Occupation: Student currently taking time off
Drug of Choice: Alcohol
Age of first use: 14
History With Drugs: I started drinking and smoking cigarettes and weed at the age of 14.
It started as just use on the weekends but progressed pretty rapidly. I started smoking weed every chance that I got. I smoked weed pretty heavily for two years then quit on my own because I no longer liked doing it, it got too expensive, and I just loved drinking so much more. My drinking progressed from splitting a case of beer on the weekends with friends, to me buying my own case each night on the weekend, and then on to bottles of whiskey and vodka in a night.
Up until I landed in the E.R., a typical week consisted of me drinking 330 cases of beer and 3 handles of whiskey. Also, cigarettes were a little over a pack a day. Previous Treatment: No real treatment for substance abuse. I was in individual therapy for awhile, but that was not totally for substance abuse. I did the initiation process for the crossroads program, but I 100% refused to do an inpatient program my senior year of high school. I also went through an initial evaluation at Assisted recovery Centers of America but never followed through with it. Now I have been in INSynergy for almost a year, but just started to really work the program 2 months ago.
Legal Problems: DWI, 2 Minor in Possessions, Peace Disturbance, probation since I was 16 and still a little ways to go.
Health Problems: The beginning of February 2009, after a long super bowl weekend of constant whiskey drinking, I ended up in the E.R because I felt like I was having a heart attack.
It turned out to be Hypokalmeia, which if had had waited any longer to get help could have caused a heart attack. Employment Problems: Unemployed for close to 2 years. I went from a 4.0 straight A student to a 2.0 student to eventually dropping out after my visit to the E.R. Why Did You Come to INSynergy? I came to INSynergy about a year ago. I was extremely reluctant come, I came kicking and screaming:-The only reason I signed up in the program was because if didn’t my parents would have no longer supported me with a roof, food, and an education. For the fIrst nine months of the program, however, I was basically just going through the motions to get my parents off my back, and never really quit drinking for an extended period of time.
Then after having a serious health scare, I finally realized I needed to get better; thus, I made the decision to drop out of school in order to focus more on the aspects of the program and getting myself healthy. What Has Helped Most? Going to INSynergy as often as possible has helped immensely. I try to make it all 3 groups every week, and I try to do individual sessions 5 times a week. Just going in everyday helps me to remain focused. Even if I am only there for 15 minutes, it still helps me remained focused on what I have to do.
Focusing on Sleep, Exercise, and Diet gives me goals to accomplish and makes me healthier. Without drinking I sleep a hellauve lot better. It took a little while to get my sleep patterns back in whack because before I needed booze to sleep, Now I can get to sleep at a reasonable hour and wake up feeling refreshed, without needing a nap to make it through the day. Exercise helps me feel better physically and mentally. I have a lot more energy, my thoughts and memories are a lot clearer and I am more aware of what is going on around me. Also, I am losing weight and starting to look healthier which is a big plus. The exercise also causes me not to eat as much and focus more on exactly what I am eating. I am more disciplined, which exercising everyday for a certain amount of time at a certain time has helped me accomplish. Also it gives me structure in my day; it’s a basis that I can build doing other tasks around.
Although I am not the most organized person, and do not really journal much, I am starting to fill out charts of my day, what I accomplished and how it went overall. This helps with discipline and organization. The medication, Naltrexone, has also been an integral part of my progress. Taking it everyday has helped in it is a routine that I have gotten into everyday. The medication definitely helps minimize my cravings to drink and keeps me focused on what I have to do and goals I have set for myself.
What Do You Hope to Happen? I hope to continue to get healthier, both mentally and physically. I believe my mind will continue to grow and clear up, and I also hope to repair some of the damage I have done. I hope to continue to get healthier physical wise, which in turn will help me feel immensely better. I also hope to incorporate the structure, organization and discipline into everything I do because it really does make a difference and helps me keep focused on a goal, and accomplish that goal. I also hope that in the future, not the near future, but eventually I would like to be around all my friends while they are partying and be able to have a drink or two with no problems.
Would You Recommend INSynergy to Anyone Else? I would most definitely recommend this program to anyone with a substance abuse problem. As a 20 year old college student my whole culture is based around drinking and drinking as much as possible. I never thought I had a problem because everyone else was doing the same thing I was. Sure, I had legal problems, but hell so did most of my friends. My parents kept telling me I had a problem, but I paid no attention to Them. Many oITrienaseven saicCthey were worried about me, but that didn’t phase me: After being forced into the program, I eventually realized that I really did have a problem. My friends might drink a lot, but not as much as me and they were able to stop after they started or even for a days at a time, and I could not. The information I received in individual and group meetings really opened my eyes. Also the people really do care about your well-being and treat everyone with respect. I look forward to going to the meetings and the individual sessions with John help me keep on doing well. So I would definately recommend INS to anyone because if I, a 20 year old rebellious college student who came to the program kicking and screaming, can change the way I have I believe they can help anyone.