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On a recent episode of “The Real,” the hosts were discussing the tragic death of up and coming artist, Juice Wrld, who died at the Chicago Midway airport after suffering a seizure–reportedly due to drug use.

His death led Jeannie Mai to reflect on her own past drug usage, which was propelled by the emptiness Mai felt inside as a young woman.

“I definitely experimented and I know at 40 looking back that I had a dark time in my life when I split for my family and moved out,” Mai told the audience.

“[I] lived in San Francisco. Every drug you could imagine was there. And it replaced the joy that I didn’t have. Being high was so much more fun because it felt like zero, I feel special, I feel like a rockstar, I feel loved. You say anything you want to say, you’re fearless.”

But the host quickly discovered that the initial high was never enough to keep her satisfied. Eventually the brain stops using its own natural ability to create dopamine and becomes addicted to the drug as a source of happiness.

“The crazy thing about drugs is because I know in my past, I’ve been introduced to different things, it’s not just that first high because what happens is drugs give you a rush of dopamine that you naturally already get, God’s gift, you get it when you’re looking at your child, you get it when you’re looking at somebody you love, but when you take a drug, it replaces that level of dopamine and it increases in such an unnatural level, that you can’t replace it so the brain thinks you’ve got it, I’m not going to replace it anymore,” she explained.

Continuing,  “So when you come down it’s a spiral of depression and anxiety that you only can go to that drug to get that same normality or stability and that’s where addiction starts. It’s really dangerous, even that first time, don’t try it, it’s not worth it. You don’t want to replace the joy you already naturally have. It destroys you forever.”

You can watch the discussion below:

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