When I work with teens who have or are currently using drugs, I almost always ask them two questions:
1. Why do you want to try drugs? I had a young client tell me that she was thinking about doing Molly. She said she had easy access to it and she was curious what it would be like. It’s normal to be curious and want to try new things. However, people sometimes turn to drugs to escape or help them deal with uncomfortable emotions. This may be a sign that you are struggling with depression or anxiety.
2. What are the long-term effects of the substance? If you’re not 100% sure what the substance is or how it is made, you can’t answer that question. Many substances, like Molly, are mixed with other substances before they are sold or given to you. The results can vary dramatically, from a bad trip to death. Additionally, side effects can be short-term or long-term. What you want to do today may not be something that you’re happy you did five years from now.
There are many choices and challenges facing today’s teens. Being educated can help you make healthy choices. And recognizing depression and/or anxiety could save your life.
If you want to learn more, give me a call or reach out to your pediatrician or guidance counselor. There are people you can turn to who can answer your questions. But first you have to ask them.
About the Author: Kerrie Boydman is a member of the Irise Leadership Institute, and a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. In her practice, Kerrie offers counseling and psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families to help clients improve their quality of life, explore areas causing them discomfort and identify and reduce feelings of shame. Her areas of specialization include substance abuse/dependence, relationships, trauma, abuse, domestic violence, emotionally stressful medical conditions and a variety of mental health diagnoses.
Kerrie received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh with a Certification in Mental Health and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ohio State University. Kerrie has worked as an adjunct faculty member in the Counseling Department at Carlow University. She accompanied veterans on a therapeutic white water rafting trip through the Grand Canyon with a Pennsylvania based nonprofit organization, “Canyon Heroes.” She also currently facilitates meetings for the “Women of the North,” a group of female private practitioners in the greater Pittsburgh area.
Kerrie is passionate about her work in the mental health field. It provides her the opportunity to serve others with a wide range of needs and conditions. In addition, as someone whose life has been affected by suicide in many ways, she believes that iRise has a powerful message and the ability to change the world.
To contact Kerrie Boydman LCSW, please visit www.counselingpa.com or call 412-444-5062.
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