Chas Lankford - The Impact of Using Drugs at a Young Age

The Impact of Using Drugs at a Young Age

One common denominator with young men in recovery is that they have obviously started using drugs and alcohol at a young age. For most, this means that some of the most pivotal emotional and social development has been stunted. My own personal experience left me getting clean in my early 20's, after using heavily through my teen years and in many ways with the mentality of a 12 or 13 year old. Drug and alcohol use was not only a destructive thing I was doing, but it was also a huge part of my persona. I had learned most of my coping and social skills while high, at least in some way. Making friends, strengthening the bonds of friendship, meeting girls, dealing with break-ups, dealing with other hardships, dealing with boredom... for that matter, dealing with life itself. Impacts of Drug Use at a Young AgeMuch of what we do, here at Turnbridge, is to try to minimize these faulty (immature) instincts. By the time residents get to Phase 3, they have already gotten an excellent education in healthy living. They have identified and begun to implement a design that encompasses mind, body, and spiritual growth. Our biggest challenge is to keep them focused on this way of life. Getting clean is easy; learning to stay clean is the hard part. Being bored, feeling left out, dealing with disappointment...dealing with success; these are the times when our destructive instincts can over-rule any knowledge of self we may have gained. Developing new habits is the key, and there really is no short-cut to doing that, it simply takes time and repetition. Chas Lankford Phase III Case Manager