If you already use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
- Some good reasons to quit alcohol and drugs
- Some good reasons to quit smoking
- Tips for quitting
- Online, phone, and other support for quitting drugs and alcohol
- Online, phone, and other support for quitting smoking
Maybe you tried drinking, drugs, or smoking because you were curious. Or because you felt stressed. Or because you just felt like breaking the rules. Whatever your reasons, though, there are even better reasons to stop these nasty habits. Want some? How about your future, your health, your safety — even your good looks! That’s right. Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes put all of those at risk.
It’s definitely worth it to try to quit. And with the strength, courage, and smarts you’ve got inside you, you can do it!
If you need a little inspiration, check out some of the reasons to quit below. Then read on for ways to beat the habit before it beats you.
- Even if you feel like you’re doing fine now, things can get out of control pretty fast. You can get sick or addicted before you know it.
- Drugs and alcohol can make it more likely you will do something you wouldn’t usually do, like have unsafe sex.
- Drugs and alcohol will change the way your brain works.
- Drugs are illegal, and it’s against the law to buy alcohol if you’re under 21. You can fail an alcohol breath test after just one drink.
- Sharing needles and other equipment for injecting drugs can cause HIV and other dangerous infections. Learn more about the link between drugs and HIV.
- The benefits of quitting kick in fast. For example, just 12 hours after quitting, the level of carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal. Two weeks to 3 months after quitting, your heart and lungs begin to work better. A year after, your risk of heart disease goes down.
- Smoking gives you wrinkles and stains your teeth. It stinks up your breath and hair, and you may not even notice since you get used to the smell.
- Most teens would rather date someone who doesn’t smoke.
- Many buildings won’t let you smoke inside anymore, so smoking can be pretty lonely — and cold.
Whether you’ve used a lot or a little, it’s never too late to stop smoking, drinking, and using drugs. Of course, it can be tough. You may even have physical feelings of withdrawal, like headaches. But you probably can think of other times you had to do something difficult — and succeeded. Don’t give up!
These ideas can help you make a plan to quit and stick with it.
- Ask for help from a trusted adult, friends, and family.
- Think of ways to say “no.” Check out our tips for turning down drugs, alcohol, and smoking.
- Come up with a specific plan for quitting. Then steer clear of situations where you might be tempted.
- Try other ways to deal with stress, like exercising.
- Find out about support groups. It’s great to connect with other people who know how you feel.
- Consider going to a program or treatment center for help.
For more tips on how to quit and other helpful information, check out the resources below.
- The Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator is a government Web site that lists treatment centers. You can also call 800-662-HELP (4357).
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse site for teens has information on how drugs affect the brain and stories about real teens who turned their lives around.
- The Web site Above the Influence lets you read answers to submitted questions, like “How do I know if I’m addicted?” and watch inspiring ads.
- The Check Yourself Web site has ways to check how you’re doing with alcohol and drugs. It also has information about treatment, videos of teens, and lots more.
- Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are self-help groups for people with drug and alcohol problems. In some places they may have meetings that are mostly for young people.
- Want to understand alcoholism better? Read answers to frequently asked questions.
- The free help line 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) offers local programs and telephone coaching.
- Get text messages to help you quit smoking from SmokefreeTXT. It is a free text message cessation service that provides 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to teens trying to quit smoking. Teens can sign up online or text QUIT to iQUIT (47848).
- A nicotine patch, gum or other stop-smoking aid might help you quit. Ask your doctor.
- SmokefreeTeen.gov has quizzes, comics, apps, and more for teens
- You can send Instant Messages to the National Cancer Institute’s online quit-smoking counselors.
- Get tips like how to keep your mind off smoking and how to deal with slip-ups from How Can I Quit Smoking? (Copyright © The Nemours Foundation)
- Want some tips written just for girls? Read Say Goodbye To An Ugly Habit – Quit Smoking! (PDF - 243KB).
Content last reviewed September 30, 2013
Page last updated October 31, 2013