Stephanie Weber

JRNM 151 Student

Lorain County struggles to fight the constant battle of drug use and overdoses that have managed to consume and overpower a large part of the community. Michael Plas, 38, and current Lorain County Community College student, has first-hand experience with drug addiction. Plas suffered severely from addiction for years and explained the severe damage it had on his life.

The clubbing and party environment are what leads many to experiment with different drugs, according to Plas.

“The clubbing life is what really got me introduced to drugs, it was just the atmosphere that I was in, I can remember the first time ever doing cocaine, it was a friend’s birthday. The next thing I knew it was just a part of life,” Plas said.

Eventually, the substance began to consume his daily life and lurked within his mental state.

“I would make sure I went to work so that I could afford to drink and use, but as the night got closer to being done with work, that is when the obsession would take over,” Plas explained. “I would tell myself that I was only going to go out for a little bit and not do this or that, but regardless it always ended the same way; getting drunk and then getting high.”

As his addiction worsened, Plas began testing out other drugs when given the opportunity.

“There was a time when I lived in Columbus, that my roommate and I were doing crystal meth and crack. That literally made me so paranoid that I just thought everyone was talking about me or plotting against me,” Plas said. “Overall it was the mental obsession for that next drink or drug that got to me.  I thought I was holding it together, but looking back on it now, it was the addiction that really was in control of my life,” he said.

As far as students and young adults are concerned, that there are specific gateway drugs that lead individuals into addiction, Plas said.

“For students, I definitely feel it is alcohol and marijuana that infects the majority of them,” Plas said.

While the effects of drugs are intense and difficult on the body, recovery is possible when taking the correct steps.

“Recovery can only begin when the individual reaches a point of surrender,” said Plas. “One has to really surrender to the fact that they are an addict and until that point is reached then I feel that as addicts we hold on to that reservation that we can still drink or consume drugs, but by controlling it,” Plas explained.

For those battling addiction, recovery is not far off and there is hope, Plas said.

“No one said it was going to be easy, but it is worth it. That means so much and holds so much truth,” Plas said. “The best advice I can give a person is, we are worth it. We are so worth waking up every day and taking on that demon of addiction and being able to go to bed each night knowing that we beat it for another day.”