You’re young and your time is more valuable than ever. But, what you don’t realize is that even the smallest drug addictions rob you of your time — not your time now, but your time later in life. Here and there, you lose minutes and minutes add up to hours and hours can add up to lost potential. In our success culture of hyper-efficiency, every minute seems to matter. Here are five tips on how to combat the smallest drug addictions.
1. Do Not Fear the Word ‘No’
You hear the phrase “peer pressure” a lot, right? You have also probably found yourself in dozens of situations where you feared saying “no” because of how your friends would react to it. It is the fear that keeps you from reacting in a positive way. Part of growing up is also about learning to make decisions based on what is right for you and not them. Friends do not need a reason why you choose not to take drugs. The word “no” should be enough. Teens also need to feel they have the right to walk away without consequence. The ways to do this include:
- Always know the character of the people you surround yourself with
- Know that it takes one person to say no to make a difference
- Understand that one time does matter as it can lead to addictions that are harder to control
- You do not have to drink alcohol or take drugs to fit in with your peers
2. Bridge Connections with Adults
As you get older, you will find that it helps to have confidants that you can talk to when life’s challenges test you. More so now than ever before, talking to someone who has experience with drugs and alcohol can mean the difference between moving forward drug-free or falling into the trap of addictive behaviors. There is a wealth of information that you will learn, which will help you grow into adulthood without harmful practices. You will find that you will learn to love your life and the people who are in it long-term.
3. Follow Drug and Alcohol Guidelines Your Family Sets
Family dynamics are a critical part of growing older. Rules are in place to teach you how to become an adult. You want to become independent, so you need to learn to respect family rules to gain more freedom. Be proactive and talk about alcohol and drug use so that parents can help you learn to bypass those temptations. You never want to see the disappointment in their eyes because you broke their house rules. The more that you tell them about your experiences, the better off your family will be when talking about it. They will also be there for you to help which makes them your best ally. Achieve this by:
- Discussing family rules and setting clear guidelines
- Finding out what the consequences are when rules are broken
4. Learn About Addiction and Become a Role Model
There is always power in learning regardless of the decisions you make in life. Gaining information about drugs and alcohol lets you separate myths and stereotypes from facts and statistics. You can also become a prominent role model for your friends and family by sharing that knowledge. When you build a solid infrastructure, you have all of the information you need to move forward and build your own path in life that the friends around you may not have the ability to do. Where do you want to go? How do you plan to get there? Are drugs and alcohol part of the path you plan to take? Some of the ways to avoid addictive substances include:
- Get active in community service
- Learn to play an instrument
- Join sports, music, theater or book clubs
- Get a job to fill in extra time
- Become a tutor
- Mentor others about addiction
5. Ask for Help If You Need It
Many people say they never asked for help early on because they thought they would be able to stop alcohol or drug use on their own. Do not wait until you are forced to get help to ask for it. Speak to your family, friends, or community leaders about inpatient drug rehab Ohio programs designed to help you overcome the challenges you are dealing with. The worst thing you can do is remain alone when you need people around you who know how to deal with addiction. You have a lot of resources available, including the Alcohol Abuse Hotline at 877-889-7414 and the National Drug Helpline at 866-236-1651. Part of learning to live drug and alcohol-free is taking control and responsibility of your life and learning to live a healthy and safe existence. Encourage others around you to do the same.