Drug Abuse Down Amongst Teenagers

The kids are alright! The most recently published Monitoring the Future survey released by The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that children and young adults have been engaging in far less harmful drug-related activity than in previous years. Kids are smoking fewer cigarettes, drinking less alcohol, and experimenting far less with synthetic drugs and prescription medications. Interestingly enough, however, the marijuana rates have remained stable despite increased legalization. When the survey was taken, 6.5% of 8th graders admitted to smoking within the past month, while 16.6% of 10th graders and 21.2% of 12th graders had smoked within the past month. Though since rates of abuse relating to synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as Spice, have been on the steady decline, authorities firmly believe this is overall a highly positive trend.

Continued Intervention is a Necessity

Of course, a decline in drug abuse amongst teenagers does not mean that parents and other authoritative figures should become complacent. The lessened prevalence of use may in fact be a direct result of increased intervention and preventative programs geared towards adolescents. An increase in educational campaigns over the course of the past several years in addition to increased awareness in the national health care system have undeniably contributed to the decrease in youth substance abuse. A continued pervasiveness of programs in elementary and high schools and throughout communities will undeniably help to wipe out teen drug abuse even further.

Heroin Abuse Still An Issue Amongst Teens

Despite these upward looking trends, teenagers still struggle with drug abuse to quite an alarming degree. While rates of smoking and prescription medication abuse are down, the rates of heroin abuse amongst teenagers and young adults have skyrocketed in recent years. In a unfortunate amount of instances, cases of heroin addiction that take place in unsuspecting suburban, middle-class homes go unnoticed until it is too late. It is important for parents to understand that street drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are now beginning to infiltrate upper and middle-class communities. If you believe that your child may be battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is important to get the proper information you need in order to get them the help they deserve. Contact one of our trained representatives to find out what actions you need to take and what specifically you can do to help.

Which Fellowship Is Right For You?

If you are beginning a journey into recovery, there is no question you will begin hearing a lot of buzz regarding the importance of 12-step programs. What you may not know is that Alcoholics Anonymous is far from the only 12-step fellowship that will become available to you. Meetings and 12-step programs have proven so successful for alcoholics that many other groups have taken on the philosophy, and programs are now available to drug addicts, sex addicts, compulsive gamblers, overeaters, and more. When deciding which 12-step program is right for you, there are several variables you will want to look at. And remember, you are free to join as many fellowships as you see fit – the main goal is to make sure you fully recover and finally live a fulfilled and meaningful life.

There Are Many Fellowships Available

In this day and age, there are somewhere around 40 12-step programs available to addicts and trauma survivors of all kinds. The most popular fellowships nationwide are without question AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous). Typically, alcoholics and those who struggled primarily with alcohol will join an AA group, while those who mainly battled an addiction to drugs of any kind will lean towards NA. Both programs run similarly, while the main literature studied in AA, the Big Book, varies from the NA literature. Other popular fellowships are CA (Cocaine Anonymous), CoDA (Codependents Anonymous), GA (Gamblers Anonymous), OA (Overeaters Anonymous), and SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous). Many members of Alcoholics Anonymous will choose to attend weekly meetings of an additional 12-step fellowship based on the fact that the vast majority of alcoholics are dual-diagnosed with other psychological conditions.

Which Fellowship is Right For You?

While it is very important that you eventually settle down in one main fellowship and obtain a homegroup (a 12-step meeting that you attend at the same time on a weekly basis), you will also find a lot of flexibility while you are trying to decipher which program best suits your unique and personal needs. They say, “If the shoe fits, wear it!” Where recovery is concerned, do not be afraid to try on as many shoes as you see fit! A 12-step fellowship will undoubtedly prove to be a crucial part of your sustained sobriety, and will most likely save your life.

Staying Addicted: Which Excuse is Yours?

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are a time that people tend to use either in excess or more frequently to either celebrate or escape. I’ve heard time and time again from folks in recovery that they wanted to wait for the holidays, a wedding, a birthday or other meaningful event to pass before entering treatment to get clean and sober. Unfortunately in many cases, during this time they proceed to make a fool of themselves in front of family, ruin a wedding or potentially overdose in their disease. Was putting off seeking help really worth their health, life and the respect of themselves? No way!

Looking back, in hindsight, the following are other common excuses that are shared by many recovery for putting off seeking treatment. Which one(s) do you relate to?

It’s Expensive

Pay for treatment?! I’ve spent all of my money on drugs or alcohol and have nothing left. I don’t have the money to spend right now. I don’t even have insurance. How can I afford this?

Financially, treatment can be expensive. The good news is that almost all treatment centers will work with you on payment plans or sliding scale costs. Also, there are scholarships in place set forth by the government or treatment centers themselves that can sometimes fund an entire stay in treatment. Make sure to ask about if they have any financial assistance options. Treatment is possible without insurance.

I’m Embarrassed and Scared

What are my friends and family going to think? What will my job or coworkers think? Am I going to lose all of these people because of my addiction? What if I fail? People are no longer going to like me

It’s completely understandable to be embarrassing and scared. Nobody likes to admit they need help – or ask for it! It’s hard.

Everybody else uses as much as I do

I drink just as much as my friends do, if not less. Most people my age use just as frequently as I do. None of them have a problem.

If you find yourself comparing your use to others, stop now. You never know another’s situation or struggles. They may be struggling secretly just as you are. They also may be able to handle their use recreationally differently that you can. Addiction is genetically inherited. Though you may want to be like your peers, if you are reading this article…chances are that you aren’t.

I can change (This is deadly)

I’m not as bad off as other addicts. I can still fix my addiction. I haven’t hit a low enough bottom yet. I may have a problem but I don’t need to fix it now. I work, I pay my bills. I’ll wait to see if I can change. I’m not ready to get help yet.

Unfortunately, this is not only the most common excuse – but also the deadliest. Because overdose comes with zero warning, even a person who has not damaged their health with addiction can die from this disease with just one hit. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more frequently you are playing Russian roulette with your life.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, know that you are not alone. There is no excuse worth your life. Please contact us today to confidentially find out what your options are and begin battling the disease of addiction today!

Leaving for Rehab to Begin Recovery: What You Should Know

So you’ve come to the decision that you need help with your addiction and are preparing to leave for treatment. Congratulations! You’ve already defeated one of the hardest challenges of getting sober; you’ve admitted that you need help. You’ve already picked out a treatment center or detox location, if you need one. You might find yourself asking questions like, what’s next? How do I prepare? Am I going to be safe? How am I going to get through this?

Calm your fears and take everything one-step at a time. Use these few helpful tidbits to prepare yourself and suitcase before you leave to get sober:

• Don’t pack like you are headed for vacation. Pack comfortable clothes that you will feel relaxed wearing multiple times. You won’t need to dress to impress so don’t worry about designer jeans or jewelry. Also, know that a lot of place won’t allow clothing with string, belts or shoelaces. Find this out ahead of time and pack accordingly.

• Write down contact information of family or immediate support.  You likely won’t be allowed to have your cell phone on hand but there will be phones. Make sure to have a copy of phone numbers of the people who make you smile to use as needed.

• Learn to love literature. Pick out some books that interest you and bring them with you. You’ll likely have a lot down time to yourself and books are a great way to escape some of the seriousness of recovery. Self help books may be great while in treatment but try to keep your reading material light and enjoyably relevant to your interests. Avoid any material that glamourizes use, sex and violence.

• Take a pen and notebook….and use both!  Write down your feelings and thoughts as often as possible. Write down what hurts, your fears, what’s happened in the past or each day. The notes you make now will be instrumental in your recovery moving forward.

• Don’t over-think anything and stay focused on your immediate tasks at hand – Recovery and Staying Sober. Your new responsibility and first priority is to stay sober. Leave your fears and worries about your home life, job or finances at the door. Focus on  your new goal of sobriety now and you’ll work the rest out later. You’re on an express train to being given a lot of suggestions, recommendations and information about addiction and recovery. So, just keep an open mind.

So as you’re about to leave, The Hope Center wishes you success your journey. The road to Recovery is not easy but will set you free from your addiction and lead you to a new way of thinking, a new life and new happiness.

What questions do you have about leaving for recovery? What are your thoughts?