Although adolescents aren’t old enough to drink legally, young people often find themselves in situations that involve alcohol. Even if you think you’ll just have a sip or two, it’s easy to get carried away and drink too much. Drug use is another problem involving people being tempted to put harmful things into their bodies. Controlled substances include marijuana and other illegal drugs, such as cocaine. Non-illegal drugs include prescription medications, which can be very addictive, too, if you don’t use them the way the doctor prescribes. Anyone struggling with substance abuse problems can and should get counseling to help them recover from addiction.
More people abuse alcohol than any other controlled substance. In the United States, experts estimate that one out of every 12 adults has a problem with alcohol abuse or addiction. In addition to this number of people, as many as a few million more drink in ways that may lead to future problems with addiction. Underage drinking is also a serious problem in the United States. By the time adolescents reach age 15, as many as 35 percent of them have consumed at least one alcoholic drink. This percentage jumps up to 65 percent by age 18. Teenagers also tend to binge drink, which involves consuming five or more drinks within a few hours of time. Engaging in this type of drinking pattern might make it more likely that you’ll develop an alcohol addiction at some point in the future. Some people have a higher-than-average risk for developing alcohol addiction. People who have family members battling addiction or who have experienced some type of emotional or physical abuse in the past may be more likely to develop problems with alcohol. Counseling is an important way to fight addiction. Getting help from professionals can help you overcome alcohol abuse to reclaim your life.
When you think about drugs, you might automatically think about illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine. While these drugs are extremely dangerous and addictive, they are not the only harmful drugs. Marijuana might seem like a safer drug to use, but there are risks involved with this drug as well. Using marijuana causes significant impairment, which can lead to car accidents. It’s also common for people to progress to using stronger drugs such as heroin and cocaine after using marijuana. Prescription drug abuse is also a serious risk for people of all ages. Opioid painkillers such as codeine and morphine can be highly addictive. What begins as a simple way to get high can become something that your brain and your body need when addiction sets in. As the body develops a tolerance for the prescription drugs, people often take more pills to get the same effect. When this happens, overdose is a risk, which can be life-threatening. Combining drugs and alcohol is also very dangerous because the alcohol intensifies the effects of the drugs. Anyone struggling with abuse of illegal or prescription drugs can get counseling to overcome their addiction. Although treatment takes time and effort, being free of the addiction makes it possible to live a happier and healthier life.