As I continue to do more research about the benefits of video games, I discover more and more benefits. Most of these benefits, though, focus on the overall and general positive aspects of video games and the things they can bring to people as a whole. In my research, I have finally come to find some very personal testimonies about the positive benefits of video games. Kyle, a college student, used video games to help him overcome his painkiller addiction. When Kyle was in his late teenage years, he began smoking marijuana on a regular basis, which he believes eventually led to the start of his painkiller addiction. Once he reached college, he began trying much harder and more dangerous drugs. After trying LSD, he believed he could try anything and admits to trying every drug but meth and crack. Although he used many drugs, painkillers were his favorite, giving him the best high and leaving him wanting more. His painkiller of choice was Oxycodone and he used it regularly. Eventually, he built up a tolerance and would consistently need more and more of the drug to feel the same blissful high he enjoyed so much. Then, in order to finance his own drug addiction, he began selling drugs to make the hundreds of dollars a day he needed to buy the painkillers. If he couldn’t find painkillers, he would use a somewhat cheaper alternative: heroin.
After a while, he was even arrested and expelled from school. Fortunately, his friends convinced him to enter a treatment program and after one relapse, he found a better treatment and has been clean for months. His counselors encouraged him to find a hobby or another activity to take up his time, so he is less likely to go back to drugs. For Kyle, he doesn’t have a specific game he enjoys more than others, but he plays several different ones. He truly believes that if he didn’t spend some of his free time playing video games, like Minecraft and Borderlands, that he would have fallen back into the scary, dark path of drugs.
Even though this is just one story about video games helping a young person overcome a serious drug addiction, I believe that video games can help people to find a somewhat more productive thing to do with their free time. However, video games are not for everyone so other activities can work too. Also, some video games actually encourage and show drug use, so the type of video games being played needs to be considered. After working in a pharmacy for over a year, I see drug addicts and sellers often. Drugs are such a big problem in this country and are winning the war on drugs. If more treatment programs allowed patients to find other outlets, like video games, to participate in, they may have more fun and be likely to stay in those treatments. In addition, patients will have an activity to fill their time so they are less likely to return to drugs. This is just one testimony of the positive effects of video games; however, I believe there are many more out there and using video games in treatment facilities may be helpful.