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Reflections on Alcohol

narrative by RR alumna, age 20; photo of RR resident at equine therapy

It all starts when I'm a kid at home with my parents. When I was a kid my father drank. When my father would come home from drinking he'd be mad at everything and just not himself. Got aggressive sometimes and just fell asleep sometimes. He stopped drinking when I was about 8-9 years old because of how it made him. He didn't like himself while being impaired. Still doesn't drink up to today.

I became the age of 16 and was offered my first alcohol drink ever. I took it though it was nasty but made me feel good so I kept drinking something when I had nothing better to do. As I kept going through life and experience some difficult times I continued to drink. Now I'm drinking liquor, beer, seltzers, whatever you can think of. I stopped drinking because I got pregnant and well did what I need to do. After having my baby and everything I took another drink.

Being a parent and drinking makes this different. I only drink when my child is asleep. I say that because it alters your brain and I don't want my kids to see me not as me. I want the best for them and myself, in order to do that I need to be sober. Drinking doesn't always bring good times or bad. You just never know. So becoming a parent definitely helped me out to become a better person for myself and everyone around me. Love yourself for how you are as is. You don't need alcohol to be you. Just be you. Don't follow other ways because they say its fine or you see it growing up. Be yourself.

Every youth at Resilience Rising has met the criteria for a substance use disorder, and many have struggled with alcohol abuse. The connection between substance use and sexual exploitation is multifaceted and includes: substance use as a coping mechanism for trauma over the lifespan, familial trafficking of children to support parental addiction, method of coercive control by pimp or trafficker, and survival sex to feed addiction and avoid withdrawal. Multiple studies discuss women’s use of substances to deal with the overwhelming emotions and traumatic impact of sexual exploitation, and research also shows that women increase recreational substance use to the point of addiction after entry into prostitution (Farley et al., 2004). In a nine country study of prostitution (Farley et al., 2004), the United States reported some of the highest rates of drug use among people in prostitution at 75%. Of the 89% of respondents who desired to leave prostitution, 47% listed the need for drug and alcohol treatment as a barrier to exiting the sex trade (Farley et al., 2004). Resilience Rising's programs integrate substance use treatment as a critical component of healing and recovery.

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