Decision 5: Addiction We live in an addiction – infested society. Drinking, smoking, and drugs are one of the top challenges teens face. If you become addicted to something, you give up your power to choose – your freedom. When offered drugs, you can take the high road by respecting your body by saying “no.” Brutal Realities o Brutal Reality 1 – They Can Become Stronger than You – Addicts are not weak and selfish. It can strike the best and brightest among us. No one is immune. The only thing that separates them from the rest of us is the few choices they made, usually during their teen years. Don’t ever underestimate the power of addiction. It can become stronger than you. o Brutal Reality 2 - It’s Not Just About You – Your choices impact others (friends, family, community, etc. ) o Brutal Reality 3 – Drugs Destroy Dreams - If you make a mistake with drugs it could cost you years of your life or even worse your life. Most addicts began by experimenting with alcohol and weed; soon they progressed to more serious drugs. A few people can do drugs and not become addicted; this is not the case for everyone. A high percentage will become addicted. Everyone responds a little differently to addictive substances. Striking at the Root – o No one every starts out thinking, I can’t wait to become an addict. You do it because you have a deeper need that is not being met. o We too often focus on the symptoms of drug abuse instead of getting to the root of the problem. To tackle addition, you must strike at the root. It’s usually one of six things. o The Roots of Addiction You feel insecure and desperately want to belong Your friends are doing it and you feel pressured by them. You are trying to hid pain from the past, like a death in the family, a divorce, or being abused. You feel confined and want to rebel. You want to escape from your current problems. You’re bored or curious. The Anti-Drug – Possible addictions to help you fill the potential holes in your life. o Exercise – Working out releases endorphins o Sports – It will help you meet new people and will keep you busy o Music – Music can lift you up when you are down. o Service – Helping others helps you forget your own problems. o Hobbies – Find something you love to do and get good at it. o Learning – Pour your heart into learning. o Family – If you are burdened your family will listen. Turn to them, not drugs. o Faith – Practicing religion gives you meaning and purpose in your life. o Friends – Talk to friends when you are troubled. o Journal Writing – Your journal can be a place where you can let out all your emotions. Defeating an Addition o Admit it – First you must admit you have a problem. o Get help – Seek help from your parents, a good friend, a support group, or a counselor. There are all kinds of treatments, programs, and support groups that can help. You will be so much better off if you don’t try to battle it alone. o Do it Now – If you thing you may have a problem you probably do. Don’t procrastinate. **** Synopsis – Verbatim or paraphrased from Sean Covey – 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make .