Ben Emerling is a content writer who works in the Metro Detroit area. Creative writer by day and avid adventurist by night. He dedicates his life to helping people achieve sobriety. Ben previously interned for 12up and currently works for Monarch Shores.

If you can say you have never been affected by addiction you are extremely lucky. Most people are impacted by the actions of an addict whether it be a family member, friend or acquaintance. The most common stigma behind addiction is what we see on TV. Some guy or girl behind a dumpster with a needle in their arm right?

Certainly, this person is most likely an addict but addiction is more common than you may think. Addiction is a disease that doesn’t care what race, ethnicity, religion, age or economic background you are. It can affect anyone. All we ever hear is the negative effects of addiction but what if I told you addiction affected me in the most positive way imaginable.

I started abusing drugs and drinking when I was a teenager. The first time I got high was (what I thought) the greatest feeling on the planet. All my worries, fears and pain went away after that first joint. Everything that day was better. Food tasted amazing, I could vibrantly feel the music, my body was relaxed and my mind was at ease. I never wanted this feeling to fade away and instantly had a new passion. I was 13 the first time I smoked pot and before you know it, it was regular habit.

I discovered alcohol shortly after. My first drinking experience was awful but for some reason I loved that feeling of being 100% out of control. I drank enough to be fully drunk and ended up throwing up by the end of the night. Most people would have thought it was an awful experience but I thought just the opposite. Drinking became a weekend favorite of mine along with smoking weed.

In high school, all of the “cool” kids were doing drugs and partying on the weekends. To fit in with the crowds and become popular, my drug use increased ten fold. Smoking weed every day, occasionally popping prescription pills during the day and always hammered on the weekends was the norm for me. My high school career was a page out of the movie Dazed and Confused for those of you who have seen that movie.

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