Get Off Drugs When My Friends are Still Using Drugs
Celebrities glamorize drug use; drugs are in movies, music, and TV; there’s a good chance you have easy access to them at your school. You can blame society for the prevalence of drugs, but ultimately, the decision to use—or stop using—drugs must be yours. Your parents and siblings can’t force you to break your drug habit, because, chances are, if you quit for them, you will eventually start doing drugs again. The only good news is that there are many resources and support groups available to help you quit.
Consider these steps below when seeking help for a drug addiction.
Admit to myself that I might have a problem.
The first step in getting help for an addiction is to admit that you have a problem in the first place. Maybe your friends or family members have been giving you hints that they are worried about you. Or, maybe you have been questioning your own behavior lately. Whatever the reason, you have to be able to recognize the signs before you can get help. Check out these websites thoroughly and ask yourself if they relate to you:
Teens.drugabuse.gov provides valuable facts on drugs, real stories from other kids with drug problems, advice from doctors, and games that help teach about drug issues.
For a complete list of drug abuse signs, visit mayoclinic.com. This website offers a breakdown of many different types of drugs, including a list of signs of dependence for each drug.
Kidshealth.org provides information on many different drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs. This website also offers detailed information on getting help with drug abuse.
Ask one person (parent, older sibling, trusted friend) to be my personal coach.
You will need a partner - a personal coach-who can use their authority to offer leadership and guidance, not rules or regulations. Pick someone who is not quick to judge you and someone you can be honest with about any failures along the way. If you feel you're being judged, you are more likely to pretend that everything is going according to plan.
Ask my personal coach to make a specific promise in writing about one way he or she will help me quit using drugs.
This is likely to involve looking out for you and helping you avoid certain situations. Here are some examples of a promise your coach could make:
I will answer the phone when you call so that I can help you talk about how you feel.
I will not take you to places where others are using drugs.
I will not allow anyone to use drugs (including alcohol) in our house (if your coach is a parent or sibling).
If you are in a situation where you find it difficult not to use drugs, I will leave with you right away. If I am not with you, I will come and get you as quickly as I can.
Set up a meeting with my parents to talk about my situation.
Whether or not your parents know about your drug use, you need to tell them what is going on. You may need them to drive you to meetings, set up some new rules about curfews and boundaries, and help you with treatment options.
Important tip: Give your parents open access to your cell phone, email address, and any social networking accounts – at least for a while. If you have nothing to hide, you will have nothing to worry about. If you really want help to stop using drugs, giving your parents access to your personal information will help you stay accountable.
Make a list of my reasons for quitting.
This needs to be your own personal list-not one that your parents or friends create. Write down every reason you can think of to quit doing drugs, no matter how trivial it may seem. Common reasons for quitting are related to saving money, improving health, a personal sense of accomplishment, fear of going to jail, and freedom from the control of an addiction. After you have written the list, hang it in a place where you will see it several times a day.
Make plans to spend more time with my friends who don't use drugs.
This may be the toughest thing to do, but it may also be the most effective in helping you quit. If the group you socialize with tends to be drug users, it's time to create some new friendships. If you are always hanging out with people who use drugs, you will tend to fall back into the habit of using drugs. Start spending more time with friends who enjoy going to places like restaurants, stores, movie theaters, churches, etc.
Contact my local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups.
These groups offer information and recovery programs for teens. You can get information about AA and/or NA meetings, plus treatment programs in your area. The Alcohol and Drug Information hotline is (800) 729-6686.
Tip: Ask your personal coach to attend a meeting with you. He or she may make you feel more comfortable at your first meeting.
Write an action plan for dealing with people or situations that may tempt me to use.
Think about situations that make you want to use drugs. It may be that most of your friends use drugs. There may be places you often go together, where you used to use drugs. Now you have to figure out how to be with those friends, or in those places, and not use drugs. Be honest about those places and then write down a plan of action for dealing with the urge to go back to your old habits in those situations.
Set up a system of rewards and milestones.
Perhaps you will promise yourself a certain reward after one week, one month, six months, and then a year of being drug free. Each of these rewards should be reasonable based on your own resources and the level of difficulty you have faced in reaching the goal. The rewards should be specifically stated upfront. Write them down, and reward yourself when you accomplish each milestone.
Make a folder with website listings, local phone numbers for counselors, support groups, and drug rehabilitation centers that offer resources and support.
Keep all of this information in an easy-to-find place for current and future reference. If you need the information quickly, you will know where it is and not have to search for it.
To continue, please sign in to EduGuide's free, nonprofit Community.