Substance abuse has reached critical levels in the United States. People from all walks of life — young and old, educated and still in school — have been affected. In spite of the fact that this epidemic reaches across every barrier, there are still substance abuse preventions that are effective. Knowing and implementing these can make a difference in your life or in the life of someone you love.
Substance Abuse Preventions 101
It’s important to realize that you often cannot prevent someone else from trying an addictive substance. You can, however, set them up for success from the start. If you have children, talk to them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol from the time they are little. Don’t ever stop telling them about the negative consequences of substance use and abuse.
Substance Use Preventions You Need To Know About
Substance use disorder is a complex medical condition that presents differently for different people. While one person can have a single drink without the desire to keeping binge drinking until they pass out, another individual is not able to do so. It has nothing to do with will power, a person’s character, the socioeconomic status, or other factors.
The following substance use preventions can help keep you and those you love healthy and addiction-free:
How substance abuse starts
The root of substance abuse is planted when drugs and/or alcohol is used for the purposes of recreation. One example is using too much of a prescription medication that has legally been prescribed to you because of the euphoric effects. Another is drinking for the sole purpose of getting drunk.
Keep temptation at bay
Friendships and activities that center around drugs and/or alcohol could make it more tempting for you to engage in the same type of behavior. Have a ready-made excuse that you can use if someone invites you to an event that you think could put you into that kind of position.
Address co-occurring conditions
Many people who have substance use disorder also struggle with mental illness. In fact, as a way of coping with the challenges of their mental illness, many people turn to drugs, alcohol, or both. Depression, PTSD, anxiety, and ADHD are just a few of the most common co-occurring mental health conditions that can be addressed with the assistance of a professional.
Identify risk factors
Identifying any risk factors you might have allows you to put the tools in place you need to prevent substance abuse. Growing up in a home with a parent who used alcohol and/or drugs can increase your chances of having substance use disorder, too.
A lack of coping skills can lead you to turn to addictive substances because you have no other options. Address each of these risk factors and become aware of the possible side effects they could have on you.
Stay busy and healthy
Stress, boredom, and loneliness can all prompt you to turn to addictive substances like drugs and alcohol as a way to fill a void. Practice healthy ways of relieving stress. Learn a new hobby or skill. Start riding a bike or running with your dog.
These substance abuse preventions can help you avoid substance abuse in the first place as well as help you navigate recovery. If you have a relapse, though, don’t be too hard on yourself. Even the best substance abuse prevention can’t help everyone, every single time.
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- Cognitive-behavioral therapy