It’s best to be informed when it comes to making decisions that could dramatically impact the course of your life. Doing your research gives you the ability to make choices that foster progress, failure to do so can result in severe consequences down the road. The more you know, the better off you are, in all things life: knowledge is power; we can apply this idea to drug and alcohol use. The fact that you are reading this blog means that you have some idea of where substance use can lead, most notably resulting in addiction.
Modern science has given all of us a more enlightened understanding of mental illness. It’s widely agreed upon that use disorders are mental health conditions with no known cure; while that may sound dismal, the good news is that experts also agree that people can manage the disease of addiction. With help, those afflicted by mental health disorders of any kind can recover; if such people stay committed to the path of recovery, they can lead fulfilling and productive lives.
As with many problems that people battle with in life, they often arise when we are young. The brain, scientists contend, is still developing into one’s mid-20’s; this means that a lot of chemical and physical changes are underway, and the substance people introduce to their bodies can result in the development of severe problems. It’s not a coincidence that teenagers who drink heavily in high school often experience issues later in life. There is no way of identifying (currently) which teenagers are susceptible to behavioral health conditions, which means is best for young people to play it safe and abstain.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
Of course, we all know that teens are prone to obstinacy and invincibility complexes; they are not keen on being told what to do, let alone being led to think that they are not in control. Parents and teachers begin instilling adolescents with the facts about substance use at a young age, yet come high school countless teens across the country imbibe alcohol and consume various narcotics. The reasons for careless disregard in this area are varied; some don’t see the harm, many don’t grasp the gravity of what they are doing, while others know the danger but like the risk.
Those working in the field of addiction know that young people are extremely susceptible to developing substance use problems. The effects of drugs and alcohol on developing brains are many, including substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. We must do everything in our power, as a society, to give teens and young adults an accurate picture of substance use and addiction.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) launched National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week in 2010 to “stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction.” In 2016, NIDA was joined by their sister agency, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), to include alcohol into our discussion with young people. Alcohol and drugs are birds of a feather, after all.
NIDA and NIAAA understand that young people make decisions without having all the facts, especially regarding alcohol and substance use; the agencies want to Shatter the Myths ® of about drug and alcohol use. You can help them in their efforts by spreading the word about the risks of addiction on social media or by attending one of the many events taking place this weekend.
Alcohol and Substance Use Disorder Treatment
Addiction can develop during adolescence leading to problems in all areas of a person’s life in high school and down the road. In other cases, the seeds of use disorder are sown as a teen, only to blossom in college; in both cases, addiction treatment is of the utmost import. When the disease is left untreated, individuals live in clear and present danger; drugs and alcohol wreak serious havoc on both mind and body, and certain drugs carry the potential of causing a fatal overdose.
If you’re a young adult struggling with addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat. Our Young Adult Addiction Treatment Program was specifically designed to meet the unique needs you young adults plagued by alcohol and substance use disorders. Recovery is more than possible, and it’s entirely vital; HVRC can help you stem the tide and give you the tools to make the journey of lasting recovery.