March 22-28 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.  Addiction can happen to any person regardless of age.  It usually starts when a person is young.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is the result of changes in the brain that can come from substance abuse.  Addictions affect how people think and what they do.  There are no specific “type” of person who becomes addicted.  People can face addiction regardless of where they are from, or their social status.

Though this may be a difficult topic to discuss with a family member or friend, it is important to have this discussion as it may save a person from problems in the future that can include arrest, loss of employment, or even death.  Teens are especially vulnerable due to peer pressure from friends who may experiment with drugs and alcohol.  One important sign of addiction is that a person continues to use drugs even though it’s harming their life: physical health, performance at school or work, or relationships. They feel like they can’t stop using drugs, no matter what happens.

Some other signs that a person may be abusing drugs or alcohol are”

  • Teens are hanging out with different friends than you are used to seeing him/her with.
  • Lower grades in classes due to inattentiveness or missing school. Behavior issues in school resulting in reprimand or suspension.
  • A person may no longer care about their appearance or hygiene.
  • Altered eating and sleeping habits. This may result in significant weight loss and other health issues.
  • Unable to pay bills due to increased spending on substance.
  • Loss of employment.
  • Trouble with law enforcement resulting in arrest and a record.
  • Trouble with family members and friends.

The Lady Lake Police Department is here to help.  Feel free to contact our department at 352-751-1560 if you need assistance.  You may also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) hotline at 800-662-HELP (4357).

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