Sunday, February 14, 2016

Journal 5 - Miranda "Addiction struggles"

I chose chapter 16, one topic that stood out to me was in the beginning of the chapter when Ishmael was talking about how the drugs were wearing off , and began to experience withdrawals from the cocaine and Marijuana that he previously had unlimited access too. Then tells how he searched his pockets for "crumbs" of the drugs that were once there. It shows how absolutely desperate  he is and how the withdrawals are increasing. He then breaks into the "mini-hospital" and steals pain relievers to try and make his drug cravings subside by mixing white, yellow and red pill capsules even though the mixture had no effect on them. They then began to beat up people within the neighborhood and hospital staff out of anger as a side effect of not having the drugs they were accustomed too and began to be violent and fight among each other as a way of passing time between meals.

This section of the chapter shows the boys are becoming more violent toward each other along with beating up the staff. Ishmael refers to the staff as "civilians" which is what they used to be to them and a conflict occurs when he has no power over them. He has nothing in which to harm them with, he has no weapons to use against them. This cause him to become more violent as a result of not being in power,not being able to openly fire on anything and everything within his sight and not having drugs. Throughout the next few pages he talks about destroying glass windows with their fists, until it got stuck in the glass and had to go to the hospital where he then refused treatment for his wounded hand, fainting from a migraine, and vomiting. As the chapter continues he and other boy soldiers began to experience PTSD around the end of their second month and he explains that when he saw water it turned into blood. At night he explained that other boys had nightmares, sweating, screaming and punching themselves in the head as a way to try and get the images of war out of their heads that had continued to taunt them. Due to PTSD that they were still experiencing from the trauma of war they would wake up within the grasses outside near the soccer field with no remembrance of how they got there through the night.
This is related to our culture in many ways one being the drug withdrawal and symptoms that the boys experienced in the book. Shaking, sweating, migranes, not being able to sleep through the night, violence. 

This happens to formers drug addicts that are in recovery as they are weaned off of the need for drugs, not only cocaine and Marijuana as mentioned in the book, but also caffeine withdrawals have the same side effects headache, craving, and anger in some cases as your body begins to react to not having the drug or caffeine it was accustomed to. Even I used to be completely addicted to Coca-Cola and would drink a minimum of two 16 Oz bottles every day, and experienced headaches, anger and restlessness due to the craving for caffeine. Having my own experience with withdraw from caffeine allowed me through relate (on a smaller scale) to what Ishmael experienced with being weaned off cocaine and Marijuana and learning how to interact with people in day to day life, including refreshing his English and mathematics skills.

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