This article originally appeared in the Just for Teens Issue
At just 2:30 in the afternoon, Morse college sophomore Chad Lefkowitz found himself yet again enshrouded in a dense cloud of vapor. “This little guy has gotten me through a lot. Isn’t that right Billy JUUL? ‘It sure is, Chad.’” Chad nodded. “He gets it.”
Like many teens, Chad, whose name has been changed from Brad in this article for the sake of anonymity, has recently turned to an emotional support JUUL to cope with the many anxieties of modern adolescence. As Chad put it, “Yeah, sure, anxiety. That’s why I have this,” proudly displaying his newest vaporizer, “JUUL Embiid.”
Crippling anxiety has forced Chad to self-medicate at a variety of inopportune times: in the car, on planes, in movie theaters, on tinder dates, at home with friends, while they were lowering his grandmother’s casket, etc. While many in Chad’s life have respected his space during these trying times, others have been less supportive. Chad recalled a time his flight attendant force him to put his JUUL in the overhead compartment. “What if Billy JUUL died up there? How could United’s corporate image ever recover from something like that?”
Although Chad’s parents disapprove of his clinically unrecognized treatment, the family has reached a harsh but just compromise: Chad doesn’t use his JUUL in the house and in return, his parents send him a $2,000 allowance each month. Though that may seem like a large sum, in Chad’s words, “you can’t put a price on mental health.”
In spite of support from family and friends, Chad’s long-term outlook is bleak. “I’m definitely gonna have—what was it you called it—oh yeah, anxiety. I’m going to have that for a long time. So yea, if anyone wants to send me pods, I really like mango.”
As far as the near future goes, Chad hopes to keep his loved ones close, “probably in my breast pocket, or just in my palm for easy access.” Next year, he plans to move into a communal living wellness facility called Sigma Nu, where he will hopefully find sanctuary among those facing a similar plight.