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James T – Developing a Desire to Remain Sober

James T. is a recent graduate of Turnbridge

James T. is a recent graduate of Turnbridge’s  residential treatment center.  During his time at college James became addicted to prescription medication and obsessed with video games, and after a long struggle he followed the advice of his therapist and sought help for his addictions. James’ struggles with prescription medication began at a young age when he was given Ritalin and Adderall to treat his ADHD.  Over time he became addicted and his parents withdrew the medication during his fifth grade year.  In his sophomore year of high school, James started chewing tobacco, renewing his struggle with substance abuse.  The tobacco gave James the belief that drugs were fun, and by his junior year he was drinking alone and smoking marijuana. Having a Desire to Remain SoberIn college, James began drinking and smoking a lot more, and the pills soon came into the fore.  “I had been experimenting with various things, but it was mostly just ADHD medication and anxiety meds to counter the effects of the ADHD meds, with video games on top of all of that,” James said.  “I had a really good therapist that convinced me that I had a problem.” “I was very much obsessed with the next time I could get on my computer or xbox, and the drugs made it worse,” James said.  “I was obsessed with getting the [drugs] and taking it the way I wanted to.  I was very isolated from the start of my using.  I preferred to be alone, and I didn’t really like to talk to people.  I was selfish, angry, you name it.  I had a spiritual sickness through and through.” At the urging of his therapist, James admitted that he needed help and he was soon willing to enter an addiction treatment program.  James successfully completed primary treatment and Turnbridge’s long term drug rehab program.  He began working full-time after graduating, and will go back to college in the fall in pursuit of his undergraduate degree, perhaps in political science or business.  James finds that his goals and ambitions fluctuate over time, but over all he has maintained a strong work ethic and a desire to remain sober. “I’m basically taking it one day at a time,” James said.  “One thing I’ve learned is that I’m a really bad judge of my own character.  It takes someone telling me that I’ve changed for me to realize it.  I feel like I’m in general a much more pleasant person to be around.  I still have more to work on, but I’ve made a lot of progress.  My family actually trusts me now; they didn’t for a long time.  Things with my parents are great.  I still depend on them, but at the same time I’m more independent that I’ve ever been. “If I hadn’t gone to Turnbridge, I probably wouldn’t be living sober now,” James said.  “If I hadn’t gotten honest about all of my addictions, including video games and drugs, and if I hadn’t followed the directions of Turnbridge and used that to my advantage, I probably wouldn’t be sober now.  I would be a much worse person.  Turnbridge made getting sober a lot easier, and I’m really grateful that I went there.”