There comes a point in many young peoples lives that they consider experimenting with drugs and alcohol. It could be when they are at their first party, or maybe they are in their parents’ backyards, maybe all their friends are doing it one day after school or it could be that their older siblings are, whatever the case is, it is important to understand how harmless experimenting could lead to an addiction.
First it is vital to understand that substance abuse disorder is a mental illness, and not a moral failing or lack of willpower. Substance use disorder, like many other mental illnesses, cannot be detected by medical tests such as blood work and CAT scans. Does that mean the only way to know you are an alcoholic or addict is by experimenting? Not exactly.
This next step in the cycle is where experimenting becomes addiction. It happens very gradually, then suddenly, and your stuck wondering, “How did I get here?” You start using drugs and alcohol every day, at first with friends then alone. Every dollar you make at work goes straight towards your next high. Your relationship is over, heck most of your friendships are over. Your lifestyle has completely changed, you don’t care about class or that team, or even your personal hygiene or nutrition. All you can think about, even in your dreams, is getting high and drunk.
You have no money, you got fired from your job and can’t find a new one. You are worried about how you will get money to continue using drugs and alcohol. You might try to steal from family or pawn a few things that you “didn’t like anyway.” It is no longer fun to drink or get high, you only do it because you must, or you won’t make it through the day without getting sick. This is how curiosity killed the cat, don’t let it kill you too. Experimenting with drugs and alcohol puts you at a greater risk for developing substance use disorder. If you think you or a loved one may have a problem with drinking or drugs, or if you have any questions about drug abuse, you can chat with one of our PROFESSIONALS below. know that help is always available and full recovery is possible.