You matter

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You and Substance Use: Stuff to think about...and ways to make changes

Author: Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research

 

You matter

Whether you’re on your own or have a string of living beings to care for—a spouse, children, elderly parents, pets—your role in this world is important. Like everyone else, you matter. And because you matter, you have an obligation to do what you can to reach your full potential for health and happiness, and help those close to you reach their full potential, too.

You are needed, and you are loved, even if it doesn’t always seem that way to you. When you believe this, you may start seeing that doing your best to manage your life—your education, career, family obligations, and so on—is all that is required of you. You may also start seeing that your current attitudes and behaviours regarding substances may have to change in order to do what’s required to the best of your ability.

Being the best you can be begins with knowing yourself better: your personality, your values, what stresses you out, what makes you smile, what makes you run for cover. One way to do this is to consider your successes and failures.

To help you figure out where you are now, try writing down your answers to the following questions:

How would you rate how you’re managing your life right now?

 

What’s going well?

 

What’s not going well?

 

List some of the things about yourself that you’re proud of. (It could be achievements at school or work, relationships or contributions you’ve made to your community.)

 

List some things in your life that you’re not so proud of. (It could be something you did or didn’t do for yourself. Or something involving another person.)

Did substance use play a role in any of the things you’re not proud of? If so, how much of a role? (Would things have played out differently if alcohol or other drugs hadn’t been involved?)

Next, list the qualities you have that led you to success. (Was it your intelligence? A strong work ethic? Your compassion? Your honesty?)

 

Next, write down why those things happened, or didn’t happen. (Was it because of your situation at home, school or work? Stuff going on between you and your friends, parents or spouse?)

 

 
About the author

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The Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, formerly CARBC, is a member of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information. The institute is dedicated to the study of substance use in support of community-wide efforts aimed at providing all people with access to healthier lives, whether using substances or not. For more, visit www.cisur.ca.

 
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