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Teens: How To Handle Stress Without Turning To Drugs And Alcohol in Shatterproof Blog

July 19, 2015

Wrong Way Sign

Many adults look at the lives of teenagers with envy. After all, they assume, teens have less to juggle. They aren’t stressing over jobs, mortgages, marriages, and other “grownup” worries.

But as The Huffington Post reports, a recent study found that in the U.S. teens are actually more stressed than adults, especially during the school year. And unfortunately, they don’t always make healthy decisions when managing this stress.

One of the best ways for teens to avoid turning to substance abuse for stress management is to help them develop other coping skills. Here are four tips for teens on how to manage stress without using drugs and alcohol.

Be mindful of what you’re feeling. Using drugs and alcohol won’t help you work through the stress or negativity you’re feeling. As ChooseHelp.com teaches, the best way to handle these negative feelings is to acknowledge them for what they are and to recognize that they will pass. Don’t run from your emotions. Instead, the article suggests keeping tabs on your emotions as if you were a third party. Step back from them so that you can better assess what they are, what’s causing them, and how best to move forward.

Talk it out. Sometimes getting outside your own head can give you a fresh, positive perspective. In its article on managing stressful feelings, KidsHealth.org advises that you talk about the problems you’re having with a parent, friend, or other person you trust. It’s always nice to have a caring listener, and since they’re detached from the problem you’re having, they’ll likely be able to suggest a new way of approaching the problem that you hadn’t considered.

Avoid negative self talk. Another way to manage negative feelings that might push you to use drugs or alcohol is to change the way you “speak” to yourself. For example, as the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry notes, a stressed teen might say or think, “My life will never get better.” The AACAP recommends turning that line of thinking around by saying, “I may feel hopeless now, but my life will probably get better if I work at it and get some help.” Again, it’s very important for teens to understand that stress and negativity are valid emotions that should be felt and dealt with, but like other emotions, they will come and go. You may be struggling now, but things will get better. However, turning to drugs and alcohol will only complicate your situation.

Take a swim. When stress and negativity are getting the best of you, one of the best ways to work through it is by being physically active. As this guide on depression and swimming explains, going for a swim is a particularly helpful way to work through a rough time. Swimming (and other forms of exercise) actually releases a stress-reducing hormone. And because swimming requires deep, patterned breathing it can coax your mind and body into a state of relaxation. It is an excellent and healthy way to get some distance from your problems so that you can begin to work through them in a positive way.

Teens and their parents should know that any stress or negative feelings they may have aren’t trivial. Those emotions should be addressed and dealt with. It’s also important to remember that bringing drugs and alcohol into the equation will only make things worse. Instead of turning to these substances when you’re feeling down, choose a more positive, productive path.

Jackie Cortez works with the team at The Prevention Coalition to identify authoritative resources on every aspect of substance abuse, ranging from prevention to addiction treatment. In her spare time, Jackie enjoys gardening, reading and walks with her favorite 4-legged pal, Buster the labrador.

Teen Drinking

June 18, 2015

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YHPvDaV_wsQ

Discussing teen drinking, the dangers and just helpful tips. Teen drinking is super common, and is something I’ve been heavily exposed to during high school and in college. Hopefully some of my thoughts and opinions can be useful to you! Thank you for watching.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Author and Speaker

April 11, 2015

hammock
This picture was taken a few years ago as Al and I soaked-up the sun in Orlando, Florida. I had always hoped that after my retirement we would be comfortable to do this often on many tropical islands. God had other plans for me.

My main goal for setting up this blog was to reach out to alcoholics and drug addicts, along with their families to talk and share our outlook on pain, confusion and many times abuse from addiction. We used to hide this topic of alcohol and drugs behind closed doors and suffered in silence. I was one of many people who did and became the experienced enabler. I learned too late after losing my husband, Richard, and daughter, Lori, from their own addiction that innocently doing so I pushed my loved ones deeper into their habit and it lead to their death. I could only love and support them, they had to make the decision to want the help.

I became an author and speaker from the loss of my first husband, Richard Lopes, and my second tragedy of losing our daughter, Lori (Lopes) Cahill, both from North Dighton, Massachusetts from their alcohol addiction.

Suddenly I became a speaker at halfway homes, court ordered programs, rehab locations and to the public. I speak from the heart on all the mistakes I feel could have been handled differently and maybe…just maybe, they would both be alive today. At least I would have felt I did everything possible in my power to have helped than believing A.A. swearing to let them fight this until they reached that rock bottom.

I wrote three memoirs: A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey To Medjugorje, which is about love, faith and miracles; Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis, about my young marriage to Richard with our two daughters, Debbie and Lori. The sequel Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism is about losing Lori.  I wanted answers to why some addicts make it and other die like Richard and Lori so I published my first Narrative Non-Fiction What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholics and Addicts; In Their Own Words. This is a book of testimonies from thirty-four recovering alcoholics and drug users from all walks of life from the United States and Canada with their testimonies on what hasn’t and isn’t working in their recovery programs. This book is for the addicted, family members, counselors, doctors and the public.

All my books are in paperback and Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira.

My email is alberta.sequeira@gmail.com if you want a quote for a talk.

Alberta

Alcohol Abuse from both the addict and Family Member

April 2, 2015

phil (2)  Tom Cirignano  DSC01153

My video of my talk Feb. 6, 2014. Two other recovering alcoholics and my talk from the family side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITKuNugjxPA

Alcohol and Drug Facts

March 16, 2015

drunk_man-apha-130405

One of the most important facts to remember about alcoholism is its progression. Alcoholism begins in an early stage that looks nothing at all like a life-threatening disease, proceeds into a middle stage where problems begin to appear and intensify, and gradually advances into the late, degenerative stages of obvious physiological dependence, physical and psychological deterioration, and loss of control.
WILLIAM F. ASBURY, Beyond the Influence

March 15, 2015

alcoholic

Visit http://community.shatterproof.org

Many adults look at the lives of teenagers with envy. After all, they assume, teens have less to juggle. They aren’t stressing over jobs, mortgages, marriages, and other “grownup” worries.But as The Huffington Post reports, a recent study found that in the U.S. teens are actually more stressed than adults, especially during the school year. And unfortunately, they don’t always make healthy decisions when managing this stress.

One of the best ways for teens to avoid turning to substance abuse for stress management is to help them develop other coping skills.

Here are four tips for teens on how to manage stress without using drugs and alcohol:

Be mindful of what you’re feeling. Using drugs and alcohol won’t help you work through the stress or negativity you’re feeling. As ChooseHelp.com teaches, the best way to handle these negative feelings is to acknowledge them for what they are and to recognize that they will pass. Don’t run from your emotions. Instead, the article suggests keeping tabs on your emotions as if you were a third party. Step back from them so that you can better assess what they are, what’s causing them, and how best to move forward.

Talk it out. Sometimes getting outside your own head can give you a fresh, positive perspective. In its article on managing stressful feelings, KidsHealth.org advises that you talk about the problems you’re having with a parent, friend, or other person you trust. It’s always nice to have a caring listener, and since they’re detached from the problem you’re having, they’ll likely be able to suggest a new way of approaching the problem that you hadn’t considered.

Avoid negative self-talk. Another way to manage negative feelings that might push you to use drugs or alcohol is to change the way you “speak” to yourself. For example, as the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry notes, a stressed teen might say or think, “My life will never get better.” The AACAP recommends turning that line of thinking around by saying, “I may feel hopeless now, but my life will probably get better if I work at it and get some help.” Again, it’s very important for teens to understand that stress and negativity are valid emotions that should be felt and dealt with, but like other emotions, they will come and go. You may be struggling now, but things will get better. However, turning to drugs and alcohol will only complicate your situation.

Take a swim. When stress and negativity are getting the best of you, one of the best ways to work through it is by being physically active. As this guide on depression and swimming explains, going for a swim is a particularly helpful way to work through a rough time. Swimming (and other forms of exercise) actually releases a stress-reducing hormone. And because swimming requires deep, patterned breathing it can coax your mind and body into a state of relaxation. It is an excellent and healthy way to get some distance from your problems so that you can begin to work through them in a positive way.

Teens and their parents should know that any stress or negative feelings they may have aren’t trivial. Those emotions should be addressed and dealt with. It’s also important to remember that bringing drugs and alcohol into the equation will only make things worse. Instead of turning to these substances when you’re feeling down, choose a more positive, productive path.

Jackie Cortez works with the team at The Prevention Coalition to identify authoritative resources on every aspect of substance abuse, ranging from prevention to addiction treatment. In her spare time, Jackie enjoys gardening, reading and walks with her favorite 4-legged pal, Buster the Labrador.

Alcohol drinking. What is normal and when is it abusive?

March 6, 2015

A. Sequeira

Over-drinking is something that I search out with people when I socialize at events like weddings, eating at restaurants,  someone sitting at a bar, or at a private party at someone’s house.  Am I alone with this trait since I lost my husband and daughter from their addiction?  I find being with family members that I am starting to watch and count someone’s drinks like I did with Richie.

Lori asked me once if I thought she drank too much.  I answered, “If you are asking the question, you may be. Do you think you are an alcoholic?”

“An Alcoholic?  I’m not an alcoholic, Mom! I drink the same as everyone when we have gatherings.”

I can remember that conversation so long ago…coming up to nine years after losing her on November 22, 2006..two days before Thanksgiving.

The more we are invited to gatherings, I see heavy drinking.  No one gets drunk, fights, slur their words or falls down making a fool of themselves…but, I see the drinks flowing all day.  No one seems to take a break from the drinking.  it’s not a favorite drink that they stick to but they have fun mixing different ones.

It brings back the years that I used to count Richie’s drinks when I was rarely out with him having fun with his drinking buddies.  He never drank at home or weekends with his family…but he died at forty-five years of age in 1985 from his over-drinking.

I guess drinking becomes a problem when it causes problems in ones’ life.  But, again, how many drinkers stop to say, “Wow, I seem to be drinking a lot, I am waking up with a hangover too often, we fight a lot with me staying out drinking, or I pick up drinking the next day even after I get sick from it?” Substance abusers don’t see the future path that they are traveling on at a young age.  To them, it’s a fun time.  It takes years for drinking to become problems in ones’ lifetime.

My memory goes to Lori saying, “This may sound crazy, Mom, but the best days of my life were when I was drinking.”

To her, it was, but she gave up her family who loved her, friends, fun, and died too soon.  All from the fun of drinking!

So, I try not to be judgmental when I sit amongst the drinkers.  I pray if another family member notices their own actions with drinking going too far that they have the strength to pull back and look at the situation.

Alberta 

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