When you start wondering if you are addicted to drugs—alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, cigarettes—it's time to start thinking about action. That really means getting the right kind of help.
If you are addicted, you have already tried to control your behavior by yourself and realized that you can not. And if you are a teen-ager, it takes a huge amount of courage to actually go and get the help you need.
What You Can Do
Whenever possible, talk to your parents. You will surprised by their gratitude and pride at your willingness to face your problem and get help, and they will do anything to help you.
Sometimes you cannot talk to your parents. They may be too overwhelmed to be able to listen to you without making things worse. If this is the case in your family, there are other options to help you overcome your addiction.
First of all, you can talk with your primary care physician. Doctors and physician assistants have information and access to medicines that can help with the detox process and check you for other illnesses.
It is very important to ask your doctor if what you are saying will be confidential. If your doctor cannot assure you of that, get a referral to someone else.
You could also join a 12-step group. These groups have been proven to be the most successful resource when dealing with an addiction. The Internet is a good place to look for these programs. You also may consult the list of resources that we have provided.
No matter what your addiction, an important thing to know is that you are not alone. Many people just like you have suffered from addictions, and the best way to deal with them is to get help. Confide in someone you trust and ask for help. You will find that having a supportive family member, friend or mentor makes all the difference.
National Council on Alcoholism: 1-800-NCA-CALL.
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (For Young People): Toll Free: 1-800-729-6686 or
Hablamos Español: 1-877-767-8432.
AlaTeen and Al-Anon: 1-888-4AL-ANON (between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday).
Alcoholics Anonymous has meetings in San Francisco and Marin County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County.
Food Addicts Anonymous.