If you are a teenager and you have been struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you need to understand that your brain is still developing. The more damage you do to your brain while it’s still developing, the more permanent the damage will be. Not only must you do everything in your power to quit, but you must have the support from friends and family members to get you through this challenging time of your life.
“Just Stop” isn’t Enough
The longer a drug is used, the harder it will be to come off of it. With adults, it has a lot to do with the many years of drug abuse and the toll it takes on the mind and body. With teenagers, it has a lot to do with the still-developing brain being trained at such an early age to tolerate this abuse and adapt to it. Your brain needs to be re-trained to accept a different reality from now on. Addiction doesn’t just happen; it’s based on emotional and psychological problems and you will need to deal with these. Your friends can help if they are not using themselves. However, remember that your peers are in the same age group as you and they need direction too. You will have to learn to accept responsibility for your actions and strive to make positive changes in your daily habits.
Cold Turkey isn’t Always Best
Some addictions, including cigarette smoking, can safely be stopped abruptly without any risks to your health. Other addictions, like alcoholism and prescription drug addiction, take more careful effort to manage during the quitting stages. Withdrawal symptoms from drugs like alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines can cause panic attacks, seizures, rapid heartbeats and even cardiac arrest. The mental confusion associated with quitting these kinds of drugs can also be very dangerous. Deep breathing exercises, meditation and going on long walks can help with withdrawal symptoms that aren’t too severe. Medically managed detoxification makes treatment safer for those experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.
Experiencing a relapse can definitely be part of the healing process for many, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Once you have found a daily routine that works for you, stick to it and improve upon it. If you still have friends that use after you have decided to quit, avoid them like the plague. They will have to understand that you no longer fit into their dynamic. Spend time exercising, eating healthy foods and getting to know yourself better.
Loving yourself will give you the power to continue on the road to recovery. You should want the best for yourself, and that should never involve drug use. Making new friends that share your new beliefs can make a world of difference and keep you focused on making positive changes in your life. From there, make sure you choose the right treatment program that gives you the best chance of long-term success.
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