Substance Abuse
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Inspirations for Flash Fiction on Substance Abuse

The diversity of human experience drives story-telling and flash fiction is an excellent medium for glimpsing different worlds that you might never experience for yourself. One of the most overlooked experiences has been drug abuse; you probably weren’t aware that substance abuse has been prevalent in human society since ancient times, which makes it a key aspect of human experience. Read on to see how this topic could spark your imagination.

The Unspoken Side of Human Nature

As a writer, you will likely understand more than most people that humans don’t make sense. Under pressure and duress – and even bliss – we do fall for what can be seen as self-destructive behaviors as a way of relieving tension and finding comfort. Many people suffer behind closed doors or under full-length sleeves, and are told that they refuse to see better or work as hard as others. Those in substance abuse programs are almost always given support in resolving family or financial issues, as more often than not, this is the source of their misery and need for escape.

Stories of Suffering

Abusers are fighting some of the longest battles, where the ending can take any sudden turn. Some battles are lost, some find support, and sometimes the abuser finds a new angle to redirect their strengths and see their problems in a new light. Every story will be slightly different and full of life-changing decisions, which aim to bring triumph to the individual. If you’re someone who’s doing a course in social work and substance abuse, you could even use your hopes and experiences in this field to inspire stories of victory.

New Worlds

The use of substances effectively distorts the world of the user. Depending on the drug, their reality could go from pure bliss or debilitating anxiety, to strange visions and fantasy realms. Abusers can experience imaginative, horrifying or even blissful perspectives of their world, making it a hotbed for creativity and exploration. Research of abuser experience will be required if you really want to capture the nature of an intoxicated world, but the choices you make between fact and imagination will be a refreshing and invigorating challenge.

Obscuring Reality

Most people tend to believe they will know an abuser when they see one, but in reality, the stereotypes do not work. Abusers have many ways of hiding their symptoms and scars, and know how to act ‘normally’. The view of society has warped the lives of these people and it could be part of your writing to explore their world, and show the humanity that social values tend to strip from them.

Flash fiction about this topic can be hard to write about if you’ve never experienced or known someone who has abused drugs. However, there’s absolutely no doubt that this is a topic that umbrellas some of the most interesting and driving concepts for stories, and with some perceptive research, could be at the heart of one of your most spirited and moving works.