This is an excerpt from Aunte Bee’s ‘Stomp Out Teen Struggles – Addictive Behavior’ e-book.
You might be wondering about the book cover. No, I don’t condone stomping out a fire with your feet, you could get hurt. However, you can also get hurt by being addicted to something. Becoming addicted to alcohol, cigarettes or drugs is like playing with fire. And if you play with fire too much, sooner or later, you are bound to get burned.
Addictions can cause many different problems in your life. Most addictions can limit your ability to function correctly. They can cost you money and precious time. Addictions can land you in trouble with your parents or in jail. Sometimes they can change your personality and your perspective. Not only can you lose relationships, but addictions can also cause you and those around you physical and mental harm. Later in life, addictions can ruin your career and jeopardize your livelihood.
So, let’s get real about harmful things you can become addicted to. You can become dependent on many things including drugs, alcohol, TV, electronic devices, and gambling. If you are addicted to something like this, you do not only crave that thing, you feel like you need it. You absolutely have to have it, or else you’ll go crazy! You are no longer in control; your addiction has the power. The addiction starts to take over your life, and soon you feel like you can’t live without it.
Usually, you have a pretty good idea of what can ultimately harm you and what won’t. When people try something potentially harmful for the first time, they certainly don’t say, “Hey, I’m going to try this, get hooked and ruin the rest of my life.” It starts out innocently enough, drinking just one drink, smoking that first cigarette or looking at your first porn magazine. Doing this, however, can turn into an addiction for some people for different reasons, and we will talk about these reasons later in this book.
Starting an addiction is easy. Once you are hooked, however, struggling with the addiction is hard. It can take a lot of time, money and effort to try to quit your habit. It becomes a part of you. You may struggle to get free of it. However, it’s got a hold on you, and it doesn’t want to let you go.
The easiest thing to do is not become addicted in the first place. You may have to be strong and say, “No,” to yourself. However, after you’ve done it a few times, it becomes easier and just part of who you are. You become someone who says, “No,” to potential harmful addictions, and that’s a great thing!
Or maybe you have to say, “No,” to friends or classmates. Peer pressure is a classic move to get most people hooked on drugs, drinking or smoking. We will talk about peer pressure, and I will share how you can say, “No,” gracefully and not look like a party pooper in front of your friends. After saying, “No,” a few times, the peer pressure will stop, and your friends will know where you stand. They will give up asking you, and if they are indeed your friends, they will respect your decision.
In this book, we’ll talk about the short-term and long-term effects of different additions. Make no mistake; if you become addicted to something, you are an addict for the rest of your life. You may be able to quit taking drugs or drinking alcohol, but once an addict, always an addict. You will still teeter on the edge of being sucked back into your addiction again at any given moment. Your cravings will always be in the background haunting you.
You may start out drinking with pals on the weekends or smoke some weed once a week. You might think it’s fun and exciting and there will be no consequences. Even playing video games more than you are allowed to or looking at some nude pictures, you may not think is a big deal until it becomes a big deal. For one thing, you are always running the risk of being caught by your parents or another adult.
If you were caught doing drugs, smoking, looking at porn or drinking alcohol by your parents, what do you think the consequences of that would be?
Can you think of other consequences of addiction besides being caught by your parents?
There can also be many other ramifications of doing these things that you may not understand now, even if you don’t become totally addicted. However, after reading this book, you’ll know what kind of impact the decisions you make now can have on you, either at the time you make the decision or later in life. You will also see how your decisions can affect others.
For example, if you are doing drugs or drinking underage, you are breaking the law. If caught, you will not pass “Go” and collect $200. You might get a one-way ticket to jail and, depending on your parents, you may be there a while. Not only do you have the experience of being carted off to the slammer, which is not an ‘exciting’ ride in a police car, you will have the expense. If you are caught partaking in these substances, you can be fined.
Are legal fines how you want to spend your money?
What would you rather spend your money on besides legal fines?
What are the penalties for a DUI in your state? This website has some very interesting information! Don’t forget to read the notes at the bottom of the page. http://dui.findlaw.com/dui-laws-resources/state-by-state-dui-penalties.html.
You might also get your two minutes of fame if your local paper reports arrests and everyone will know what you did. This is probably not the kind of fame you are looking for in life. And smile for your mug shot as this offense might be put on your criminal record. Keepsakes from school are cool, fun to show others and bring back great memories, but a juvenile criminal record is not one of them.
Even if you aren’t doing something illegal, many addictions can lead to repercussions and situations you will wish hadn’t happened. However, you can’t go back in time and have a “do-over”. Every day we make all kinds of choices. Some of them are trivial, like do you have a hamburger or pizza for lunch? This decision isn’t going to change how your day goes one way or another. However, drink that drink, inhale that product, take that drug or put down a bet and that small decision can affect your day and the rest of your life, big time!
You’ve probably seen a line of dominoes fall as one topples into the next one. Well, that can be what happens to you. One decision, one domino. But that decision starts a chain reaction that can affect not only that day but the next day and the next. There is an end to the line of dominos, but there may be no end to your life caving in on you as you struggle to make it through each day because of addiction.
If you can’t stop your cravings, the sad consequences of your addiction will grow over time, kind of like the snow in an avalanche. Can you imagine being buried in tons of snow? Not a cozy, warm feeling is it? Struggling with a dependence on something can feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. That is not a good feeling either.
These kinds of decisions cannot only harm you, but they can hurt your family and your friends as well. Many teens don’t know or realize the gravity of the decisions they make during their teen years. My reason for writing this book is to help you understand all aspects of different addictions so that you can make a more intelligent, informed decision for yourself.
**If you are interested in the e-book this excerpt is from, you can read more about it here.