Drug Free Living
Drug free living is a choice many people have made and will continue
to make. Whether in grade school, middle school, high school,
college or beyond being free of drugs is a healthy choice for
one's lifestyle. But, it's not that easy.
How can one remain substance free when they are surrounded by
peer pressure, societal apathy, societal promotion, easy access,
curiosity, human pain and suffering and a whole host of other
reasons? If some famous
addicts can't kick drug and alcohol addictions just by going
to rehab how can anyone else?
Let's take the idea of remaining drug free among the throws of
peer pressure first. Students at school, adults at work, and both
among their own social groups are introduced to peer pressure
every day. Many are not even aware of this pressure which can
be very subtle and live below one's radar level. But, it's there.
In order to remain free
of drugs many people will need to change peer groups,
schools, jobs, distance themselves from some loved ones who are
enablers and take other drastic measures to stay sober. It won't
be easy, but it may be necessary to save one's own life.
In schools, the Partnership for a Drug Free America disseminates
information on what is truly happening with today's youth. The
trends for meth, crack, pot, abuse of prescription drugs and alcohol
are discussed. A program called Too Good for Drugs developed by
the Mendez Foundation is also helping today's youth live a substance
Societal apathy gets in the way of people deciding to be free
from drugs. College drinking is looked at as a right of passage
among many adults, the media and pop culture. Smoking pot is being
legalized in some places and so abuse isn't taken as seriously.
Parental discomfort or negligence gets in the way of talking openly
with their teens about maintaining a sober existence.
Look at me, I'm drug free
Societal promotion of addictive substances also plays a role.
Movies with characters using and abusing drugs, some magazines
going for the heroin junky look with their photographs and celebrity
role models using without consequences all count as promoting
also inhibits sober living. When prescription painkillers and
other pharmaceuticals are in the house, this may be too tempting
for some curious family members or friends who visit. Drug
dealers who are friends of friends and rogue pseudo-chemists
in mobile meth labs evading police mean addictive substances are
only a phone call or text message away.
Plain old curiosity is what leads some people away from a sober
existence. In the 1960's experimentation was rampant. Even now
at raves, parties, and other social events substance free people
may be the standouts in the crowd and exception to the social
mores that are going on.
Finally, human pain and suffering plays a dominant role in straying
from a sober pathway. Early childhood traumas such as physical,
sexual, emotional and psychological abuse are heavy predictors
of later issues with addition. Also, physical injuries that require
painkillers for a limited time can lead to an extension of this
time and finally to an ongoing problem.
Later onset issues such as depression and anxiety will mean that
some people will self-medicate rather than being resolved to live
free from drugs. Some elderly people will experience much consecutive
pain as their bodies are in decline and resort to drugs and alcohol
for comfort. And, then there is managing grief which affects both
young and old who have a hard time dealing with a loss.
But, on a positive note,
deciding to be drug free is a choice. Making the
decision to live a sober lifestyle with a certain resolve gives
many people the feeling of empowerment. Some people will be helped
by their religious beliefs in order to remain free from alcohol
and drugs. Others may choose a healthy role model to emulate (though
this can be trouble as well). And still others may go to rehab
to receive the life tools needed to attain a sober journey.
But, no matter what, many people will resolve to make the choice
of freedom one day at a time, as they say, and reaffirm this conviction
on a continual basis.