Frequently Asked Questions about the use of
Alcohol & Drugs
This section is developed by families and individuals that have been
through the trials of addiction to drugs and alcohol. There is no
better way than to ask someone who's been through it.
Am I an addict?
If your life has become unmanageable or turmoil surrounds yourself,
and it happens to be related to your substance use, there is a
possibility of addiction. Sometimes, we set out to do something in
moderation, and end up doing it excessively. Usually if there is a
problem, family and friends become concerned and they often can
see it before you do. Most addicts cannot follow through with their
responsibilities and often put substances before work, school, friends
or family. Substance abuse can also cause you to make irrational
decisions such as lying, stealing, or even breaking the law.
Am I always going to be an addict?
Many believe "once an addict, always an addict." However, this does
not mean permanent abstinence cannot be achieved.
Addiction is a treatable disease. Though you will always have
addictive attributes, by working a program and taking the necessary
steps in recovery you can have a better life. It starts by admitting that
you have a problem and you need help.
I need help, where can I go to get help?
There are several ways you can get help. You can contact your local
substance abuse treatment center. There are also several self-help
groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics
Anonymous (NA). These meetings are set up to support you
through recovery by people who are going through it themselves. It
is important to reach out to those around you who will provide
support and understanding as you begin recovery, such as parents,
siblings, trusted friends, teachers, or even another recovering addict
or alcoholic. There are also crisis hot-lines that are available.
Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Allegany Rehabilitative Associates Counseling Services
Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council
800-724-0461 Hotline (24 hrs)
|“No matter how far down the elevator you go, there’s only 12 Steps back to the top!”
~~J.D., April, 2011~~
Questions from Parents
How can I tell if my child is on drugs?
People who use drugs and alcohol tend to be less motivated, moody,
acting irregular, or their appearance changes drastically. Physically they
could have slurred speech, dilated pupils, or glassy eyes.
You may notice a change in behaviors that are different from the norm,
losing interest in activities and hobbies, keeping unsavory friends, and
change in attitudes. They may act secretive and dishonest such as saying
they will be in one place and really at another.
You may find money missing, or they are asking or borrowing money for
things more often. You know your child better than anyone, if you notice
any changes that cause you to suspect that there is something wrong, it is
important to come out and ask them directly if they are using drugs.
Why does he/she behave that way?
Once drugs are introduced to the body a person's mood and judgement
are altered which may cause them to act in irrational ways or make poor
decisions. Drugs and alcohol prevent them from thinking clearly. What is
important here is to understand that the chemical they are using changes the
way they perceive, how they act, and how they communicate. Every
aspect of the person is changed due to how the drug reacts in the body.
Is it my fault that my child is an addict?
No, the user is responsible for their own actions. When drugs are used
excessively, it is almost impossible to control the temptation and drive to
use the drug. Once the drugs take over the mind and as the drug-use
progresses, the addict or the parent has little control over the situation.
What can I do to help?
Talk to your child compassionately, and try not to argue. Show them that
you are concerned and that you are there for them. Love your child
unconditionally while maintaining healthy boundaries. Be a good role
model yourself and discuss the importance of honesty. Be supportive!
Start connecting with people and services that can help your child obtain
sobriety. In addition, it is important to get help for the whole family to
promote a healthy environment for everyone.
|PARTNERS FOR PREVENTION IN ALLEGANY COUNTY
... A Drug Free Communities Coalition ...Recovery