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Drugs & Alcohol

  • My life at home isn’t so great at the moment.
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    My life at home isn’t so great at the moment.

    16 year old, Female, NJ

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    My life at home isn’t so great at the moment. My dad has developed an alcoholic addiction due to depression. Fast forward to 3 years later and the situation has not improved. He comes home drunk every day after work and fights with my mom. It’s really sad that my little 11 year old sister has to hear all the yelling and see my mom cry afterwards. My dad has tried reaching out for help at addiction centers but he never stays for more than a few weeks. I’m embarrassed of him because of the way he acts when he’s drunk in front of our neighbors and people in public. One time he embarrassed me in front of a friend from school when she came over to work on a project. And another time, he almost got us into a fatal car accident while driving to a school event at a science center. I don’t speak with him much now because I feel like I lost him as a dad a while ago, and he’s a stranger to me now.
    My father’s alcohol abuse is not the only problem in my family right now. My little sister was recently diagnosed with ADHD and she takes medication to help her stay focused in school, but at home she acts really aggressive towards me. She always picks up a fight with me over the silliest things, even when I ignore her. When my mom hears her fighting, she yells at me and I get in trouble for something I had nothing to do with. When my boyfriend comes over, my sister is super disrespectful towards me and treats me like garbage. Sometimes, she curses and tries to hit me. It really hurts that she has no consideration for her big sister, especially since I’ve been taking care of her while my dad struggles to get better.
    People have noticed that I’ve lost weight and it makes me uncomfortable to hear that since I already have body image issues. I’ve been trying to distract myself by doing other things but nothing seems to help. I haven’t talked with the guidance counselors at my school because I feel like they can’t do much to help,It feels as if  I have to deal with this by myself. I start my senior year of high school this fall, and I want to make the right choices and move ahead with my life.

     

    TEEN LINE WROTE: 

    Hi ____,

    Thank you so much for contacting TEEN LINE and sharing what has been going on in your life recently.  It was so brave of you to reach out and contact us.  It really seems like so much has been happening lately, and you do not deserve to be going through all of this.  It must be so hard to see your dad come home drunk and fight with your mom, especially knowing that your younger sister also sees this happening.  You must feel embarrassed of your dad’s behavior in public, and it seems like you have been really affected by your dad’s behavior.  You do not deserve to feel as if you have lost your dad; I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this.  It also seems really annoying that your sister has been picking fights with you over the silliest things and treats you like garbage.  It is so admirable of you for taking take of your sister right now and it must be so hard to see her treating you so poorly.

    You do not deserve to be going through all of this alone right now, and I am wondering if there is anyone you can talk to about what has been happening.  You mentioned that you feel as if your guidance counselors will be no help for you, but maybe there is someone else you can confide in.  Talking to a close friend, trusted adult, or close relative may help you receive the support the comfort you deserve right now.  You can also search the Internet to find a therapist that lives around you to talk to someone for free confidentially.  You deserve to be happy at home, and I encourage you to check out http://al-anon.org/how-to-find-a-meeting, a resource that offers support for individuals with family members that have drinking struggles.  You can attend an Al-Anon meeting near you, share your experiences that you have had with your dad, and learn effective coping mechanisms to deal with your dad’s behavior.  You can see that you are not alone right now and other teens have family members that have drinking issues.  If you are not comfortable talking to someone, you may find relief in journaling, exercising, singing, dancing, listening to music, playing a game, or sketching.  Doing something that truly makes you happy make help you at this time.  You are also welcome to call TEEN LINE any night from 6-10 pm PST at (310) 855-4673 and talk to a teen about everything that has been going on lately.  You also mentioned having to deal with body image issues.  You deserve to start your senior year on a good note, and I hope these options help you.

    -A Teen Line Teen

     

  • I’ve had a rough year so far.
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    I’ve had a rough year so far.

    13 year old, Female, OR

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    I’ve had a rough year so far. I left my mother because she basically chose drugs and her abusive boyfriend over myself and my siblings. My life is so difficult because of this and I do not know what to do. Lately, I have been thinking about self-harm and suicide.

    TEEN LINE WROTE: 

    Hey ­­­­­_______,

    Thank you so much for contacting TEEN LINE. It is really brave of you to share what is going on. I am really sorry to hear about how hard your year as been. It is so hard to feel neglected by a parent at such a young age especially if she chooses drugs and an abusive boyfriend like your mom has. It takes a strong, tough person to go through something like what you are going through. It also saddens me to hear that you are thinking of self-harm and suicide. I strongly urge you not to do either of those as you are a much better girl and don’t deserve to resort to either one of those. I recommend you find another way to cope with your sadness, such as writing in a journal, exercising, or squeezing something. I also want to let you know that life will get better, so stay strong.

    I want to make sure that you are somewhere safe as you had to leave your mom, if you are not please call the National Runaway Safeline at (800) 786-2929 right away to get help. If you are ever thinking of suicide please call the Suicide Hotline at (877) 727-4747. It also may be helpful to call Department of Child and Family Services at (800) 422-4453. You are also free to call into us at TEEN LINE anytime from 6 pm to 10 pm at (310) 855-4673. You can also post on our message boards at http://www.teenlineonline.org/boards/.

     

  • I’ve been having really bad drug cravings.
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    I’ve been having really bad drug cravings.

    16 year old, Female, TX

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    So I have been having really bad drug cravings and flash backs of doing my D.O.C (meth) and today I was in a flash back for 45 mins smoking an e-cig like it was a meth pipe. In this flashback I was rocking the e-cig while i was hitting it and now i am craving drugs really bad I don’t want to do it because I am just getting my life back together and on track. I talked to a military recruiters today and I have really been buckling down to graduate on time because I am really behind on all my school work. . When I have these cravings it really tears me to shreds because I almost ruined my life with those drugs and I have such high goals for life and I want to be in the military and get my Ph.D in Psychology. I am scared one day I am not going to be able to control my flash back , or mistake a flash back with real life. I guess what I’m trying to ask for is if you have any ideas on how I could figure out a way to force myself out of a flashback? I do have a therapist and a psychiatrist and they have given me a lot of great ideas like grounding techniques and color counting. (where you count as many colors as you can see in the room) However, these strategies have not really helped. I would just greatly appreciate any help I can get. Thank you for your time and your response.

    TEEN LINE WROTE:

    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out to Teen Line. It sounds like your flashbacks are really scary. Not knowing what is real and what is not can be really awful. I am so sorry that you are going through that. I want you to know that the longer you go without using, the flashbacks and cravings will become less and less. Your brain literally has to re-program itself and adjust, but it will happen. It may feel at times like it won’t get better, but I assure you that it will if you do not use. In the meantime, it will be important for you to get support during this time. It’s great that you have a therapist. I think that the grounding techniques are the best way for you to be present and get out of a flashback. Sometimes they are too powerful and will take over, but other times they may be shortened or you will prohibit them completely. Listening to the sounds you hear in the room can help bring you back. Sometimes it’s even helpful to put an ice cube in your hand, because the intense cold can bring you back to the moment. Are you in a recovery program like AA or CMA? Those are great for support and to keep you on the path of sobriety. You may want to reach out to other teens who have gone through drug issues on our message boards. The website is:

    https://teenlineonline.org/boards/

    Or you can always call us at 310-855-4673 between the hours of 6-10 pm PST.

    Thanks and take care,

  • My father has tried to stop smoking recently.
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    My father has tried to stop smoking recently.

    15 year old, Female,  VT

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    My father has tried to stop smoking recently. Ever since he’s stopped smoking (cold turkey) he has been acting crazy. He lashes at me verbally and at times he acts bipolar.
    He also blurts out the most random things like: ’I hate humans,’ ’What’s the point of living?’ and ’Why don’t you go live with your mom and leave me the hell alone. (My mother abandoned the both of us when I was three years old to become a prostitute.)

    He always tells people to go f*** themselves, and also tells me this. Today he almost got arrested because he was aggressive to police officers. .I’m becoming very depressed from how he’s acting and I need some advice of how to deal with this.
    Please help?  I do not know what to do anymore

    TEEN LINE WROTE:

    Hi _______,

    Thank you for contacting Teen Line.  I can imagine that you are going through a difficult time right now.  It sounds like you’re feeling very confused and distressed about your dad.  It is understandable that you feel depressed because of how he is talking to you.  I can imagine that you must feel hurt because all the negative things he’s saying.

    Have you gone online and seen what it’s like to quit smoking?  One of the online support groups are www.quitnet.com, which you can go on to find out more information about quitting.

    Also, have you talked to a trusted adult about it or maybe one of your friends? They are great help and sources of comfort.  Writing journals are also a great way to help put your feelings on paper and out of your head.  Do you have a hobby that you like doing, such as exercising or playing a musical instrument?  If you ever feel down after your dad screams at you, you can use your hobby as an outlet to your pain.  Don’t hesitate to contact us at Teen Line at (310) 855-4673 from 6PM-10PM PST available 7 days a week.

    Best wishes,

    a TEEN LINE teen

     

  • Lately, I have felt like no one is there for me when I need it.
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    Lately, I have felt like no one is there for me when I need it.

    14 years old, Female, NC

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

     Lately, I have felt like no one is there for me when I need it. I feel as if… I have no one and all everyone wants to do is bring me down. Every depression test I have taken has said that I have severe depression. Recently I met a guy who I thought loved me for me, but he just lead me on and left me soon after.

    I already have problems at home with my dad because he is an alcoholic. It does not help that I have been bullied since the second grade for no reason at all. I started high school last year and many kids at my school do not like me. I try to be this happy person but I am tired of hiding the scars on my body. I have cut almost everywhere and even on the side of my neck. I have attempted suicide about 4 times and occasionally I smoke with my friends to relieve stress. I seriously need help! I just want to talk to someone that understands.

    TEENLINE WROTE:

    Hi ________,

    Thank you for reaching out to Teen Line. I’m so sorry that you have had such a hard time. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and it sounds like you have been in pain (emotionally and physically) for a long time. I can’t imagine living with an alcoholic dad, dealing with a broken heart and having to deal with bullies. I hope you can find someone to talk to like a counselor or another adult?  It concerns me that you are taking it out on yourself by cutting. You can always call Teen Line and talk with one of us. There is also”cutting” information and support ww.self-injury.net. There is also a bullying website www.bullying.org and of course you can always contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline 24hrs if you are feeling really vulnerable 877-727-4747.

    You are strong (just writing your email is proof of strength) and you are not alone.

     a TEEN LINE teen

     

  • My mom is an alcoholic
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    My mom is an alcoholic

    17 year old, Male, FL

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:
    My mom is an alcoholic and I just want her to stop. Our relationship is terrible, and I don;t know what to do. My step dad is the same, and won’t say anything to her.

    TEEN LINE WROTE:
    Hi, I’m so glad that you contacted us here at TEEN LINE. It sounds like you’re feeling anxious about your mom’s drinking, as well as your relationship with her. It is never easy to deal with a parent who is also an alcoholic, because their drinking affects their relationship with you, and as a result affects you directly. It is even harder to deal with it alone. I am wondering if you have a trusted adult you could talk to about your situation, such as a relative, teacher, or school counselor. Sometimes talking to a third-party can help you gain insight on your situation, as well as weigh whatever options you have. I also want to give you the number to Alateen, a twelve-step program designed for relatives and friends of alcoholics. Their number is (757) 563-1600, and their website is http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/. It might benefit you to look into local meetings. If you want to talk to us some more, TEEN LINE is open seven days a week from six to ten PM PST. Our number is (310) 855-4673. We are here to listen.

    a TEEN LINE listener

  • My mom has been drinking ALOT
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    My mom has been drinking ALOT

    13 year old, Female, NV

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:
    My mom has been drinking ALOT. I hate it when she does. She spends all of the family money on it. Shes always drunk. SHe leaves for 6 hours at a time at night. She smells like vodka HORRIBLY. I have to hold my breath around her. She wont stop. None of our family will come over because they dont want her to drink so i never get to see brothers or sisters or nieces… I am embarrassed when friends come over because she smells up the whole house and acts insane… I am so done with it and I dont know what to do…

    TEEN LINE WROTE:
    Hi,
    Thanks for contacting TEEN LINE. It sounds like you’re very frustrated with your mother. An alcoholic’s lifestyle effects them and the people around them tremendously, and from your email, it seems that you have definitely been exposed to some negatives of your mother’s dependence. Have you discussed her behavior with another family member? Maybe with open communication your family can work on getting your mother help. Your mom’s alcoholism is not a shameful topic, in fact many kids have parents that struggle with it. They even have programs dedicated to teens in your situation. Alateen is a mutual support group for teens who know alcoholics, and they have locations all around the nation. Here’s the website http://www.nevadaal-anon.org/alateenhome.html where you can get information and find a meeting near you. I also encourage you to call us at TEEN LINE to talk. Our number is 310-855-4673, and we are open every day from 6-10pm PST. I hope you know that no matter what you are not alone.

    a TEEN LINE listener