Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Dear Readers: As I said before, the Alano Club, which helps people rehabilitate from drug and alcohol use, ran a contest for local students on why they wanted to live drug free. The next two pieces are done by the third and fourth place winners. First and second place student stories were posted earlier. Why are they a must read? They are insightful as to what our youth are living with today. Take a read. Diana

Why I Choose to Live Drug Free
By Clarissa Montano

In today's world, where spending a few weeks in rehab is becoming a common thing for young people, I choose to be drug free. I see some of the stars that I watched growing up, in and out of rehab, in and out of court, and splashed on the cover of gossip magazines and web sites for bad behavior caused by using drugs. I ask myself, “Why would someone with so much going for them, throw it all away only to look dumb and cause themselves so many problems? “

There is nothing glamorous about drugs and alcohol, but every day the media and parts of the entertainment industry promote and sometimes even encourage the use of recreational drugs. They try to make it look fun, exciting, attractive, and like such a glamorous life.  Unfortunately, many people are fooled and every day another good, smart people falls victim to drug use. If you stop to think about the physical side effects of drug use, like hair loss, bad teeth, bad skin, and sometimes even bad body odor I ask, “How is that glamorous?” 

Then take a look the financial effects of drug use. Addictions can become so costly. People end up homeless and losing everything they own. Even though sometimes I feel like it is being shoved in my face, I still choose to live a drug free life. I have seen what drugs can do to a person and I have seen how drug use not only hurts the user, but also hurts the people who love them. I would never want to hurt myself that way and I for sure would never want to hurt my family like that either. I am so thankful that I have been educated on the negative effects of drug use by schools, our community, and most importantly my family who encourages me to make smart choices.

I know that I have many years ahead of me and I choose to be healthy, I choose to be happy, and I choose to be a good example to my friends and family. I also choose to have a long and successful life and I would like for everyone who has helped me along the way to be proud. Choosing drugs will not give me any of these things, but making the choice to be drug free will help. I am only in 8th grade now and I know as I get older that the pressures of drug use and the availability of drugs will only get worse,  but I know that my attitude will not change. I have made a choice and I am making a commitment to myself, my family, and my community to live a drug free life and encourage others to do the same because it is the smart thing to do.
                                                        FOURTH  PLACE
Lives Drug Free Because .....
By Kcee Thomas

I live drug free because that's how I choose to be. Most teens are doing drugs or drinking alcohol or living in some kind of chemically altered state nowadays. I am definitely not one of those teens.
Why do I choose to live drug free? This is a very good question. Like most other teens, I have tried drugs in the past. My drug of choice was Marijuana. This is a very commonly used drug that I no longer feel I need to enjoy life. There are many different reasons I choose not to do drugs. Examples of the reasons that I don't feel the need to alter my life any longer are that doing drugs is a waste of money and time: time spent planning on how to get them, time looking for a private place to do them, time trying to maintain a "normal" appearance and time wasted without motivation while being high. After learning some of my family history, I also wanted to be the first person in four generations to break the genetically linked chain of chemical dependence. 
In my opinion living drug free is what is best for me. I just started my new job working Saturdays at the Alano Club from 2-10 PM and I would be a hypocrite to be working there while I was under the influence of any narcotics or chemicals. I wouldn't be a very good example for those people trying to overcome addictive behaviors. When I make money working at the Alano Club, I want to be able to spend it on something I think is valuable like clothes or jewelry or something else that is worth the time I spent making the money. I also know that drugs would impact the future because spending my money now on drugs would mean that I couldn't save any money for the future. I would have no money for having my own place to live, a car to drive instead of having to be dependent on other people or even affect my ability to further my education due to lack of tuition for classes.
We can only live life once in this world and I've decided to do it with a sane and sober thought process and without having to second guess if the decisions I made, or are yet to make, will be influenced by chemicals. I also don't want to earn a reputation associated with drugs and be labeled names like "pothead", "stoner", "alkie", "tweeker" or "drugy". I don't want to live my life knowing that I have earned a nick name or reputation based on something I did when I was not thinking things out clearly. I want to be the first one in my family that is not going to go through any experiences involving the emotional, financial, physical, or illegal sides of addiction like those in my family have gone through. Whether it is the incarceration due to a DUI leading to financial and emotional and even physical changes or the additional stress, I want to avoid it. These are very important reasons why I choose to live drug free.
I have a brilliant future ahead of me and I don't think that using drugs is what is best for me. I'm not willing to let all my future goals in life just fade away because drugs have held me back. I want to live a healthy and long life and one way to do that is to be drug free. Drugs are not healthy so if I want to be healthy I shouldn't do drugs.
These are some personal thoughts that I have shared and I used to help me realize why I want to be drug free. I strongly believe in this commitment and know I can use my confidence to stay sober and drug free. Thanks to the people at the Alano Club that have helped inspire me to stay this way!
One Day At A Time!