note: Miracles In Progress Family Teen Group
provides information to teens to teach them to
make correct and healthy decisions!
Are Substance Abuse and Addiction?
Substance abuse means using an illegal
substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way. Addiction
begins as abuse, or using a substance like marijuana or cocaine. You
can abuse a drug (or alcohol) without having an addiction. People can
get addicted to all sorts of substances. When we think of addiction,
we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs. But people become
addicted to medications, cigarettes, even glue! And some substances
are more addictive than others: Drugs like crack or heroin are so
addictive that they might only be used once or twice before the user
means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or
drinks. Someone who's addicted to cocaine has grown so used to the
drug that he or she has
to have it. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.
Being physically addicted means a person's body
actually becomes dependent on a particular substance.
Psychological addiction happens when the
cravings for a drug are psychological or emotional. People who are
psychologically addicted feel overcome by the
desire to have a drug. They may lie or steal to get it.
The most obvious sign of an addiction is the
need to have a particular drug or substance. However, many other signs
can suggest a possible addiction, such as changes in mood or weight
loss or gain. Signs that you or someone you know may have a drug or
alcohol addiction include:
Use of drugs or alcohol as a way to forget problems or to relax
Withdrawal or keeping secrets from family and friends
Loss of interest in activities that used to be important
Problems with schoolwork, such as slipping grades or absences
Changes in friendships, hanging out only with friends who use drugs
Changes in sleeping habits
Feeling shaky or sick when trying to stop
Needing to take more of the substance to get the same effect
Changes in eating habits, including weight loss or gain
If you think you're addicted to drugs or alcohol, recognizing that
you have a problem is the first step in getting help. Find
someone you trust to talk to. It may help to talk to a friend or
someone your own age at first, but a supportive and understanding
adult is your best option for getting help. If you can't talk to
your parents, you might want to approach a school counselor,
relative, doctor, favorite teacher, or religious leader
Tips for Recovery
Once you start a treatment program, try these
tips to make the road to recovery less bumpy:
Tell your friends about your decision to stop using drugs.
Ask your friends or family to be available when you need
only to events that you know
won't involve drugs or alcohol.
Have a plan about what you'll do if you find yourself in a
place with drugs or alcohol.
Remind yourself that having an addiction doesn't make you
bad or weak..
All information on TeensHealth® is for
educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses,
and treatment, consult your doctor.
2010 The Nemours Foundation
How can Miracles In Progress Family Teens Group Help Me?
Here, on MIP, you will find other teens, who are affected by someone else's alcoholism or addiction, sharing not only the pain of such a hard situation, but also their hopes, dreams, experiences and strengths. We have a message board, resource listings, fun links and a chat room hosted by the most loving people.
The pain of having a family member caught in the mere of alcoholism or addiction is one of the most severe suffering one ever endures. It effects the whole family. Not just the person who is alcoholic or addict.
Our well-being is adversely affected by someone else's alcohol or drug abuse. The pain can be overpowering. It is agonizing. It is NORMAL. Everyone’s family is unique but everyone’s pain is the same. Alcoholism or Addiction is a friend to no one.
What is Family Teens Group? It's a place where peers in an online chat room environment teaches that you have "permission to feel, heal and recover". A place where you learn that the emotions you can't understand are seen in a "mirror image" of someone describing exactly what you are going through, and you say to yourself, "that's ME they are describing". So you learn you are not crazy - that the thoughts of the alcoholic or addict, the home, family, etc, that consumes you from the moment you wake from sleep, that finally comes after endless waking hours, are not only yours. You don't have a
monopoly on the fears, hurts, anger, disappointments, or shame. It's a place where you find that every word you heard in the beginning and could not believe yourself, suddenly are spoken by you to someone else you see that is in pain and you realize, "that's ME talking" ....now it becomes a place where you have learned that by receiving the support and understanding that helped you get through the pain (of having a alcoholic or addict family member) you are now helping someone who is where you have been. It's a place where you CAN recover from the pain, move away from old survival skills and learn new living skills.
It’s a place of belonging.
Do You have any short stories or poems that you would like to share about teens? e-mail them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Links Related to Teen Issues
A Game Arcade is available from the
|Find a safe environment. If you
find yourself avoiding your house as much as possible, or if you're
thinking about running away, consider whether you feel in danger at
home. If you feel that the situation at home is becoming dangerous, you
can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE. And
never hesitate to dial 911 if you think you or another family member is
in immediate danger.