Your Questions… REAL Answers Sara Westbrook
Addiction Defined Addiction is when a person has compulsive, often uncontrollable drug use in spite of negative consequences NO SINGLE FACTOR DETERMINES WHETHER A PERSON WILL BECOME ADDICTED TO DRUGS All drugs are potentially harmful and may have life threatening consequences. Everyone has different sensitivity to different drugs. One person can use a drug once or many times and not suffer from the effects as much as the next person who may use and become dependent soon after their first use.
Risk Factors for Addiction? As a teenager, brain development is still happening. One area of the brain still maturing involves decision making, motivation, learning, judgment and controlling behaviours. So, introducing drugs during this brain development can disrupt the brain function of the areas still maturing and put you at greater risk. More risk factors that may make you more vulnerable: • Increased stress • Unstable family or peer relationships • Peer/social pressures • Mental health issues • Exposure to abuse (physical, emotional/verbal, sexual) • Using substances at an early age
Detox If you hear someone say that they are “going to detox” they are talking about going somewhere safewhere they can be monitored as they stop usingtheir substance of choice. Example: The Centre of Hope in London provides detox services where you can stay overnight for up to a week and be monitored by staff as you withdrawal from the substance you have taken.
Nightmares Anxiety and stress are two of the most common causes of nightmares.However, sometimesuse of substances can cause nightmares. Also, nightmares can be a symptom of withdrawal from substances. Example: antidepressants/sleeping pills or the excessive use of alcohol. • “Using Dreams” are when a person has a (usually vivid) dream about using drugs, looking for drugs, or watching someone else use • They are sometimes so real that the person wakes up and is sick because they feel so high • “Day Dreams” are what I call them, but these are vivid memories which some people get when thinking about their past – can be memory of them using, of the things they did to get their drugs or some other traumatic event can last for a few seconds, minutes or hours. Usually they are accompanied by extreme feelings of guilt and shame.
Withdrawal Happens when a person has developed dependency to a substance and doesn’t keep a certain dose of that substance within their bodies. What does withdrawal feel like and how long does it last? Withdrawls feel different depending on what drug you are addicted to • Typically the withdrawls are the opposite of what the drug does to your system • The extreme physical withdrawls last about one week (everyone is different though – this varies based on the person and the drug(s) they used) • PAWS is the emotional and mental “pain” (depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, tiredness etc.) the length that it lasts varies (some report a few months, others say it lasts up to two years) • You can go to a detoxification center to go through withdrawals in a safe environment where you won’t be able to go use • You can also go to a treatment or rehab center where you can work through a lot of the feelings that accompany PAWS
Withdrawal Specific substances and their withdrawal symptoms: • Alcohol: headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shakiness. Withdrawal can begin as early as 6-12 hours after last drink and can last up to 7 days. • Cocaine: exhaustion, restless sleep, irritability, depression, suicidal thoughts, intense cravings • Amphetamines/Other stimulants: fatigue, restless sleep, irritability, suicidal thoughts, depression, paranoia, episodes of violence • Cannabis: irritability, anxiety, depression, upset stomach, loss of appetite, sweating, and disturbed sleep. Symptoms can last up to a week – sleep disturbances can last longer • Benzodiazepines: headache, insomnia, sweating, difficulty concentrating, fear, fatigue, paranoia, agitation, seizures • Prescription Opioids: uneasiness, yawning, abdominal cramps, aches and pains, diarrhea, anxiety, trouble sleeping • Hallucinogens: stopping use doesn’t usually cause symptoms of withdrawal. However, people can develop psychological dependence (emotional/mental preoccupation with the substance) and may experience mental or emotional distress when not using
Overdose Signs of a drug overdose vary depending on the drug used. NEVER, NEVER, leave the person alone or let them “sleep it off.” Some signs can include: • Coma, unconsciousness • Increased agitation, violent or aggressive behavior • Convulsions • Paranoid behavior • Difficulty breathing • Extreme drowsiness • Staggering • Sweating or extremely dry, hot or pale skin If overdose is suspected, contact 911 right away and if you can help the person into the recovery position while you wait for medical attention.
Sex & Drugs When you do drugs do you mess up your sex life? • What do you think? • Can drugs cause STIs? • Drugs don’t cause STI’s but using drugs could lead to decreased inhibitions which may cause an increase in casual sex or unprotected sex. • Some forms of drug use (i.e. injection or snorting) can lead to blood borne infections like HIV/AIDS or Hep B which are classified as STIs. Why do drugs increase your likeliness of having unprotected sex? You might not be able to talk to a partner about condoms if you are high. You may not be able to communicate your wishes (like “I don’t want to have sex now”) to your partner if you are high. Being high can cloud your judgement and take away your inhibitions resulting in you doing things you normally wouldn’t. • Can doing drugs make me not get an erection? • Many drugs from alcohol, cigarettes to pot, opiates and crystal meth can have effects on getting and keeping an erection, both while using and some may cause permanent damage. • Why?Certain drugs cause decreased blood flow • NOTE: Some drugs can also increase the ability to have an erection, however it is safer to talk to your doctor about safe medications you can take to help achieve an erection, or assessing whether it is a health condition that is causing you to not have an erection, or is it using drugs.
Date Rape Drugs How do you know if someone put a date rape drug in your drink? You don’t. • Date rape drugs are colourless, tasteless and odorless and can be dissolved into any alcoholic and non alcoholic drink (incl. Water!) • Symptoms you’ll experience: dilated pupils, sweating, and slurred speech, and disorientation, low respiratory rate, and nausea, loss of coordination, temporary amnesia, hallucinations, paranoia, coma, and death. • You feel drunk and haven't drunk any alcohol — or, you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual. • You wake up feeling very hung over and disoriented or having no memory of a period of time. • You remember having a drink, but cannot recall anything after that
What are Date Rape Drugs? • Rohypnol(roh-HIP-nol) aka flunitrazepam (FLOO-neye-TRAZ-uh-pam) • sold as: alprazolam (marketed as Xanax) or clonazepam (marketed as Klonopin); • effects kick in after 20-30 mins and lasts for hours. • Causes memory blackouts that last 8-12 hours. • GHB short for: gamma hydroxybutyric (GAM-muhheye-DROX-ee-BYOO-tur-ihk) acid; slightly salty taste (very difficult to detect); causes extreme fatigue • Ketamine (KEET-uh-meen), effects kick in with in 5-10min and last for about 30-60min (powder or liquid forms) • Ecstasy – like alcoholmakes a person feel "lovey-dovey" towards others. It also can lower a person's ability to give reasoned consent. Once under the drug's influence, a person is less able to sense danger or to resist a sexual assault. • ALCOHOL (most commonly used drug to commit sexual assaults)
Pregnancy & Drugs If a woman is pregnant and smokes marijuana, will it hurt the baby? YES How? • Each drug has different effects on baby and mother. The types of effects depend on the type, amount and frequency of drug use. • Examples: Marijuana can cause babies to be born with low birth weight – which has other health implications. Alcohol has very detrimental effects on the developing fetus (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder) • PRIMA (Pregnancy Related Issues in the Management of Addictions) has a list of effects that each drug has on mom and baby. (www.addictionpregnancy.ca) How many drugs do you have to take in order for the drugs to affect your baby while you are pregnant? • Even small amounts of substances can effect a baby’s development. • Alcohols’ effect on the baby is called “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder” because there are a spectrum of problems that could occur depending on when the alcohol was consumed and how much was consumed during pregnancy. Effects could include anything from learning disorders to severe brain injury.
Pregnancy & Drugs • Caffeine: Drinking more than 3 cupsof coffee regularly increases your risk of miscarriage and having a baby with low birth weight • Tobacco: The more you smoke, the greater the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, still birth and having a baby with low birth weight. When possible, avoid being exposed to second hand smoke. • Alcohol:No safe level of drinking during pregnancy. Drinking at any point during pregnancy may increase risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, fetal alcohol syndrome. • Cannabis:No known safe limit for use in pregnancy. Cannabis use may increase the risk of having a baby with low birth weight. Avoid being in the same room with someone smoking cannabis to avoid the second hand smoke. • Opiates:No known safe limit for illicit use in pregnancy. If you are taking a prescribed dose from your doctor with no signs of dependence, you should continue to take the medication. • ** If you are taking methadone and being monitored: safe to use during pregnancy. Some babies do experience withdrawal symptoms after birth but they can be managed with the help of your doctor. ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING AND/OR CONTINUING METHADONE. • Cocaine/Crack: Do not use during pregnancy – may cause miscarriage and premature delivery. The baby may also have withdrawal symptoms at birth. • Stimulants: It is best not to use stimulants that have not been prescribed to you. May increase your risk of high blood pressure, miscarriage, premature delivery and having a baby with low birth weight. • Inhalants and Solvents: Do not use during pregnancy – may cause early labour, baby may have breathing problems, thinking and/or behavior problems
Health & Drugs Can I get fat from doing drugs? Will doing drugs make me lose weight? • Weights could go up or down. It depends on a lot of factors. The more important point is that any drug has significant health and social impacts. Do drugs have anything to do with acne? • Using drugs can affect your stress levels, hormone levels and immune system, so it may have a part causing or worsening acne If you only do drugs on the weekend can it still hurt your body? • Yes. See health effects above. In addition, occasional use of drugs can sometimes progress into more regular use of the drug (dependence and addiction). How long does marijuana, coke, meth, oxy’s etc…stay in the user’s body? • It depends on the drug, body composition, whether the person has a healthy liver etc. Marijuana could stay in the body for 40 days or more because it is stored in fat cells in the body.
The Law & Drugs Can employers do a drug test on you before hiring you? • Some employers might drug test if you will be working in what is considered a “safety sensitive” position where being impaired would pose a significant risk to you or your co-workers. • Example: fork lift driver in a factory
The Law & Drugs If you say no to someone who tries to sell you drugs and he keeps following you, what do you do? Call police or go to the nearest home, business. What if I am holding drugs for a friend and I get searched by the police, will I get into trouble? Yes you are in possession of drugs & drugs are illegal What happens if you are in a car with someone who is dealing drugs? Will you get into trouble to? Yes it is referred to as “party to the offence”. It carries the same consequences.
Home Remedies? Can drinking rubbing alcohol give me a buzz? • No, it contains a different kind of alcohol that is poisonous if consumed. • Beer, wine and other spirits (hard liquor) are composed of ethanol (ethyl-alcohol) • Rubbing alcohol is composed of isopropyl-alcohol Rubbing Alcohol Alcohol Does sniffing glue give you nose bleeds? Yes, and it causes brain damage. Could household cleaning supplies be considered as drugs since some teens sniff them? What happens to you when you abuse inhalants? Yes. You lose brain cells, causes brain damage & bleeding of the brain
Cough MedicineDXM (Dextromethorphan): Some of my friends drink a lot of cough medicine to get high… Is that dangerous? Is it considered an addiction? How big of an effect does cough medicine have on people that use it a lot to get high? Effects of DXM include: • Confusion • Dizziness, headache • Double or blurred vision • Slurred speech • Impaired physical coordination • Abdominal pain • Nausea, vomiting & diarrhea • Rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure • Drowsiness • Numbness of fingers and toes • Disorientation, loss of consciousness • Hyperthermia (fever), rash, seizures • DXM Overdose: • Central Nervous system depressant – respiratory depression. Basically, you can stop breathing. • Addictive? • Some sources suggest that people can become dependent on DXM to feel ‘normal’. • How big of an effect? • Depends on quantity, body type etc. Causes hallucinations, loss of motor control, and "out-of-body" sensations. • (source: www.dxmstories.com).
Steroids I heard that men grow women parts when they take anabolic steroids, is that true? If you take steroids what are the effects on women? Steroids can cause masculinization in women, including: • breast size and body fat reduction • coarsening of the skin • enlargement of the clitoris • deepening of the voice • excessive growth of body hair • loss of scalp hair • changes or cessation of the menstrual cycle With long-term use, some of these effects may be permanent. Steroids can cause men’s testicles (balls) to shrink, and breast tissue to increase, but that is the only things that have been documented. Steroids can seem like a great way to bulk up fast, but they are linked to many health problems and are not safe. If you are looking to increase your muscles mass (bulk up), talk to a dietitian, doctor and personal trainers, to find safe ways to increase the size of your muscles through diet and exercise versus harmful drugs. (Source: CAMH, Do You Know… Anabolic Steroids)
Steroids YES! Are steroids really bad for your body? • Taking high doses of steroids increases risk of: • enlargement and abnormalities of the heart, blood clots, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Steroid-related heart failure has occurred in athletes younger than 30. • aggression and violence (“roid rage”), negative personality change, mania and depression, which may lead to suicide. • ** Depression may persist for a year after drug use is stopped. • hepatitis, liver enlargement and liver cancer • reduced fertility in both women and men • tendon ruptures, cessation of growth in adolescents • hepatitis or HIV if steroids are injected using shared needles, and infections if steroids are injected with dirty needles.
Stimulants Stimulants are a class of drugs that generally increase alertness, attention and energy. Are stimulants addictive? Examples of Stimulants: Caffine: mild stimulant Cocaine: very strong stimulant Ecstasy: has stimulant-like features Yes Prescribed stimulants are typically prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and some forms of depression. The most common prescribed and abused stimulants are Ritalin and Adderall.
Depressants Depressants are a class of drugs that generally decrease alertness, relieve anxiety and tension. • Prescription depressants have similar effects to that of alcohol. • Typically used to treat anxiety disorders and short-term sleep disorders • Can be addictive, especially if misused. Discontinuing use of a prescribed depressant after prolonged use can lead to withdrawal and seizures. Someone thinking about ending their use of a prescribed depressant or has misused and is suffering withdrawal symptoms should speak with a physician and seek medical treatment. Are depressants addictive? Examples of Depressants: • Alcohol (ethyl-alcohol) • Valium (diazepam) • Xanax (alprazolam) Yes especially if misused
Cocaine Where does cocaine come from? • Coca plants from warm climates. • Colombia remains the world’s largest cultivator of the coca bush; followed by Peru; and Bolivia. • Approximately 90% of detected cocaine shipments were transiting through the Mexico-Central America Corridor What is crack cocaine? • Cocaine that is cooked with chemicals (dissolved in ammonia or baking soda and water). • It comes in the form of a rock crystal that can be heated and its vapors are smoked. • The term ‘crack’ comes from the crackling sound heard when it is cooked. (source: www.streetdrugs.org) Interesting fact: 90% of U.S paper currency circulating in U.S cities contains trace amounts of cocaine
Cocaine Cocaine Crack Cocaine Coca leaf
Ecstasy (MDMA) What is ecstasy and what does it feel like? Ecstasy is a synthetic drug with both stimulant and hallucinogenic qualities. Known as the ‘hug drug’ or ‘feel good drug’. Symptoms of use: • Intense euphoria • Peacefulness • Empathy • Sympathy • Acceptances • Dilated pupils • Reduces inhibitions • Eliminates anxiety • Suppressed need to eat, drink or sleep • Often mixed with other substances like GHB, Ketamine, or methamphetamines. Ecstasy is rarely ever pure. & Ecstasy cocktails (mixture of drugs) is very dangerous and has caused many deaths • May cause loss of brain function and brain damage; depression and suicide • Users feel safe and that they are in control but often sexual assaults or unsafe sex and driving while under the influence causes immediate problems • Even with occasional or weekend use, users can become addicted (Source: www.streetdrugs.org)
Meth (Methamphetamine) What is in meth? • Results of use: • inflammation of the heart lining • damaged blood vessels and skin abscesses (scarring of the face) • Psychotic symptoms (paranoia, delusions, mood disturbances) • ** can persist for months or years after use has ceased. • symptoms like those of Parkinson’s disease (severe movement disorder) • lead poisoning (lead is sometimes used to produce the meth (any errors in production will result in contamination and lead poisoning) IN SHORT: All things you would find under the kitchen sink or in your garage! 3 kinds: 1. l-methamphetamine: produced commercially and found in over-the-counter products sold in the US. No substantial addictive qualities. 2. dl-methamphetamine: produced with chemicals phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), aluminum, methylamine, and mercuric chloride. Associated with bike gangs 3. d-methamphetamine: produced using chemicals ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, hydriodic acid, red phosphorus, iodine, hypo-phosphorous acid, anhydrous ammonia, and sodium or lithium metal. Highly addictive, and widely abused. (Source: www.streetdrugs.org)
Prescription Drugs Is it safe to use someone else’s prescribed medications? Why can’t I use prescription drugs to get high If others use them for their problems? • Drugs are prescribed for specific reasons. Prescription drugs are prescribed to people who have extreme medical issues to offset pain. • Doctors prescribe medications after they have done an assessment and know that the drug is appropriate for an individual. • You may have an allergy to a drug, or may be taking other medications that should not be mixed. • Doctors and pharmacists will also educate an individual on how to appropriately use a medication (dose, frequency of use specifically for you). • If you have not talked to a Doctor or Pharmacist about how to use appropriately for you then you become at risk for addiction, injury, overdose and death.
Prescription Drugs How addictive are prescription drugs? Some prescription drugs are very addictive. Opioid pain relievers like oxycontin, Tylenol 3, and percocet are very addictive, have significant withdrawal symptoms, and overdose can be fatal. Illegal substances like cocaine, marijuana, and MDMA (Ecstasy) are not regulated by law and are very harmful substances. Prescription drugs are specifically prescribed to people who have ailments by Doctors. They are tested and regulated to contain appropriate amounts of approved substances to help people deal with illness or pain. ** If someone uses a prescribed medication improperly (ie; uses more than they should or have not been assessed by a Doctor for use) that person is considered misusing the drug; which can lead to serious harmful side effects.** What is the difference between prescription drugs and illegal substances?
OxyContin How many oxy-contins do you need to take before you would overdose? • OxyContin comes in different doses (10mg, 20mg, 40mg, 80mg of Oxycondone). • If a person has been using 10mg tablets of OxyContin, and their body is used to this dosage, increasing the dose can put you at risk of overdose. • OxyContin is considered a slow-release form of Oxycodone. If a person generally swallows their OxyContin, the Oxycodone is released slowly into the system. If the they then decides to crush and snort it, or crush and inject it, there is a risk of overdose because the slow release coating is removed and all of the oxycodone is released at once. It depends on the person, how much oxycontin they use, and the method of use.
Marijuana Yes, it can be. Is Marijuana Addictive? • Some people develop psychological or physical dependence. • They may feel they need the drug, and get anxious when they don’t have any. • Some people who use a lot of marijuana every day and then quit suddenly may have problems sleeping. They may get anxious, irritable or nervous without the drug. Or they may have an upset stomach or lose their appetite. These symptoms may last a week but sleep disturbances can last longer. Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug? Some people consider marijuana a “gateway drug” because people start using marijuana first and then move onto other substances like cocaine. However, this is not always the case – some people only use marijuana and never try other substances. And, other people start with other drugs first. Does marijuana cause lung cancer? Yes, among other health concerns. Marijuana doesn’t have a filter and it is significantly stronger and more potent on your lungs than cigarettes.
Marijuana Natural Drug? • A lot of natural things are poisonous, like some plants and snake venom. • Other drugs come from natural sources as well – ex. Heroin comes from the opium in poppy seeds, and Cocaine comes from the leaves of the coca plant. Though these come from natural sources, it does not mean they are safe to use. • When you smoke marijuana, it releases harmful chemicals into your lungs as marijuana is modified and grown under special conditions. • Just like other illicit drugs, marijuana can be laced with other substances (ex. Crystal meth). Medical Marijuana? • “Patients report that it reduces pain, improves sleep and relieves nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy and other treatments.” (Canadian Nurse, 2010) • Medical use of marijuana is granted to the following patients: end-of-life care, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, spinal cord disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, severe arthritis and other debilitating symptoms. • Negative health effects remain the same despite it’s use for medical reasons. The key is that in these patients, the negative effects of marijuana are small when compared to the debilitating symptoms of their disease… and in some cases the patient won’t live long enough to get lung cancer etc. For healthy people, the risks associated with marijuana use are a concern.
Marijuana Have most teens used marijuana in their life? No Only 29.5% of Ontario students report that they have ever used marijuana. This statistic includes those who have tried it once, to those who use marijuana daily. (OSUDUS:2009) Alcohol is still the leading drug used by youth. 61% of youth have used alcohol at some point in their life and 58% of them have used alcohol within the past. year (OSDUS: 2009) How does marijuana affect driving? Just like alcohol, it impairs your judgment and gives you a false sense of security. If marijuana is so bad for you, then why had there been no reported deaths of the substance alone? There have been reported deaths of marijuana use. What is the most popular drug right now and why?
Marijuana Yes, marijuana – and any other drug – affect school, sports, family life, work, social life, and more Does marijuana affect school, sports, or other activities? • Effects of smoking marijuana are different for everyone • Begin to loose interest, getting high becomes more important than anything else • Short term memory is affected, grades start to slip, begin forgetting simple things • All your old friends “Don’t know who you are any more” and want nothing to do with you • You have a lack of enthusiasm, may begin to feel depressed when you wake up (doesn’t go away until you get high) • Marijuana is a “Gateway” drug – it leads to harder, more addictive drugs
Why do People do drugs? If my parents are okay with me doing drugs why shouldn’t I? You are your own person, and just because someone says it’s ok doesn’t mean you have to do it. Look at the information for yourself and make an educated decision. There’s lots of reasons why people shouldn’t do drugs. Just to name a few… • Drugs are against the law. If you are caught you could end up in jail or get a criminal record • Drugs have negative short and long term effects on your health and life style • You could die • Drugs can trigger mental health disorders • You lose good friends
Why do my friends do drugs? #1 reason: Pressure from friends (not overt, but silent pressure…ie; hanging in a group and you’re the only one not using; seeing statistics or hearing that well all youth use drugs it’s normal) Teens have a social need to fit in with a certain group of people and often will misuse substances to fit in with a group of friends. “to fit in, not like peer pressure, but silent pressures” “So to be into a group like that (popular kids)…you’ll be a somebody.”
Why do my friends do drugs? “well it would be like stressin on something. You keep thinking about it and just take them to forget about it or something.” #2 reason: Stress • family life, school, work, relationships, physical conditions, etc. • Teens feel stressed out with and use substances as a way to take their minds off of their problems for an escape. • Sometime there are underlying mental illnesses that teens use substances to mask. Learn how to deal with stress and mental health at: www.mindyourmind.ca “It makes us focus and zone in on our work”
Why do my friends do drugs? “there’s nothing to do in this town. Drugs make things fun” #3 reason: Boredom • disconnected from opportunities to do other activities (ie; not being able to participate in sports, or other hobbies; being too far away to come to teen centers like TTC) • Teens believe they have little or nothing else to fill there time with. Plan fun activities in advance to avoid being bored. “I’m not good at sports or anything, but I am good at doing drugs!”
Why do my friends do drugs? “it does make you money…I mean some people have some nice stuff from selling drugs and everything” #4 reason: Curiosity/Myths • hear about some of the advantages about using substances, see others doing and having seemingly no negative effects. • Teens often engage in risky behaviours because their brains are not fully developed in the part where reason overrides emotion – ‘in the moment’ attitude. • Find that they enjoy the way they feel when under the influence. “you always see stuff on TV and hear stuff about it…so why not try it?”
Helping someone It is normal to worry about parents, family, or someone close to you who may be misusing or abusing substances. • It is important to remember that kids are not the cause of parent’s issues, no matter what is going on at home. Children cannot control or “cure” the problem. • Understand that you cannot make anyone stop using substances; it would be like someone trying to tell you to do something. Conversations with that person about how you’re are feeling are sometimes very hard, if you have a good relationship and feel comfortable doing that, express your concerns and offer them your support in seeking help. Sometimes it can help that someone just to know that you are there for them. • Remember to reach out to trusting adults in your life to get support and help. Talk to guidance counselors, teachers, school social workers for support. ADSTV counsellor and website are good resources as well as the Kids Help Phone. If someone wants more information about treatment for themselves, they may call DART (Drug and Alcohol Registry of Treatment) @ 1 800 565-8603
Case Example My brother’s friends are trying to get him to smoke and do drugs. He tries to get away, but they do not let him, and he tells people, and they do not do anything. What should I tell my brother? • Do what you have to do to get out of the environment. • Help your brother find a safe, confident person to help … maybe a coach or teacher that you know? • Look up some resources for your brother on how to get help, where he can talk to someone? Go with your brother if he doesn’t feel like going by himself to places like the Police, the Health Unit, to see a counsellor, etc.
Case Example My boyfriend smokes marijuana and I told him I didn’t care, but now he does it a lot and it’s really starting to bug me. I don’t know what to do because if I tell him to stop, he’ll just do it behind my back. I won’t break up with him for that because I love him too much Relationships are about trust and communication • Important to be honest in relationships and to communicate about how you both feel • Try to talk to him about how you feel, and why you changed your mind about “not caring” • Try to make a compromise • If he won’t change, break up; obviously he doesn’t respect you • Find some one who has the same beliefs and values as you do
Refusal Tips What do you do when other teens ask you to do drugs and you don’t want to, but still want to be cool? You have to look at a few things • What do you think is cool? • Make your personal definition of cool – all that matters is that you fit it • Figure out who you share interests with • Hang out with people who are interested in the same things as you • If some of your friends do drugs, try hanging out with them when they aren’t using, go spend time with other friends when they are • Find a few good “slogans” or things to say when you are asked to do drugs • No thanks, I don’t want to end up on Cops • No I don’t do drugs on days that end in “Y” • I can’t today, how is the 15th of Never? These are all funny “one-liners”, but if you want to get someone off your back for good you will need to talk to them and explain your reasons for not wanting to use. If they are your real friends they’ll understand and will lay off.
Refusal Tips How do I say ‘no’ without being ‘uncool’? • Mocktail: • If you’re handed a drink at a party carry it around and dump it in a plant or go to the washroom with it and dump it down the sink/toilet. Make yourself a mocktail instead and no one will be the wiser. • Two by Two: • Be aware of who typically has the drugs and is the person that wants you to try some and avoid, go to the bath room, or start a conversation with someone else that you trust if you see that person approaching you, that way if they ask, both of you can refuse at the same time making that person seem rude for interrupting your conversation. • Excuses : • got a sore throat • feeling kind of sick • blame someone: ‘my parents are going to ground me if I come home stoned again; Mr. Richards is going to suspend me if I come in school again smelling of weed, etc) • Be Savvy: • Use the skills people typically do to get you to use drugs to refuse them.
Helpful Resources • Websites: • Addiction Services of Thames Valley • www.adstv.on.ca • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health • www.camh.net • Street Drugs • www.streetdrugs.org • Safe Grad – Party planning tips • www.safegrad.com • Alcohol Policy Network • www.apolnet.ca • Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission • www.aadac.ca • Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse • www.ccsa.ca • www.drugfreeworld.org • www.keepcontrol.ca • www.mindyourmind.ca • www. whatswithweed.ca • www.dafacts.com • www.virtual-party.org • www.not4me.ca Phone Contacts: • Heartspace at Addiction Services of Thames Valley 673-3242, extension 222 • Motherisk Alcohol and Substance Use Helpline 1.877.327.4636 • Motherisk Home Line 1.416.813.6780 • Elign St. Thomas Public Health Unit 519.631.9900 • PIER Project of Addiction Services of Thames Valley 519.282.0662