You can get help 24 Hours a day, 7 Days a Week by calling (352) 244-0618
Thinking of running away? Ask yourself these 10 questions before you do:
(From National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-RUNAWAY – 800-786-2929)
- What else can I do to improve my home situation before I leave?
- What would make me stay at home?
- How will I survive?
- Is running away safe?
- Who can I count on to help me?
- Am I being realistic?
- Have I given this enough thought?
- What are my other options?
- If I end up in trouble, who will I call?
- When I return home, what will happen?
101+ things to do instead of drugs
|Get together with friends||Watch a fun video||Learn something new||Read a good book|
|Play games||Do an activity||Enjoy a hobby||Play a sport|
|Listen to music||Make something new||Eat a great meal||Go to the zoo|
|Smell a flower||Draw a picture||Take a bubble bath||Look at old photos|
|Smile||Make someone else smile||Finish what you start||Solve a riddle|
|Watch a sunset||Jump rope||Gather seashells||Whistle a tune|
|Read a poem||Fly a kite||Do a favor||Surprise someone|
|Play catch||Throw a party||Join a club||Sing|
|Give a hug||Get a hug||Talk to friends||Wish on a star|
|Run through a sprinkler||Go camping||Do a jigsaw puzzle||Memorize a song|
|Help a friend in need||Build a sand castle||Learn to juggle||Write a skit|
|Do good deeds||Have lemonade on a hot day||Blow bubbles||Dance|
|Exercise||Climb a tree||Run through a field of wild flowers||Volunteer|
|Tickle a baby’s tummy||Play with your pet||Cheer someone up||Roll in the grass|
|Snuggle a stuffed animal||Swing on a swing||Eat ice cream||Walk barefoot in the sand|
|Make hand shadows||Do cartwheels||Go bird watching||Give a gift|
|Play basketball||Kiss a parent||Watch the clouds||Start a garden|
|Learn a language||Play an instrument||Go fishing||Make a gift|
|Hike||Set your goals||Phone a friend||Have a picnic|
|Think happy thoughts||Ride a bike||Watch
|Write to friends|
|Do your best||Count your blessings||Make a poster||Make someone laugh|
|Improve your score||Listen to birds||Learn to cook||Plan a treasure hunt|
|Play in the park||Go swimming||Care for plants||Collect something|
|Keep a promise||Trade cards||Do magic tricks||Build a model|
|Go bowling||Keep a journal||Photograph things you love||Do better than the last time|
|Play outside||Play on a slip-n-slide||Run on a football field||Go horseback riding|
|Braid a friend’s hair||Rake leaves and then play in them||Run through the rain||Eat Jell-O|
|Chew gum and blow bubbles||Make a pizza from scratch||Feed the ducks||Dream|
|Think of something you always wanted to know about and learn about it||Lay in the grass and take a nap||Cuddle up in warm towels just out of the dryer||Play hide-and-seek|
|Play monopoly||Massage your feet||Sing Christmas carols in July||Clean your room|
|Try to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time||Blow a balloon||Be nice to someone for no reason||Buy something special for yourself|
|Buy something special for someone else||Make a new friend-introduce yourself to someone you’ve never talked to before||Spin around and around||Think about the world|
|Appreciate nature||Pick up litter||Visit your neighbor||Think you can do it and do it|
List of energy sources that could replace the desire for drugs.
|Walking through the woods||Visiting an art museum||Going to the zoo|
|Working in the garden||Painting a picture||Knitting|
|Good friends||Silence (peace & quiet)||Dancing|
|A good book||A vacation||Communion with God|
|The support of others||Acceptance by others||Getting a hug when I feel alone|
|A neat office or room||Organized surroundings||Sufficient money|
|A nature walk||Letting go of my mistakes||Success|
|Listening to music||A cup of coffee||Tea with a special friend|
|Hearing someone say they love me||Meditation||Making an important decision|
|Getting a stroke for a job well done||Empathizing||Freedom to set my own schedule|
|Good health||Good nutrition||A good cry|
|Dinner “out”||Cooperation||Doing something with a friend|
|Competition||Having a good argument||Doing something courageous|
|A good night’s sleep||Sharing laughter||Being complimented on my cooking|
|Seeing an absorbing movie||Feeling centered||Seeing a meaning in my life|
|Doing physical exercise||Going to a sports event||Somebody asking my advice|
|Playing a musical instrument||Driving in the country||Walking on the beach|
|Writing poetry||Achieving an objective||Repairing something|
|Reading the Bible||Singing|
Are drugs really bad for you?
Yes, they are. People who use drugs usually say they feel great at first and that drugs are the best thing that ever happened to them — but that doesn’t last long. Over time, they’ll need more and more to get the same high — and this really increases the risk of addiction, and in some cases, overdose. And even if they never O.D., drugs can ruin their health, force them to drop out of school, lose friends, and impair their judgment enough that they’ll do some really stupid stuff. Drug users do things they wouldn’t do while sober—they engage in unsafe sex or put other people’s lives at risk on the road. Sure, this might all seem fun for them while they’re doing it but are they going to be laughing through an unwanted pregnancy, a car accident, or during the wait for results from an AIDS test?
Need more proof? Drug abusers can develop psychological problems such as suicidal depression or serious physical problems such as liver damage and brain damage. Of course, there’s also the risk of death from an overdose.
Ok, so I’m thinking about talking to my friend about his drug use. What’s going to happen to our friendship?
What’s the deal? Why can’t some people handle drinking and drugs?
There’s just not a perfect answer to this question. Drinking or taking drugs is often a sign of trying to avoid problems: pressure from friends, stress in the family, concerns at school, hassles at work, adults are on their case, or feeling different from everyone else in the world. In the beginning drugs can make you feel like you’re escaping to something that’s easier, something that feels better. But after awhile, escaping becomes harder because, over time, the body needs more and more of a drug to get the high that once came easily. Often, you just end up chasing after the first high. Unfortunately, the more drugs you take, the higher the risk of getting addicted or overdosing.
Other people take drugs or drink as an experiment. They figure it is just part of what you do when you’re figuring out your way in the world. Some say experimentation is part of growing up — but some experiments can lead to permanent damage. And for people whose families have a history of alcoholism or addiction, experimenting is really risky. Just like heart disease and cancer, substance abuse often runs in families so, for those people, a bit of experimentation could lead to serious dependency in no time at all. But you’re not off the hook if substance abuse doesn’t run in your family. Addiction is a powerful thing, and it can take hold of anyone at anytime. Basically, if you’ve got the insatiable craving, you’re addicted and it doesn’t matter if you’ve only used once or everyday for months.
The current thinking on addiction is that it is a brain disease that develops after exposure. People are not born addicts (though some are genetically more susceptible to addiction.) But after exposure to a drug, the brain chemistry changes, “a switch is flipped, ” and you become an addict. The thing no one knows is how much of a drug it takes to flip the switch in one’s brain.
Why is it so hard for alcoholics and drug abusers to ask for help?
It’s tough for most people to believe they have a serious substance abuse problem. It’s even harder for them to admit it. After all, nobody likes to admit a weakness. People who have a serious problem with drinking or other drugs might believe they’re not using that much and they won’t get addicted. They deny the problem to themselves — and to everybody they know, and that becomes almost as big a problem as the drinking or drug use itself. Becoming dependent on alcohol or other drugs makes you want to cut off the people who care about you, and you can end up feeling lonely and afraid — and turning to more alcohol or drugs to make yourself feel better. But, the reality is this: Getting better doesn’t work that way. People have to admit that alcohol and/or drugs are messing up their lives.
6 ways to say no to a drink (or drugs)
- “No thanks.”
- “I don’t feel like it – do you have any soda?”
- “Alcohol’s NOT my thing.”
- “Are you talking to me? FORGET it.”
- “Why do you KEEP pressuring me when I’ve said NO?”
- “Back off!!”
Tips for teens
Sometimes I think my parents don’t love me.
Most parents really do love their children, but sometimes they have difficulty communicating that love. Sometimes, things like work or financial problems get in the way of them showing love like they would want. Tell them you love them, and that may help them express their love for you.
My parents don’t understand me.
You may be right! But then again, you need to help them understand how you feel about things, and try to understand how they feel. You may not always agree with them, but never let the communication break down between you and your parents. It helps to share your thoughts and fears with them…you know, they can’t read your mind, so you have to help them understand you.
My parents are always too busy for me.
It seems that way, and may in fact be that way, but you have a responsibility to open up to your parents to let them know you need some of their time. Most of us live very busy lives, and we tend to forget those who are most important to us. Your relationship with your parents is very important, and worth your efforts to get them to spend time with you.
I can’t take this anymore.
Sometimes it may seem like running away is the best solution to whatever you’re having trouble with. Unfortunately, running away only gets you into a worse situation. At best, you’ll be alone, scared, and hungry with nowhere to sleep. At worst, you’ll be a target for those who take advantage of scared kids. Bad things happen to kids on the street, that is why CDS Interface Youth Shelters are here …to offer you a safe place. No matter how bad it is at home, it is almost always more dangerous on the streets – sexual predators, abusers, drug dealers, and other criminals are waiting to take advantage of young, homeless, unprotected, and vulnerable runaways.
As a young person, there may be many things troubling you. CDS may be able to help you better deal with the problems involving your family, friends, and others. We recommend that you call to speak with one of our counselors. If you are in North Central Florida, you can call the nearest CDS Interface Youth Shelter: We can help you understand how you’re feeling and how your parents are feeling, and how things really can get better.
|CDS Interface Youth Shelters|
|24 Hour, Toll Free Hotline||(800) 854-5377|
|Interface Central, Gainesville||(352) 244-0618|
|Interface East, Palatka||(386) 385-0405|
|Interface Northwest, Lake City||(386) 487-0190|