In school, you’ve probably been taught why you shouldn’t use drugs. There are lots of reasons. There’s the obvious: drugs are illegal. If you use them, you could wind up in jail, which can prevent you from doing a lot of great things later on. There are health reasons: not only can you get addicted to drugs, but they can also make you really sick or kill you. And there’s also your own reputation to consider: when you do drugs, you’re not in control, and you may do something you regret.
Marijuana, hallucinogens, crack, cocaine, methamphetamine and many other substances are illegal – just possession can get you high fines and jail time. But there are other consequences to consider, as well. Using drugs sometimes seems glamorous in movies, but like many things, the reality doesn’t measure up. Here are some common myths about using drugs.
|Drugs make you feel good.||They will ultimately make you feel much, much worse. Over time, you lose the ability to feel good from the same amount of a drug, requiring larger and larger doses. Your body stops feeling pleasure without significant chemical aid. Everyday life can’t make you happy because your brain can’t register a good day.|
|Drugs make you look cool.||When you use drugs, your inhibitions are lowered. You’re much more likely to do things you’d never dream of doing while sober, like saying something you’ll regret later or even hurting yourself by falling or driving when you were impaired.|
|Drugs help you look more attractive.||Drugs can have devastating effects on your physical appearance. Some drugs make you feel hungry and gain weight. Others make food unappealing, resulting in a gaunt, skeletal figure. Almost every drug will give you terrible skin. They can also do other bad things to your looks, like make your teeth and hair fall out.|
|Drugs can get you laid.||Drugs don’t really make you more or less attractive to other people. But they do lower your inhibitions. This might mean someone will hook up with you, but it also means you might not remember to use protection, putting you at a higher risk for STDs, infections and HIV.|
|Drugs help you fit in.||Using drugs automatically makes you an outsider—you are living outside the law. The further you get into drugs, the narrower your circle will become because other people will reject your lifestyle.|
|Drugs help you cope.||Using drugs doesn’t make your problems go away. It just gives you another problem to deal with: addiction.|
|It takes a long time to get addicted.||Some people have reported feeling addicted after their first time using. There’s no way to know how quickly you may become addicted.|
You may think that there are only consequences to using drugs if you get caught, but there are also serious health risks to consider. Long-term alcohol and drug abuse is associated with:
- Liver disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neurological damage
Here are a few steps to help you conquer your addiction and get your life back…
- First, you must acknowledge that your substance use is a problem. Without admitting this, you won’t be able to move forward.
- Once YOU DECIDE to quit, be committed. Make a plan and follow through. Set a date to be completely clean, and then think of goals to reach along the way. This step is very hard, and you may need someone else’s help to make the plan.
- Get help from a professional. A professional can give you support and develop a treatment plan for your immediate and long term needs. Your doctor can also treat withdrawal symptoms and other problems that you may have as you recover from your addiction.
- Get support. Ask your family and friends for support and/or find a local group that can give you the tools and support you need to break your addiction and move on with your life.
Remember, it’s also important to change your environment to get rid of the temptation.
IF YOU ARE IN TENNESSEE OR INDIANA
Centerstone offers help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through our Triage Line staffed by our crisis team. All calls are completely confidential. Our toll-free number can assist a large number of callers at the same time, ensuring prompt attention to your situation. You will also be given information and access to services or programs you may need.
For immediate assistance in Tennessee, call toll-free: 800.681.7444
For immediate assistance in Indiana, call toll-free: 800.344.8802
MORE PLACES TO GO FOR HELP
- SAMHSA Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Tennessee Association of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (TAADAS) REDLINE, Phone: (800) 889-9789