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Best Life: Changing brains to beat addiction

Best Life: changing brains to beat addiction
Best Life: changing brains to beat addiction
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:21 AM CDT
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Fifty percent of teens have used drugs at least once. Forty-three percent of college students report frequently abusing drugs and alcohol. These teens who experiment early could be setting the groundwork for decades of abuse. In fact, kids who start drinking before the age of 15 are seven times more likely to develop alcohol use disorders as adults than those who wait until after age 18. Now, one woman is using her own experience to help young people rewire their brains and break the habit.

“It was first beer and alcohol, drifted onto marijuana,” Jacob Lara, a recovering teen addict explains.

The 29-year-old has battled substance abuse for half his life. Soon that addiction would get him kicked off of his football team and kicked out of his private high school.

“It got to the point where I was on cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal meth,” Lara explains.

Lara is not alone. Almost 20 million Americans struggle with substance use disorder. Many of their addictions begin as teens and young adults.

“I’ve been sober 14 years,” said Erica Spiegelman.

Spiegelman uses her own experiences to help others beat their addiction. Spiegelman teaches people to rewire their brains. Overwriting old patterns with new habits. The first step, accept it.

“I completely accepted that abstinence and just putting it to death is what I call it for my clients to saying goodbye, grieving it,” Spiegelman states.

Practice being kind to yourself.

“It’s about creating positive self-talk, replacing negative language in your own mind, in your own head,” Spiegelman further states.

Recognize your triggers.

“Don’t let yourself be hungry, angry, lonely, or tired around five o’clock,” Spiegelman advises.

Lara states that for him, “skateboarding gets my mind off of things.”

There is no quick fix, but change is possible.

“It really is around like two months that you see people create new identities,” said Spiegelman.

Jacob believes these steps and one-on-one counseling with Spiegelman changed his life. He’s been sober for almost a year now and is determined to continue drug-free.

Spiegelman believes the steps used for recovering addicts can also be used to change other aspects of your life. She now has a second book, the rewired life, to help anyone, not just addicts, change their lives and adopt healthier habits. Both books can be found on amazon.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.Copyright 2021 WMC. All rights reserved.

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