact with me.  From that point on, I started to realize the true effects of addiction at age 7.  I’ve seen him go in and out of jail, stealing from the family, and hurting other people.  I learned that he would not be able to give the kind of love I wanted from my father.  Addiction tears a person apart.  A once loving, honorable person can change into a monster that no one would ever recognize.  When a person is addicted, nothing in the world matters to them except that drug.  They don’t care about their family or friends; they just need to get that next high.

Because of him, I’ve learned to stay away from that.  I never want to follow his destructive path and hurt everyone I love.  I don’t want to “just experiment” in high school or college because I’ve seen how that one bad decision turns a beautiful person into something hate-able.  He doesn’t realize the damage he had done, and he most likely never will.  All that matters to a toxic person is a toxic substance.  I know now that he will never love me like a father should love a child, and I’ve accepted that.  I truly hope the best for him and that he eventually finds peace within himself.  All I can do is learn from his mistakes and be aware of the true dangers of the world.