Today I called an addiction helpline. I don’t know what came over me, but I had nowhere else to turn and it was the only way I knew how to help myself. I’m 17 years old and I started using marijuana three years ago. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t control it anymore and I feel like I need someone to talk to. I am ashamed of my addiction and I do not want to talk to my relatives or my friends. I’m afraid that I will get into trouble or they will feel like I’ve let them down or they have failed me. They haven’t. I just made some mistakes. At school they pass around these fliers for a marijuana addiction helpline. So I came home today, locked myself in my room and called the marijuana addiction helpline.
I was surprised when someone answered the phone and didn’t sound like an authority figure. He asked me a lot of things at first and I thought about hanging up. But I think they’re supposed to ask a certain bunch of questions so they can understand how to help. He never asked me anything that I thought they could use against me in any way, so I answered all of them. Even though I made up my name and where I live, I told the truth about how I started using alcohol and for how long. I told him how my parents got divorced when I was ten, and how they’ve since remarried and started new families. I told him that I started feeling like I didn’t belong in either family, and drugs made me feel whole. Pretty soon I needed the drugs to get through a day at school. The addiction helpline guy at the other end of the phone listened patiently to every story I told, every word I said. And when I paused to hear what he had to say, there was a thoughtful silence before he answered. And he seemed to say exactly what I needed to hear. I really expected that when I called a alcohol addiction helpline they would have a script to follow and just rattle off advice, but it was not the case. This particular cocaine addiction helpline really made me feel like they actually want to listen to people and help them. He even made me feel so at ease that I even ended up telling him that I had recently been molested by a family member. He sounded genuinely concerned and gave me another number to call in case I wanted to talk to a specialist in that arena. But even thought that was not his area of expertise, he had some really sound words about it.
This marijuana addiction helpline was put together very well. The guy gave me his name and spoke to me like a human being with genuine feelings for my life and future. He eased tension by joking around with me and brought me to tears with words that touched my heart. I will never again think twice about calling a cocaine addiction helpline. I don’t think I will use tomorrow morning. And I think I may tell my mom and dad about my problem. We’ll see.