Pressure This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   All the pressure that a teenager has to face today is enough to push anyone over the edge. Growing up in the city today can leave much to be desired. There are drugs and gangs, and violence everywhere. Many young people turn to drugs and alcohol as an escape. Substance abuse has nothing to do with your race, color or creed. Addiction doesn't care how old you are.

Using alcohol or drugs causes more problems than it solves. Substance abuse can get you in trouble with the law, alienate you from loved ones, and sometimes even result in death. I have experienced all of this firsthand, because I am an alcoholic.

They say that an alcoholic has to hit rock bottom before s/he realizes a problem exists. I don't think it should, or has to be that way. Usually a person can sense when a loved one has been using substances. The problem is that no one wants to say anything in fear that they will lose someone close to them. I would rather lose someone and still have them here rather than lose them completely.

Many people think alcohol can't hurt them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Alcohol almost took my life a few times. "But for the grace of God" I made it. It took me a long time to admit I was an alcoholic. After all, I'm only seventeen. And I still fall off the wagon about once a year.

Battling alcohol is the hardest thing I've ever done, but because I'm winning, I have the courage to do anything. If you think you, or someone you know, has a problem with drugs or alcohol, don't ignore it: it won't go away. It will only get worse.

For more information about the disease of alcoholism, try writing to this address: Literature Distribution Center, 639 Granite St. Braintree, MA 02184 (617) 849-0740.

Editor's Note: There are a number of organizations and programs geared to this problem. Check out your phone book or ask your guidance counselor at school. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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