Above the Influence Victory at RHHS
By: Julia Horvath
Waking in a stupor after the previous night’s party, missing classes, falling behind and ultimately losing whatever funding may have accompanied one’s higher education are only minor representations of how drugs and/or alcohol can impact a teenager’s life. The other affects of alcohol and/or drugs can be detrimental, even deadly. More than sixty percent of teens say that drugs are sold, used, or even kept at their school! More than sixty percent of teens have admitted to using illicit drugs. What many teenagers see as harmless fun is turning in to a very big issue nationwide.
In a recent interview, an RHHS student reveals her struggle with drugs and her determination to achieve sobriety. The student, who chooses to remain anonymous, recently celebrated her sixty days of sobriety, a major achievement for addicts.
She got into drugs like many other teenagers do. “I was at parties and everyone else was doing it so I thought what the heck? It seemed like pretty harmless fun after all.” Harmless was anything but what it really turned out to be. Peer pressure is one of the leading factors that drive teens into trying drugs. “One party led to another and before you know it, I was doing it everyday. Addiction runs in my family, it’s in my blood,” she states. Although peer pressure may have triggered the experimentation, it was her depression that she was dealing with kept her coming back she admits.
What started out, as “innocent” fun was now a very serious addiction. “You always hear adults say weed is a gateway drug, and you think to yourself ‘they don’t know what they’re talking about,’ but it’s true. I’m living proof of it,” she comments. She started out with weed and progressed to ice, which become her main drug. Ice is meth, more formally known as methamphetamine. It increases alertness, concentration, energy, and in high dose, can induce euphoria, enhance self-esteem, and increases sexual desire.
Things started getting worse at home with her mother disapproving of her actions. “I spent less and less time at home. My relationship with my mother grew worse everyday, but I didn’t care. The drugs made me act someone else. It’s like I was on autopilot all the time; it wasn’t really me.”
She was finally court appointed to Green Oaks, a mental health and addiction services the people of North Texas, located in Dallas. “Up until that point I didn’t care to quit; rehab didn’t just get me sober, they changed my whole mindset.” It’s almost near impossible to come clean from an addiction without help, but even after you get help, the real test starts when you leave rehab. Celebrating her sixty days of sobriety is a huge feat for her, and everyone that knows her is really proud. “I feel so free now, like chains have been lifted. Not having control over my body is something I never want to experience again,” she proclaims.
As her ninetieth day approaches, she plans on starting her sobriety again. “I relapsed, as much as I hate to admit it. It’s definitely not something I’m proud of but it happens to a lot of addicts.” Statistics show only about one in five addicts are able to remain sober without relapsing. “I don’t want to be one of those statistics. I’m involved in NA, and I’m taking my recovery very serious.” Her mother is standing by her side, and their relationship is going great. “I have goals for myself now. I want to attend Texas Women’s University and become a nurse!” she says. Her future is important to her, and keeping it drug free is at the top of her list.
Heath isn’t excluded from these statistics. Obviously, we deal with things here. It’s important to stand strong against peer pressure, and surround yourself with positive influences. If you do get involved with drugs, it’s important to get help, most of the time you can’t do it on your own. However, when one does overcome this addiction it’s a major feat and fulfilling.