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Transcript of Substance Abuse
A Dangerous Appeal
In today's world, substance abuse is on the rise. Why is that? The main reason that teens give into trying (and then later becoming addicted to) drugs is due to peer pressure. Reading this, it is sometimes easy for us to belittle peer pressure and it's victims. We might think to ourselves, "I am confident enough in myself that I never have to worry about things like that," or that "those people are just a little too eager to fit in, that's all," however, this is not the case. All teens are at the point in their lives when they struggle to find their identity, and while in this stage, they are much more susceptible to influence from their peers because they are not firm in who they are just yet. Another reason peer pressure is allowed to take hold in teenager's lives is due to a lack of a strong foundation at home. While teens are trying to find their identity, it is important for them to have limits being set by parents that they can easily come to with their problems.
"One night I was asked to go with them and they were all drinking. I wanted to fit in, of course I had to show off, I had to be the one drinking more than everybody else. And then the police came there. They were called I guess by someone who saw what we were doing and then they started to search us and I was the only one who had drugs on them. I had 300 Vicodans, which was a felony. I was put on probation and they said I could get put into a group home, or I could join a rehabilitation program...[o]ne day, I had got caught because I was drinking on the weekend and they caught me and someone asked me, 'How long can you lie to yourself for?' And I thought, 'Lying to myself? I’m lying to all you guys, I’m not lying to myself. I know who I am.' And the counselor asked me, 'Who are you?' And, I was blank. I couldn’t name one thing about myself."
It's your turn now
It's now your time to decide.
Hear It From Someone who Knows
A recovered teen drug addict shares her story:
"In between 12 and 14 I had escalated from using alcohol to smoking marijuana to doing painkillers, I even tried cocaine. I was always an attention seeker I always wanted to fit in, so when I went from middle school to high school I wanted to be with that crowd that everybody is always talking about that always seems to be involved in everything...[b]ecause of the effects of like my drugs and alcohol abuse had on my school work I went from before in the middle school, a B and C average, nothing stellar but still being a functioning person in school, to getting Fs, incompletes, not showing up to school at all, I think I had 38 absences in 9th grade...[t]he choice I made was to be with the negative crowd because that’s the one that is always talked about and is always in the center of everything."
Do any of these sound familiar? Chances are you've heard most, if not all, of them before. If you haven't guessed yet, these phrases are commonly used examples of peer pressure, only here being applied to a totally different context: substance abuse. Did you know that over 60% of teens reported that drugs were used, sold, or kept at their school? Or that by the time children reach the eighth grade, about 30% of them have consumed alcohol, about 16% have smoked cigarettes, and about 15% have used marijuana?
"It's just one bottle"
"It's just for this one time"
"All of the popular kids are doing it"
"Come on, are you scared or something?"
"You know you'll like it"
"It will be fun!"
"Trust me, it's perfectly safe!"
"If I can do it, you can do it"
"Join the crowd!"
"Don't you want to feel like you belong?"
"It's not like you're the only one doing it"
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction or would like to know more:
Poison control center: 1-800-222-1222
National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse: 800-784-6776
Coalition against Drug Abuse: 1-800-943-0566
Parents Toll-Free Hotline: 1-855-DRUGFREE
The Shocking Statistics
"That actually was the first time I looked and realized that what I was doing was wrong and that I was lying to myself. And that how long can I run for until everything catches up with me...My grades went up and I saw how happy I was making my mom and how happy I was making myself, how pleased I was getting and I went from hanging onto these negative beliefs to sharing and working through them, and moving on...[a]nd now, I’m holding onto it with both hands and I’m just going with it, you know, I’m planning on graduating high school, I’m planning on moving on to college, I want to graduate college."
You must stand firm among the pressure you face every single day and avoid situations that have a high probability of drug involvement! Living your life is so much more important than wasting it on any drug!