Substance abuse generally causes a range of health issues including a higher risk of developing an addiction. Research shows that using drugs long-term can cause cancer, lung disease, HIV/AIDS, mental health problems, stroke, heart attack, psychosis, risk of overdose and even death. The good news is that substance abuse prevention strategies are available.
Discussing Substance Abuse Prevention
Research shows that substance abuse prevention helps people to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes they need in order for them to stop harmful behaviors and live a more positive, healthy life.
Prevention can be done in numerous ways. It can be done through school support programs, therapy offices, community involvement and much more. The basic goal of prevention is to support healthy choices in life, so the person can have the lowest chance of develop an addiction as possible. Prevention techniques have helped millions of people. Hopefully, they can help you, as well.
Learn About Risk Factors for Addiction
When it comes to substance abuse prevention, one of the most important things to learn about is the risk factors for addiction. The more you learn about these risk factors and what substance abuse prevention strategies work best for them, the lower your risk will be of developing an addiction.
Some of the risk factors and prevention strategies that you may want to know about include:
- Aggressive during childhood ( developing self-control, anger management)
- No, or poor parental supervision (better parental or adult support and monitoring)
- Experimenting with drugs (positive relationships with friends and family members)
- Drug availability in school and workplace (anti-drug policies implemented)
- Poverty in the community (resources within the neighborhood)
Now that you know a bit more about the risk factors for an addiction, you can work on preventing a substance use disorder in your life or the life of your loved ones.
Do Scare Tactics Work
Many adults feel that they can help protect children from addiction by scaring them. Most of the time, trying to scare a child or teenager will only cause them anxiety or even heighten curiosity. In the long run, these feelings are more likely to cause them to abuse harmful substances than to stop them from ever doing so.
Sure, you don’t want to downplay the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. However, you can prevent the information in a safe, understanding way, so that children and teenagers feel that you are just looking out for their best interests (which is what you are doing).
If you have a child or teenager who is already participating in alcohol or drug use, reach out to our Better Tomorrow team to get them the treatment they need today.
Preventing Addiction with Adolescents
Becoming an adolescent can be a difficult time. Generally, these children are facing a lot of stressors in life such as:
- New grade level at school
- Harder classes
- More peer pressure from friends
- Noticing more of what their family members are doing
- Easier to manipulate or convince to do things
- Stress and anxiety levels are usually higher during adolescence than with younger children
- Many adolescents deal with divorce within their family and may even have to change schools or move to a new house
Substance abuse prevention strategies are extremely important when it comes to adolescence. The brain of an adolescent isn’t even fully developed yet. So, if they start using alcohol or drugs, it is going to impact their body much harder than it would an adult who just picks up drinking or drugging.
With this being said, if you know that your teenager is at high-risk of developing an addiction due to family history, stress or something else, be sure to talk to them often about preventing an addiction. The more they know you are there for them and that you care for their best interests, the less likely they are going to be to start using drugs and alcohol to cope with life.
Take Your Role in Substance Abuse Prevention Seriously
It is important that everyone in the community works together on substance abuse prevention strategies. It can’t be done through just one individual. However, you can focus on the things you are capable of doing and how you can help. If you take your role in substance abuse prevention strategies seriously, you can help to build a better, substance-free community.
Some of the ways that you can take your role in substance abuse prevention strategies seriously include:
- Finding strategies to help prevent addiction in your children or students
- Volunteering with an anti-drug coalition
- Participating in a college-based, substance-free program
- Getting help when grieving the loss of a family member
- Going to Al-Anon meetings if you have a family member with an addiction
- Volunteering in schools or sporting events to help the youth
- Advocate for a safe environment for all children and adults
These are just a few ways that you can help to prevent substance abuse in your community.
Substance Abuse Help and Advice
While substance abuse prevention strategies are extremely important, unfortunately, substance abuse can’t always be prevented. If you or someone you know is dealing with alcohol and/or drug abuse right now, don’t wait to get help. Help is just a phone call away. Give Better Tomorrow a call at (844) 989-1451 and we can help you make an informed decision about helping your loved one with a substance abuse problem.