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ONE BOOK, ONE COLLEGE WRITING COLLECTIVE

OUR STORIES ABOUT DRUG ADDICTION

Shared by Students at Saddleback College

In our college's shared read, Beautiful Boy, David Sheff writes that “Addiction is America’s deep, dark secret too. Every story in those letters reflects millions more, from every corner of the country. A report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse concludes that, ‘every community is affected by drug abuse and addiction, as is every family.” He continues, “People are relieved to learn that they are not alone in their suffering, that we are part of something larger, in this case, a societal plague—an epidemic of children, an epidemic of families. For whatever reason, a stranger's story seemed to give them permission to tell theirs” (326).

TALES FROM A MISDIAGNOSED RITALIN KID: DANGERS OF EARLY ASSUMPTIONS

By Andy Sundquist

"We noticed you’re having trouble focusing in class, you must have a learning disability!” Although some people think that using initial observations of student behavior and
performance is important to treating learning disabilities, I think it is dangerous because it can lead to misdiagnosis, problems in self-confidence, and an altered perception of that student’s
intelligence from other students."

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LIVE LIFE RESPONSIBLY

by Angela Ridenhour

When I was 11 years old, I was taken away from my mother. I was in the hands of Child Protective Services and assigned a caseworker. They took me and told me that I wasn’t going to be in contact with my mom until further investigation. Then, I was further proccessed in a grouphome with about nine other girls who live there and told I was going to live here now. When I was told this news, I got instant anxiety. How could they do this to me? My mom is the only person I’ve ever known to stick with me all this time. Well at the time, I was only seeing what my mind fixated on happening with my presence. I couldn’t see the bigger picture.

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CHOOSE YOUR PATH

By Sue Snyder

Sometimes my brother and I waited up late at night to see what condition dad was in when he got home after a night of being with his friends. Several times we saw him stagger up to the porch and just sit on the bottom step. Sometimes he made it into the house by crawling across the porch and pushing the door open. His hands would be shaking, his eyes unfocused, and he smelled of whiskey and sweat. I knew of his secret stash at the back of his closet but I never told anyone, not even mom. In 1950 none of us understood alcoholism or other addictions.

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AMERICA'S DEEP, DARK SECRET COMES HOME

By Kayla Smith

Addiction is a loaded word. Methamphetamine addiction cuts even sharper into the psyche of society as a whole. This subject, while still strongly viewed as taboo, affects more American families than cancer and other illnesses combined. Many still feel that they have to handle this problem alone, in shame, and behind closed doors. However I am here to tell those of you still suffering, that I was there too; and most of all, that you do not have to suffer alone and we CAN recover.

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THE DANCE

By Yoorim Chae

Reckless sways

As it looks for another way Another phase, maybe a kiss Some connection less intricate

Every day fighting

To stay awake, to getaway Anything to avoid dismay

In the stories a mind creates

The puff with the drag The over-binged gag She loses herself

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THE MYSTERY OF THE AFFLICTED: CUNNING, BAFFLING, AND POWERFUL

By Allison Piccirillo

Everybody knows the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Although it may have been a fictional story, the concept is all too real for the addict. Lots of people have different opinions about addiction, but the fact of the matter is that it is a genetic disposition which exists from birth, and once “activated” by taking the first drink or drug, there is no off switch. One is too many, and a thousand is never enough.

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I FOUND MY VOICE

By Laurene Holmes-Hylton

“I’ll SHOW you not to do that!!” My father’s voice shattered my troubled sleep.


I sat up in bed covered in sweat. His middle of the night rantings occurred frequently in my family of origin, so, my usual response was to put a pillow over my head and try to block out his loud shouting. But that particular night, I heard the terrified squealing of my newly rescued puppy.

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BIRDS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR WINGS

By Kylee Goller

The day is February 16th, 2018. It’s a special day for a middle aged woman. She gets to give a bigole’ speech on her past and present life, how she changed, and how she did it. All around this woman remains filled seats with warm bodies, of which contain ears open and eyes ready to see.

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HOW STRANGE

By Michael Diaz

“Michael, please don’t pinch our shit,” Thomas said with more than a hint of uncertainty. “I promise," I chattered through my teeth, biting a balloon open with the phone squeezed against my shoulder.

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WEED BE A LOT BETTER IF YOU WENT AWAY

By Parisa Meghdadi

Beaming, on a pleasant day,
strolling to harmonize with the ones I love,
friends, we spend
gazing flicks, intermix.
Soon after, perspective changes,
with incorrect choices, many wrong exchanges.

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ROSES

By Gazal Atta

I was around five years old, the sun was out and I stood next to my cousin.

She, the only one with green eyes and beautiful long dark hair. A noise, possibly a cry.

It was my aunt, my uncle had died. Jamil.

And for a moment, the world was still.

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THE DRAGON

By Martha Phillips

Euphoria

           

       I was in love with cocaine from the very first line I had at the age of 15. Scott said, “I’m giving this to you because I’m your friend.” It was magic.

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UNTITLED

By Alvaro Guillen

Juan Ignacio remembered the war he and his comrades had waged against Heaven.

              

He could still see the spears the angels used, made of light, made of lighting. He remembered watching them arc from a point in space unseen, he remembered how they could level a hillside.

Combat  Zone

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO HELP AN ADDICT?

By Taylor Vargas

Helping one another in challenging situations is a human instinct. This may come in the
form of volunteering our time at a food bank during the holidays or giving a friend a car ride.
However, there are certain situations, such as drug addiction, that we may not know how to help
others. I, like many others, would have no idea where to start if I were to discover that a friend or
a family member had a drug addiction.Helping one another in challenging situations is a human instinct. This may come in the
form of volunteering our time at a food bank during the holidays or giving a friend a car ride.
However, there are certain situations, such as drug addiction, that we may not know how to help
others. I, like many others, would have no idea where to start if I were to discover that a friend or
a family member had a drug addiction.

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THREE PERCENT

By Jessica McMullin

Friend, partner, neighbor, sister, mother, addict. I am twenty-six years old, a mother of three wonderful children, and I am a recovering heroin addict. I woke up one morning asking myself how I ended up pregnant at twenty and addicted to heroin.

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ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH

By Laura Cuicci

I try to avoid your siren call
you are a shameless destructive muse almost erotic in your tone.
you have crashed souls against sobriety, with your seductive enticing ways.
you have bewitched me with just one more, one more.

Empty Beer Bottles

ADDICTION

By Michael Nineberg

Addicts will break your heart. Not just once, but every time one remembers. I have two such memories, never far from the surface. Although the outcomes were different, the feelings are the same. I sometimes wonder how I escaped?

Escape

STIGMATIC PATHOLOGY

By Taylor Hitchcock

The ominous dark trench coat, the sinister man lurking in the dark alley, the slow rolling white van with its pitch tinted windows rolled down just a crack.

Woman on Window Sill

MY LIFE IN PIECES

By RK

SCENE 1


As she was standing in the hallway watching them fight again, tear drops rolled down her cheeks. She wished that she had superpowers, so she could go buy that “thing” and give it to daddy and life would be peaceful again. 

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BUZZARDS, BOOZE AND BUNCOMBE COUNTY

By Hannah Stone

 Daddy

He often stood in the kitchen at night, doing various things that weren’t culinary-related. Tonight, I found him smoking. “What’re you doin’?” I asked, knowing exactly what he was doing. “Oh, I was, uh, talkin’ to Bud.” He tried to say he’d been standing in the doorway of the kitchen and the patio speaking to the neighbor, but I could smell the weed. “Smells like bud, for sure,” I said.

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STORM CLOUDS

By Jennifer Whitaker

I lost both my parents to addiction. Dad, to his alcoholism and Mom to her codependency. I lost them both years ago – many years before either one of them actually passed away.

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REDEFINING EDUCATION

By Aaron Spaur

As I sit in the back of the cop’s cruiser hand cuffed and high, the hazardous material team and state troopers are bringing out all the parts of my meth lab. Shop lifting common chemicals to make meth gave the cops all the reason they needed to search my house.

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I AM NOT YOU

By Raeanne Miller

I am not you, don’t you see?


You built this reputation for substances


that became far more important than me.

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THE WITCHING HOUR

By Riley Longoria

The moon shines on my face tonight. I open my window and let the April breeze take me away as I shut my eyes. My knees drop, and I plop down to the bed below. I inhale my last voluntary breath in attempt at inviting peace over for the night.

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LESSONS FROM LIMBO

By Katia Bergstrom

The moon shines on my face tonight. I open my window and let the April breeze take me away as I shut my eyes. My knees drop, and I plop down to the bed below. I inhale my last voluntary breath in attempt at inviting peace over for the night.

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LIVING WITH AN ADDICTION

By Sachie Watamase

I didn’t know much about a drug addiction before I read this book. Sometimes I heard the news that some famous singers, actors and actresses had died or had been arrested because of it. Every time I saw the drug related news, I wondered why they relapsed again and again.

Brain Sketch

LIGHT AFTER DARKNESS

By Aleena Robbins

Do you know what it is like to look back on six years of your life and barely remember it? I never wanted to get off the drugs. I never wanted to live in sober world. I honestly thought no one on this planet was truly sober. I had been using consistently since I was fifteen. "The Pharmacy" was what they called my high school.

Coastline at Sunset

THE BLINDNESS OF THE ARROGANT MIND

By Cheree Vega

Although I understand the seriousness of the situation, I knew my worst day wasn’t the day I earned my first, second or even third driving under the influence (DUI) offense. It wasn’t the day, I begged the court to release me from custody, and it was promptly denied.

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A MOTHER'S LOVE

By Chira Watson

James Joyce once said, “Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother's love is not.” I don’t know much about that, but I know addiction is not unsure either. 

The first time I met my mother I was 8 years old. You might try to argue that we met on the day I was born, so I’ll briefly mention that I was born premature and with drugs in my system. My mother wasn’t allowed to hold me.

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ROAD TO SOBER

By Michelle Cossey

To say I was red hot with shame in my twenties was an understatement. I was riddled with it throughout every bone in my body, in every ounce of my being, and to the deepest depths of my soul. Kind of like how cancer penetrates the cells of your body, smothers your spirit and takes over your physical being until you finally give up on life.

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MY MOTHER'S BATTLE WITH ADDICTION

By Valerie Soto

The day I heard my mother sniffing lines in the bathroom was heartbreaking. I was fourteen and I felt my body go numb.

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SING BY THE LIGHT OF THE SUN

By Milli Zunich

My dad was a marigold.


When I was little, he would sit me on his lap under the heavy strum of summer sun. He’d gently bounce me up and down, singing the words of flowers and faded photographs.

Mustard Flowers

MY STORY

By John Day

            My name is John Day and I am 43 years old.  I would like to share my experience with those of you that may be dealing with alcohol or drug addiction, indirectly or directly. 

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THE BOY IN THE MIRROR...ONE DAY AT A TIME

By Maryanne Curry-Shults

His first guitar was a red Fender Stratocaster. Alone in his room, 13-year-old Cody Brunner[*] closed his eyes and fantasized he was Jimmy Hendrix, living a lifestyle with an abundance of sex and drugs—the life of a rock star.

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DEFENSELESS

By Darrell Clausen

Before I was old enough to drive I had to rely on my father to chauffeur me to the freshman high school dance. I was looking forward to it. Yet when it came time to leave the house my father wasn’t there.

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ADDICTION

By Sharon Kosco

Once a Secret – “So shameful. Don’t tell anyone.”
Then a Whisper – “Too bad about so-in-so.”
Now a Statement – “Addiction is a disease.”
Future Announcement – “We have the cure.”

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Desk with Book

"Those who tell the stories rule society"

Plato

 
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