James English MS, CAC, Primary Therapist at Ambrosia Treatment Center’s rehab in Port St. Lucie Florida, delivered a heartfelt message to the students of Northport K-8 about the dangers of drug and alcohol addiction.
English started out by explaining he wasn’t there to preach or tell them “don’t do drugs” as so many students have heard before. Instead, he shared his own experiences both personal and as an addiction counselor on why people engage in risky behaviors and make poor decisions despite knowing they are treading down the wrong path.
“When you guys get to a point where you want to do what you want to do, we can’t stop you. But just remember when you’re making those decisions, there are consequences with every decision we make. Are you ready to deal with those consequences?”
Being no stranger to growing up in a household where drugs and alcohol were present, James English has the unique ability to connect with young adults who are at a particularly vulnerable age when it comes to experimentation. Using his own experiences growing up, he demonstrated the reality of the disease and how using drugs is much more complicated than just simply getting high.
When one student inquired about the differences between recreational drinking and alcoholism James highlighted the progressive nature of the disease along with the fact that those with preexisting mental conditions are especially at risk.
“Things like depression, anxiety, ADHD, these things that are imbalances in our brain and we want to try to fix them ourselves. You don’t know you have it; you just know something isn’t right about you. That affects people to the point where they don’t want to feel like that, and if they try these things, it will make them feel better. When it does, they think: ‘I found something that works’ without realizing that this alcohol and drug addiction disease is progressive, meaning it gets worse.”
James English earned his master’s degree in counseling psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University and brings 18 years of experience in the substance abuse field to the Ambrosia team. Through working with clients and their families, he connects and delves into the root issues that bring them to treatment. Dealing with these issues offers those who are struggling with substance abuse the best chance at recovering from a hopeless and helpless state of mind.
Substance abuse is unfortunately all too common in the lives of youth across the United States. Without a doubt, kids are affected by addiction through parents, siblings, and friends every day. Because pleading with students to stay away from drugs and alcohol has proven to be ineffective, English left the students with an earnest, realistic message.
“If you can stay away from drugs, please do. If you can’t, find someone here to talk to. Go to your counselor, go to your teacher, and tell them ‘I have something I want to tell somebody.’ If you don’t talk about it, it sits inside of you, and if it sits inside of you, it’s going to hurt. And eventually, you’re going to need to find a way out from the pain.“