Canada’s youth have it tough – navigating significant growth and change, facing peer pressure and trying to fit in, all while facing many stressful and complex decisions. And one the most difficult decisions? Whether or not to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
According to Health Canada, young people are more likely than adults to engage in substance use, use substances in hazardous ways, and experience harm as a result of their use. When it comes to alcohol, most young people do not drink in moderation on a regular basis, but rather alternate between periods of abstinence and binge drinking.
A significantly high rate of adults who develop a substance abuse disorders report using drugs and alcohol during adolescence. As such, if drug use or alcohol abuse is already occurring it is essential to intervene as soon as possible to prevent a more serious addiction from happening. When it comes to youth and substance abuse, it’s never too early to get help.
One of the reasons why many youth do not get the help they need at the crucial beginning stages of substance abuse are the misconceptions about a life in recovery. Social stigma leads us to believe that a clean and sober life is boring and full of discomfort.
But in truly understanding what recovery means, it’s clear to see that a life in recovery can be fulfilling, exciting, and extremely rewarding. Here are five things that youth should know about a life in recovery.
1. Recovery can be fun
Having fun while maintaining your commitment to sobriety is possible, there’s even a good chance that you can have more fun sober than you ever did with drugs and alcohol. It’s all about discovering healthy ways to enjoy life, like through taking up new hobbies, making new social connections, participating in activities and travel, and of course adding a good dose of laughter!
2. Recovery is about healing the mind, body, and soul
Just as addiction impacts all aspects of overall health, recovery aims to heal all of these systems. By practicing proper nutrition, taking part in regular exercise, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, getting outside, and connecting with community, recovery can be the path to achieving a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle and help you feel better than ever.
3. Recovery can not only improve health, but also overall quality of life
Beyond the obvious health benefits, by making changes to mind, body, and soul, recovery can result in a brand new meaning and outlook on life. Individuals in recovery are able to restore relationships, make amends, improve confidence and self-esteem, set and achieve goals, and focus on personal development.
4. Recovery requires and leads to change
Recovery often involves a complete overhaul in lifestyle – from the people you hang out with, to the activities you engage in, and also the way you think and deal with emotions and situations. Although change may be overwhelming, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight; by focusing on making one change at a time, positive change can be not only attainable but achievable.
5. Recovery is empowering
Living a healthy life in mind, body, and soul is perhaps one of the most gratifying things you can do – especially in recovery. While there will always be hurdles in a lifelong commitment to recovery, overcoming these obstacles is a powerful and truly rewarding experience, allowing to you re-establish your connection with reaching your full potential.