Substance Abuse Isn’t a Crutch

mental health

But it can be Crippling 

online-therapy-san-joseBeing a teenager can be an awkward time. It’s often difficult and even confusing.

You’re no longer a child. But you’re not quite an adult either.

There’s also a tremendous amount of learning involved. Much of it contradicts what you’ve already learned.

Which makes it important that you figure out your new definition of what’s right and what’s wrong.

To further complicate things, there are so many changes going on with your body.

This includes fluctuations in hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Ever heard the term raging hormones? As these hormones flow through your body, they can cause you to feel and think differently than you ever have.

I’m in a unique position, in that it wasn’t all that long ago that I was a teenager.

This is important because as all teens, I went through many of the same things that you may be going through right now. And it was recent enough that I remember the challenges, and what I did to get through.

I’ve spent the majority of my life learning why people feel the way that they do. And the best ways to get someone who is struggling or has lost their way, back on track.

Add that with over a decade of study and training, and I genuinely feel I’m in a good position to help.

There are many reasons teens turn to drugs. Often, it’s to escape boredom, stress or something that’s troubling them about their lives.

And many times it’s something as simple as peer pressure.

But what I’m going to focus on here is the problem of teen substance abuse as a crutch. This is when the substance being abused, whether it be alcohol, quasi-legal drug-like marijuana or an illegal substance is being used to mask unpleasant feelings, like feeling worried, anxious, or stressed out.


We usually need crutches when we suffer from a broken leg. This is of course, fine and to be expected.

But what isn’t fine is using alcohol or drugs as a crutch – an emotional crutch.

Instead, it’s much better for you to take some time to work through the feelings that are causing you to drink or take drugs. Whether you are doing it to feel better about yourself. Or so you feel you “fit in”.

This is where there’s a good chance that I can help.

I’m not going to sit there and preach to you. I’ve been on both ends of those conversations. And I know from experience that they are typically unproductive and just don’t work.

Instead, we can just talk. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced it myself. Either directly or through having helped someone else work through it.

And you can be sure that I’ll be sympathetic. My goal is never to judge you. It’s to help you figure things out. And to help you become the happiest and best version of you that you can be.

I’m Kamal Ahmed, a therapist in San Jose. But since 100% of my practice is done through online therapy, I can work with anyone in California. Online therapy, also known as Tele counseling and teletherapy is both effective and widely used.

Online therapy has been around since the mid-80s, but it has really come into its own in the last several years due to advances in technology.

mental health

And of course, with the Coronavirus pandemic, online therapy has become the fastest-growing segment of psychotherapy.

So if any of this sounds familiar, talk to your parents about it. And then let’s set a time so we can all talk. So we can see if you and I working together is going to be a good fit.