I'm 14 and I have been taking a mix of prescription drugs and I'm finally starting to realize the effects it's starting to take on me. I used to be an A+ student and now I can't even think clearly about anything anymore.
I have been taking antidepressants and painkillers. And I have been drinking to accelerate the effects of it sometimes. I want to stop but I heard that if I stop taking them that I should have supervision in doing so. But I really can't and don't want anyone to know. So I just wanted to know — what's the safe way of stopping without anyone else knowing?
First, it's great that you're taking steps to end your drug habit. It's really important to get help as soon as possible — mixing drugs the way you've been doing can be very dangerous and, as you've seen, interfere with your life.
You're right in thinking that you need supervision from a medical professional to ease off some of the drugs you've been taking. Antidepressants in particular can cause some serious health problems if a person stops taking them suddenly.
This is a situation where you will need to get help from someone who understands the drugs involved and how they might react with each other and your own body. It's not something you can do alone.
Sometimes it can be surprising — and unexpected — how understanding and supportive parents can be. If you really can't confide in a parent, though, you'll need to find a way to see a drug counselor or psychiatrist (as medical doctors, psychiatrists are trained in the use of prescription drugs).
Different states have different laws on the age when teens can get drug treatment without a parent or guardian's involvement. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a locator on its website to help people find treatment centers throughout the country. You can also call their 24-hour treatment hotline at 1-800-662-HELP. Or your school counselor, school nurse, or primary care physician may be able to put you in contact with someone privately and confidentially.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|Alcohol and Other Drug Information for Teens This informational page by the National Children's Coalition offers facts about drugs and alcohol, teen recovery groups, and a drug and alcohol resource center.|
|Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) This federal agency strives to improve the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses. Call: (800) 789-2647.|
|Dealing With Addiction Find out what you can do if you think you or a friend has a drug or alcohol addiction - from recognizing the warning signs to suggestions to help you stay clean.|
|Prescription Drug Abuse Why do people abuse prescription drugs? Some think that because a doctor prescribed them they must be stronger. Others believe they're safer and less addictive than street drugs. But there are many downsides to experimenting with prescription drugs.|
|Talking to Your Doctor Your best resource for health information and advice is your doctor - the person who knows you, your medical history, and accurate medical information to answer your questions.|
|Talking to Your Parents - or Other Adults Whether it's an everyday issue like schoolwork or an emergency situation, these tips can help you improve communications with your parents and other adults.|
|School Counselors School counselors can give you all sorts of tips and support on solving problems and making good decisions. But how do you meet with a counselor and what is it like? Find out here.|
|Alcohol Deciding whether to drink is a personal decision that we each eventually have to make. Get the facts about alcohol.|
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