The drink is but a symptom.
Updated: Jul 20
According to (HHS) an estimated 49.5 percent of adolescents have had a mental health disorder at some point. Maladies include anxiety, depression, attention deficit, and eating disorders.
We do not pretend to understand the scope of this endemic.
What we do know, from personal experience, is that drugs and alcohol can be used as temporary relief from the pain faced.
This has created the perfect storm for this current generation and future generations unless the cycle is addressed and the trends corrected.
On a recent episode of sober.coffee, Josh and Kyle from sillysipscoffee.com joined us to discuss their coffee brand and mission. You can hear the podcast here. Though the conversation was light and “silly,” the topic was anything but marginal. There is a tragedy in play right now that is under-understood by most.
This blog focuses and identifying some early warning signs of mental health struggles while acknowledging that these issues follow us into adulthood. And that if we collectively understand and address the underlying break, we can build toward the fix.
Our self-reflection, advice from professionals in mental health, and our research indicate that the root of our brokenness grows deep and wide. We have learned that we are the aggregate result of trauma and chemical balance or imbalance. We are what affected us. Both pleasures and pains have a basis in our personal experience, and biological and genetic makeup bend our beliefs, borders and behaviors..
What happened to us in our life path and how we perceived those events formed the origin of conviction that guides our thoughts and actions today. Our self-talk dictates our direction. Throw in an organic (self-produced) chemical variation, and we can end up in distress, depression, and “darkness.” This is the reality that touches everyone at some point, we believe. Parking on it puts us in a bad place most times where processing through it can lead us to a good place.
To avoid the dark, we sought light thru substance which worked until it didn’t.
We believe now that therapy and medication, in some cases, can help us navigate to a healthier place.
We also have experience in and do believe that the principles and practices of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, if properly and thoroughly embraced, go a long way in support of processing the past in a healthful way, better preparing us for a beneficial future.
Understanding and proper processing are instrumental, and hundreds of thousands of resources are available, online and offline, that one can tap into to begin the healing process. However, we had to take the famous first step on our own for the reality of recovery to unfold for us.
For adolescents, this process most always demands support and starts with the identification that a problem might exist. The list below recognizes some signs we might look for in others or ourselves. The list is not exhaustive but covers some areas that demand alert or should be cause for concern:
What to watch for:
· Lose interest in activities that they used to enjoy
· Have low energy
· Have difficulty sleeping or eating
· Spend more time alone and avoid social activities
· Excessively exercise, diet, and binge eating
· Harm themselves (e.g., burning or cutting their skin)
· Use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
· Engage in risky or destructive behavior
· Have thoughts of suicide
· Think their mind is being controlled or is out of control or hear things other people cannot hear
For young people with mental health disorders, early intervention and treatment can help lessen the impact on their lives.
For those of us that add more longevity on earth, these danger areas are not insurmountable and can be treated by professionals.
Since this is a blog and not a book, we are limited in our opportunity to share the many resources available to help heal the head and heart. However, we do know that organizations are out there addressing these conditions.
Try searching for:
If we find ourselves unable to break the cycle of addiction (sometimes exasperated by phycological issues) the best resource we have found is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) who can be reached online here, or by calling the national hotline at
Wherever we are today doesn’t need to be where we are tomorrow.
Find your support today – you are worth it!
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a sober.coffee podcast titled #121 Coffee with a twist: Introducing SillySips … The podcast dropped on 7/19/2023. Click here to hear the podcast.
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.