Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Addiction Recovery Support Groups

Each month there is a new topic in the Addiction Recovery Support groups at Sorenson’s Ranch School. The topic is this month is about the drug marijuana. “What is the big deal?” The students say. “It is just marijuana.” “Man, it is just natural.” “It isn’t that bad.” So, in groups we have drawn The Pot Circle on the white board. It all starts with boredom or a personal problem, so the individual decides to use some marijuana, and before long the individual finds that they are making some poor choices or taking inappropriate action. Their use of pot increases because they become discouraged about some of the consequences that they are experiencing. All of a sudden they are fighting with Mom and Dad. “You don’t trust me anymore.” “Your rules suck.” “I should be able to do what I want to, when I want to.” “It’s my life.”
The list goes on. So the pot use increases. Soon the report card comes out, and the teen finds out that they are failing in school. Maybe they lose their job. At home, problems increase with parents and following the rules. They don’t want to associate with parents or go to family functions. So in the Pot Circle all of a sudden the adolescent is dealing with failure and disappointment in their lives. Nothing is working out for them. So the smoking increases. It continues and soon they realize that they have reduced their options. The teen becomes more disappointed. They continue to hang out with people who are all in the same predicament as they are. Most of these adolescents by now have been kicked out of school, either for being tardy or being caught smoking pot at school, or other similar behavior. Maybe the teenager has failed so many classes that he/she is feeling overwhelmed and guilty. Thinking, “If they would just leave me alone, I was handling everything.” “If people would just back off and let me do it my way, it would have all worked out.” “It’s all my parents’ fault, or the teachers’ fault.” “Who needs all of that anyway?” “Man, we have the life.” “Who cares?” “ I just want to be left alone.” “Hey, you do your thing, and let me do mine.”
Teenagers sit around and talk about what they are going to do, but the motivation to go do it has left. So they continue to do more and more pot. “Why keep pace with those crazy people out there?” “All they’re doing is sticking it to each other.” “Why can’t they relax?” This brings us to the final spot in the Pot Circle, reduced motivation. So the Pot Circle becomes a vicious cycle. In the Sorenson’s Ranch School group discussions we ask the students, “Where are you in the Pot Circle?” “Do you think that you have a problem with marijuana?” “Where is your life headed?”

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