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Teen Talks About Battle with Addiction

Updated: Monday, July 28 2014, 08:19 PM CDT

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--Earlier this week we told you about a national report that ranks Iowa children as number one in the nation for overall health.

A big reason for that is because the number of teens abusing drugs and alcohol fell.

"I think I've been here 74 days, " says the 18-year-old we spoke with.

"I started using when I was 17," she said.

What began as drinking to cope with depression, "just kind of progressed into like harder drugs."

She says she used marijuana and anti-anxiety drugs.

"I started like skipping class, but after an incident as an outpatient, "I got in a fight after using and they sent me to emergency hospital and I got committed here," she said.

That place is ASAC or the Area Substance Abuse Council.

"We provide residential and outpatient youth substance abuse services. Our residential program is roughly a 90 day program," said Garth Duffie, Assistant Director of Youth Services.

It's one of many programs credited for the decline in Iowa's teen substance abuse rates.

Back in 2006 the number of teens who abuse drugs and alcohol was at ten percent. Now that number is down to six percent.

An improvement spurred by the growing partnerships within community agencies and even school districts.

"The Cedar Rapids School District has a good conduct policy violation so if they get in trouble at school they can lose eligibility in sports or music," Duffie said.

"They've helped me realize that I don't need substances to cope with my anger and with my depression," the teen said.

Her advice to teens dealing with substance abuse, "They are good for a while, but after a while, they are not going to make you feel better."

She says getting help is the key.


Teen Talks About Battle with Addiction

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