In chapter 16 in A Long Way Gone, Ishmael has to go to the hospital for a hand cut. As Ishmael did not expect he was demanded he stay in the hospital, as the days he was between the halls of the hospital grew older his so called "medicine" starts to wear off and horrible memories and tragedies start to haunt Ishmael, he said he tried to think about his family but the war memories had built a barrier he couldn't break. He expresses the need for cocaine and marijuana as his body starts to ache, felt nauseated, and vomiting. He even mentions that it takes him months to learn how to sleep without "medicine"
As beah kept experiencing these flashbacks and traumatic events his sleep kept getting lesser and lesser. As mentioned in chapter 16 in A long Way Gone Ishmael has problems he can't escape "I would later dream that a faceless gunman had tied me up and begun to slit my throat with the zigzag edge of his bayonet" (151) this was a nightmare that woke Ishmael, It was a simple flashback that he can't seem to escape. As time goes on this disease affects his sleep for months, his only cure to this right now is drugs and that's the only way he can deal with all of this. It's shameful Ishmael will have to deal with this disease for the rest of his life.
I have never experienced a life threatening or sexual violence or anything like that in my life so far, so i am not able to connect to Ishmael. But i believe that people who do experience problems like this find it difficult to deal with. People in our culture who have PTSD for any reason may handle their problems with drugs as well. This can impact the whole family not just one member, i feel for families who go through things of this nature everyone shouldn't suffer. Drugs is not the answer as we learned in Ishmael's writing. I really wish people felt like they had more outlets and resources valuable to them.
( Soldier with a bag full of medicine to help cure his mental illness)