There comes the point in many young people’s lives that they consider experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Many people who experiment don’t expect to develop a drug addiction. They assume, “it won’t happen to me.” However, even seemingly harmless experimenting can lead to drug addiction. While experimenting with drugs may seem attractive, it poses several inherent risks. If your experimentation has led to addiction, you must seek professional treatment. One of the best options available is a cognitive behavioral therapy program.
Atlanta Center for Mental Health’s cognitive behavioral therapy programs provides Atlanta residents with essential care, including evidence-based addiction treatment. If you feel that your experimentation with drugs has begun to dominate your life and health, call Atlanta Center for Mental Health at 833.625.0458 today.
Why Do People Experiment With Drugs?
Millions of people experiment with drugs in the United States. While each person has their own reasons for experimenting with drugs, the motivations behind recreational drug use often fall into some broad categories such as:
- Curiosity: Drugs can seem like a new experience, and oftentimes curiosity can be a simple motivator. Some people want to know what a high feels like.
- Peer pressure: Young people may feel pressured by friends to try drugs, either implicitly or explicitly. Many do not want to feel left out or be mocked for choosing not to partake.
- Enhancing experiences: Some people turn to drugs to enhance an experience or situation. Some drugs are used to experience a greater sense of euphoria at a party, while others are used to relax.
- Normalization: Drug use can seem like a cultural rite of passage, especially for young people. Many portrayals of drug use downplay the adverse effects.
- Pushing boundaries: Drugs can be seen as a subversive activity to rebel against parents or authority
- Mental health issues: Many young people struggle with anxiety, stress, or depression. Drugs can seem like a way to feel better or a form of escapism.
Risk Factors for Experimenting With Drugs
For a long time, drug addiction was seen as a moral failing or something that would exclusively happen to “bad people.” Fortunately, drug addiction is now classified as substance abuse disorder, a mental illness. Like many other mental illnesses, substance use disorder cannot be detected by medical tests such as blood work and CAT scans. However, there are risk factors to be aware of if you consider experimenting with drugs. These include:
- Past trauma
- Co-occurring mental health disorders
- A past history of drug or alcohol use
Any of these risk factors put you at increased risk for developing an addiction. However, even without these factors at play, it is important to keep in mind that you could still become addicted to drugs and alcohol. The most effective way to avoid addiction is to abstain completely.
How Cognitive-behavioral Therapy Can Help Atlanta Residents
If you or a loved one has begun experimenting with drugs and feels worried that your drug use may have gotten out of control, cognitive behavioral therapy can be a useful tool in your recovery. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, posits that mental health disorders result from negative or unhelpful ways of thinking. In CBT, Atlanta residents will identify and unlearn these unhelpful behavior patterns and toxic thought distortions. In turn, they will also change their behavioral patterns and develop positive and healthy coping mechanisms. Cognitive therapy at Atlanta Center for Mental Health can be an important foundational step for recovery or an essential protective measure to keep drug experimentation from getting out of hand.
Learn More About CBT With Atlanta Center for Mental Health
Experimenting with drugs and alcohol puts you at a greater risk of developing a drug addiction. If you think you or a loved one may have a problem with drinking or drugs, don’t wait until it worsens. Contact Atlanta Center for Mental Health and speak with a recovery expert today. Our compassionate clinical staff will work to understand your experience and help you begin the road to recovery. Call 833.625.0458 or fill out our online contact form today.