Substance Use Disorders

Video Contributor: Kelly Duncan

Click here to learn more about Kelly Duncan


Guide Note From Beth
Most of us grew up hearing “Just say no to drugs.” Personally, I’ve never struggled with alcohol or drugs, but I’ve had friends who struggle every day. Three things helped me want to avoid substance use: A boyfriend whose mother drank herself to death, my disdain for the behavior of my friends when they were high, and a Mother’s Against Drunk & Drugged Driving (MADDD) presentation I saw in high school. I was also privileged to be born to clean and sober parents who taught me how to withstand peer pressure. These days we have more to worry about than peer pressure and drug dealers. Kelly’s story proves that addiction can begin in ways you’d least expect. She tells it authentically, with humility and honesty. It’s an honor for me to know her personally, and I hope her story helps your girl learn how to avoid substance abuse.

Kelly’s Story of Substance Abuse

I spent over 20 years in active drug addiction. My drug addiction started with prescription pills I was receiving from my doctor for headaches and other period symptoms at the age of 12. My mom was uninformed and unaware of the dangers of the pills I was taking. My lack of knowledge about what I was putting into my body led me to believe there was no danger since I was getting them directly from my doctor for headaches and period symptoms.

After that, I spiraled out of control and into harder drugs. I lost my family, my children, friends and everything I had ever loved to the disease of addiction. It took years and many failed attempts to get where I’m at today.

In making this video and sharing my story, my hope is that it might impact someone and they may never have to fight the same battle so many of us have. Because the sad truth is so many of us addicts don’t make it out alive.

What Is Recovery:

According to the NIH, Recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.

Recovery means to return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength, the process of rehabilitation, to heal, rally, or redeem, the process of getting better.


Two years ago, I decided to do something different. I joined a faith-based program called Xchange Recovery for the help that nobody had ever been able to provide. I believe it truly takes a miracle for anyone who has been thru addiction to walk back out with a pulse. Right now, I have over two years clean since my last relapse, and I am truly grateful and blessed.

What is relapse?

To get sick again, to take a turn for the worse, to fail after a period of success, to suffer deterioration after a period of improvement.

The most important knowledge I can pass on from my experience is that you should always know and understand what you’re putting into your body. When it comes to drug addiction, prevention could be what saves your life. Please keep yourselves informed about what you’re putting into your body and the hidden dangers because the doctors don’t always disclose everything to their patients and their families.

Some Substance Use Disorder Statistics:

Fact:  In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Read more here.

If you or a friend needs help, please call (888) 459-5511

Tips for Kids & Parents:

  • Plan fun events that don’t involve putting anything into your body. Practice the joy of play and activity without making food, caffeine, or sweets the central focus.
  • Never try to drive a car if your body doesn’t feel right. If you’re sleepy, dizzy, nauseous, or feeling moody and angry, let someone else drive until you are thinking clearly.
  • Protect your food and beverages at parties. If your cup or plate is left alone for a while, throw it out and get new stuff.
  • If you need prescription drugs for pain management, like after surgery, have a plan for weaning off of them quickly.
  • Keep all prescription drugs in a protected location.
  • Dispose of all unneeded narcotics safely. Here are tips from the FDA.
  • Practice natural forms of pain management when you’re hurting.
  • Never let anyone tell you that pain is in your head. If your body is hurting, that’s it’s only way of telling you that something needs help and attention.
  • If a doctor or anyone else only offers pain meds and doesn’t work to get to the root of your pain, find a better doctor.
  • What are some other tips for staying drug free? Talk together about ways you can avoid substance use disorders.

Fit2B Girls – Substance Abuse


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