You stay up late studying for a test. You were up so late you over-slept your alarm.
You are late for school, no time for breakfast. You feel like you bombed out on your test.
You come home from school. Mom asks, "How'd you do on your test?"
You are tired and hungry, feel a little guilty for putting off studying until the last minute, and so you "hear" an attitude in Mom's voice.
This makes you mad so you slam out of the house. Your friends are all busy.
You are hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. You are vulnerable. The people who want to make money off of you or who are addicted and want you to join their addiction are very good at recognizing vulnerability.
Somehow you connect with one such individual and you make a decision you wouldn't have made had you not been hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
You think, "It's only a cigarette. It's only one beer. It's only pot."
And then the next time you find yourself hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, you remember how the cigarette, the beer, the pot took the edge off, made your raw feelings a little numb, so now you look for it rather than it finding you. And the cycle begins.
Pretty soon you are no longer working to deal with your feelings and emotions.
It's easier to just numb them.
And pretty soon you need something more and stronger.
So when a friend offers you meth to feel pretty or strong or just plain great; or you are offered heroin to relax and numb you, you are ready for it, you want it, you need it.
And so you enter the world of addiction.
It's your body, you think, so it's your decision. Think again.
Your addiction hurts everyone in your world.
HALT (Hungry-Angry-Lonely-Tired) HALT and take a deep breath.
HALT and do a self-assessment. If you are any combination of being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, HALT. And think. Really think. Make a good decision. It is a decision that could rule the rest of your life.
n Teri Clark is a contractor with the Community Substance Abuse Coordinator, Partnership of Community Resources; 781-8611; email@example.com