Frequently Asked Questions about Teen Substance Abuse Prevention

Questions about drugs, alcohol, and other addiction
Questions about SubstanceAbusePrevention.org
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Question:  Can the substance abuse prevention community (sapvc) help me learn what it means to have a drug or alcohol problem?

Answer:   Yes, a quick basic screening is available (click here) as well as links to more screening resources.

Question:  What if I think someone in my family or my friends drink too much?

Answer:   You should check out the screening page by clicking here. Also check out our links for other suggestions.

Question:  Iíve been thinking about smoking marijuana. What will it do to me? Is it safe? Can I trust what my friends have said?

Answer:   Before using any drug, you should educate yourself about that drug.  Click here for information on drugs.

Question:  Whatís wrong with drinking, after all...it's legal, right?

Answer:   Drinking is legal for adults, but can be dangerous because it impairs your judgment and reduces inhibitions.  Many dangerous activities are legal, but regulated.  For example, you may be required to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.  Sometimes drinking is illegal, for example for teens and for those driving a car, performing surgery, or piloting an airplane.  

Question:  Are there good drugs?

Answer:   Yes, most drugs are valuable medicines; they provide comfort and even save lives.  The problem is when they are taken by the wrong people in the wrong amounts and for the wrong reasons. Even good drugs can be abused and if used regularly can be addictive. 

Question:  Why do people use drugs?

Answer:   It often depends on the drug.  People use drugs for many reasons, for example, they enjoy them, they are prescribed by their doctor for their health, they want to feel part of a group, and they are having problems coping with their life.

Question:   What is an addiction?

Answer:   An addiction is an increasing reliance on anything that causes physical, psychological, and social problems.  For example, drug use becomes an addiction when you cannot easily stop using, yet the use is making you sick, keeping you confused, causing accidents, or getting in the way of relationships with people you care about and that care about you.

Question:  Why can some people handle drinking and some canít?

Answer:   Many factors influence how alcohol affects someone's body.  These factors include their age, body size, their physical and mental health, the amount of food in their body, their level of emotional maturity, their gender, etc.  Some people, such as Native Americans, have differing biological abilities to process alcohol which might cause them to have more problems with alcohol. 

Question:  Whatís the difference between drug abusers and drug addicts?

Answer:   Abusers who cannot or will not stop, even in the face of desperate consequences, are typically considered addicts. 

Question:  How many kinds of drugs are there?

Answer:   There are thousands of drugs, and new drugs being developed daily.  Drugs have been part of our history and drug abuse has been a problem for thousands of years. Frequently abused drugs are categorized into classes, depending upon how they affect the body or the mind.

Question:  Does everyone who uses drugs become addicted?

Answer:   Some people seem to be able to use drugs without becoming addicted, but there is always the question of whether they are just hiding it better, or are just putting up a good front. Some drugs such as crack cocaine, however, have been shown to be able to provoke addiction within the user very quickly. 

Question:  What can I do if I develop an addiction?

Answer:   Few people can quit their addiction on their own.  It usually takes a great deal of emotional support. If you feel you have an addiction...or even worry that drugs just might be a problem, you should seek help from a trusted friend or adult. 

Question:  What does sapvc mean?

Answer:   Sapvc stands for Substance Abuse Prevention Virtual Community.  Sapvc.org is the Internet address for the community.

Question:  What is a virtual community?

Answer:   A virtual community is just like any other community; however, it only exists online or in virtual space.  Communities can be virtual (online) or face-to-face (F2F), or a combination of the two. They are like neighborhoods, in many ways much like the neighborhood in which you live.   SubstanceAbusePrevention.org only exists as a virtual community.

Question:  Why was sapvc.org started?

Answer:   Sapvc.org was developed to use the vast communication power of the Internet to help prevent substance abuse.

Question:  Who established sapvc.org?

Answer:   Sapvc.org, which opened in Spring 2003, was founded by substance abuse and technology professionals in the Dallas Ft. Worth (DFW) Texas area.  Partners include the U.S. Department of Commerce TOP Program, the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work, Holmes Street Foundation, Imaginuity Interactive, Inc, and many DFW volunteers.  (click for more information)

Question:  How can sapvc.org benefit me?

Answer:   By playing games, and completing exercises and getting information from sapvc, you will increase your knowledge of and resistance to substance abuse.

Question:   What can sapvc.org do to help me solve my problems?

Answer:   Sapvc.org can give you information about drugs and increase your skills in areas such as resisting drugs, resolving conflict, and managing anger. Research about drug abuse seems to indicate that the better a person handles the hassles of everyday life, the less likely they are to wind up having a problem with drugs. That's why the exercise and information you find on sapvc is about more than just drugs.  

Question:  Will it help me stop screaming at my parents?

Answer:   Sapvc.org has some exercises that will help you and your parents discuss drugs and alcohol, and teach skills that can be used to discuss other difficult and sensitive topics.  You or your family needs to register as a member of sapvc.org in order to be able to complete the exercises.  To become a member, click here.