Hi there! My name is Kim, and I am a 22-year-old college student. I am writing this blog to share with you a challenging and personal experience I had a few years ago.
Until recently I haven’t felt comfortable discussing what happened to me as a result of the choices I made back then. Struggling with mental illness and drug abuse is no joke, and if you haven’t experienced it yourself, it can be hard to understand. I didn’t want people to judge me from my story. It is also very painful and even frightening to remember what those days were like for me.
But I think it is important to share my story with others, in part to help me work through it emotionally, but mostly to try to reach someone who has had or is having an experience like mine.
When I was a teenager I became addicted to hallucinogens. I have found that this topic isn’t discussed a lot. When people talk about drug addiction, they are mostly referring to the opioid crisis, or stimulants or prescription drugs. Most people think hallucinogens are not even addictive. Technically the body doesn’t form a physical dependency on most hallucinogenic drugs, but a person can develop a psychological tolerance and craving for them, which is exactly what happened to me.
If you had told me before this all started that I would be treated for psychosis and drug addiction by the age of eighteen, I would have laughed and thought you were crazy. I was just a normal kid, with normal friends, going to a normal high school. Substance abuse wasn’t something I’d given much thought to or ever really been exposed to or educated on. And while I know now that mental health disorders are a huge problem in our country, I had never learned much about mental health issues, either.
Now learning about and educating others on mental health and substance abuse issues is the most important thing to me, and I am finishing up college to get a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I plan to go on to graduate school and become a licensed therapist so that I can help others with mental health and addiction problems.
If you or someone you know is struggling with any form of substance abuse, please seek professional help right away. You don’t want to wait until something terrible happens to get help. Similarly, if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please reach out to a therapist and/or psychiatrist. You don’t have to live in unhappiness or discomfort. Getting treatment doesn’t change who you are, it just helps you become your best self. There are millions of people struggling with these same problems right now in the world, and there is no shame in getting help. It is a commendable act of courage, and I implore you to get help as I did.
Keep reading to learn about my experience with drugs, mental health, and treatment.