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Pop culture makes us believe that we won’t live our lives to the fullest until we get high or get passed out drunk at least once. But in reality, there are no good reasons to do those things at all.
There are others ways to enjoy your life without addictive substances involved. As such, you shouldn’t feel like you’re missing out if you live a sober lifestyle.
Sadly, many adolescents fall into the trap of drug use. If they don’t quit immediately, they may become addicted. And without early treatment, addiction can damage the brain permanently.
Nearly 21 million Americans have at least one addiction. But only 10% of them receive treatment. That said, even if the best drug addiction treatment center can help you, taking drugs is still not a risk worth taking.
Addiction recovery starts with an initiative to get treated, which doesn’t occur in all drug users. If you’ve hit rock bottom and become fully dependent on drugs, it would take more than willpower to encourage you to seek help.
Thankfully, no matter how old you are, you are in control of your lifestyle. Addiction isn’t inevitable even if it runs in your family.
People and Situations to Avoid to Stay Drug-Free
By avoiding these types of people and situations, you can be drug-free for the rest of your life.
1. Peer Pressure
Peer pressure can affect both adolescents and adults. If you’re constantly surrounded by reckless people, chances are you’d be tempted to act like them too, if it would stop them from pestering you.
But there are ways to handle peer pressure without falling into their trap. It starts with awareness. Once you realize that your peers are taking you to the wrong path, reconsider your friendship. Ask yourself if your friendship is worth losing yourself for. Remember, if you become addicted to drugs, you’ll become a different version of yourself that your family, work colleagues, and significant other don’t know.
Hence, get used to saying “No” to peers who pressure you into taking drugs. Don’t believe them when they say “just this once”. Drug addicts also started with small doses.
Be firm when you say no. Sounding unsure gives them more room for persuading you. Stand your ground and change the topic if you can. If they refuse to give up, it means they disrespect your boundaries. Leave or cut them off your life if that’s the case.
2. Parties Hosted by People You Don’t Know
In high school and college, you may be invited to many parties. Some of these parties will be hosted by people you don’t know. If one of your friends knows the host, you may use that as a reason to go. But it’s best to sit out of that party and do something else instead.
Attending parties isn’t inherently bad. But they create the ideal environment for getting high. Worse, someone could spike your drink and take advantage of you.
If you go to a party next time, whether you know the host or not, never accept drinks from anyone, even your friends. It is only safe to accept a drink if you see it being prepared in front of you. But still, observe for signs of a spiked drink. If you feel drunk or sluggish after only a few sips, stop right away. Feeling unusually drunk isn’t the effect of the alcohol, but the drug your drink has been spiked with.
Call a trustworthy friend to pick you up from the party if this happens. Make sure to stay in a safe place while waiting. If you’ve been roofied in a bar, go to the restroom and inform the first staff you see. If you’re in someone’s house, escort yourself out as you wait for your friend. You can also call a cab.
3. Bad Influences
People who put negative influence in your life don’t truly deserve your attention. They disrespect your boundaries under the guise of wanting you to enjoy life. If someone tells you that you can control your drug usage, they’re just manipulating you. Even if you don’t have an addictive personality, you can still get addicted to drugs because they alter your brain.
Drugs mess up your brain’s reward circuit. It causes euphoria and a release of dopamine. As such, you’d crave the substance again and again to get that feeling many times over. If you continue taking drugs, your brain will adapt to it, decreasing the euphoric sensation. This is will urge you to increase your doses to get high again.
Even if you’re curious, don’t let yourself give in. It can only take one “yes” to ruin your life. Focus on other things that feed your curiosity, like reading, watching movies, or a hobby you enjoy.
Avoiding people and situations that can lead to drug use is the first step for staying drug free. By staying away from potential negative influences in the first place, you’re less likely to fall into the trap.
Setting goals can also help you stay drug-free, but if you set expansive goals, they become more difficult to achieve and can cause more harm than good. All in all, it’s best to keep things simple.
You can keep things simple by watching out for peer pressure, avoiding parties where you know drug use is going to be occurring, and staying away from bad influences.
Staying drug free is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. By avoiding this disaster train from the get go, you’re saving yourself from a future of major distress.