Shoreline Sober Living, San Diego, CA
Why substance abuse prevention is important?

Prevention and early intervention strategies can significantly reduce the impact of substance use and mental health disorders.

Alcohol and drug addiction can have severe adverse effects on an individual’s mental and physical health and overall life. This can often leave individuals who struggle with addiction struggling to keep essential factors in their lives together, such as their romantic relationships, family unit, financial situations, work, and education.

Addiction can take over an individual’s life; therefore, the best way to prevent addiction or relapse is to create a bespoke strategy that works effectively for the individual, never letting addiction take hold in the first place.

Below we talk about how to prevent addiction in young teenagers and adults.

How to prevent substance abuse and addiction

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent an individual from consuming drugs; however, various effective strategies can be put in place that can effectively help prevent individuals from addiction and substance abuse.

One of the most important factors we must understand is how addiction develops in the first place. Once we can comprehend why an individual develops an addiction, it is easier to create a strategy to prevent the addiction effectively.

How does addiction develop

An individual can develop an addition for several reasons, with different drugs having various potencies. In general, individuals will often tolerate drugs when abused repetitively. This requires the individual to increase the dosage every time they consume the substance to feel the same euphoric feeling. The more frequent and the higher the dosage, the faster an individual’s addiction will escalate.

The addiction and substance abuse cycle becomes rather dangerous when the individual repeatedly abuses the substance. With the majority of illicit drugs, there are often life-threatening and longer-term mental and physical health consequences and withdrawal symptoms when an individual attempts to stop withing medical intervention.

Often, addicts will not realize they have an addiction until the problem has completely taken control of their lives, to the point where the only way back is through medical help. Addiction can quickly take over an individuals life, making the abused substance the entire focus of the individual mind, which will more often than not make it a priority over all other important facts such as:

  • Paying bills
  • Looking after their children
  • Going to work or school
  • Keeping their spouse happy in the relationship
  • Forgetting important family events

Influences for addiction

Several influences have elevated an individual likelihood of developing an addiction or substance abuse, this can include but is not limited to:

  • Drug use that has been approved by parents and or peers
  • Disengagement in school or work
  • Poor or lack of family communication and bonding
  • Growing up in a household in which a parent, sibling, or close family member suffered from addiction

Additional factors that can protect and prevent an individual from developing substance abuse can include but is not limited to:

  • Quality, joyous time spent with peers who do not use alcohol or drugs
  • Quality and positive time spent with family members
  • Self-confidence
  • Household and life rules by parents are monitored with consequences if broken
  • Family bonding and effective communication

Drug abuse prevention is key

Drug and alcohol abuse prevention starts with individuals and families becoming educated, openly spreading the word of how dangerous drugs and alcohol abuse can be to an individual’s life and their families. The information provided within these programs is more effective when individuals continue to go to the support programs when scheduled.

Substance abuse prevention programs seek to involve the community, family, and workplace in the prevention process; therefore, no one feels singled out.

Programs for drug and alcohol prevention

As we have previously mentioned within this article, prevention begins with education. This education can take place at several levels, which can include but is not limited to:

School-based drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs
Drug abuse and alcohol should be addressed as early as preschool for individuals to comprehend the adverse effects of drugs and alcohol fully to fully comprehend the damaging to understand the detrimental effects of drugs and alcohol. Preschool children can benefit significantly from learning how to:

  • Solve problems
  • Handle their aggression
  • Communicate with each other effectively

Middle and high school programs should be mainly focused on:

  • Peer relationships
  • Assertiveness
  • Effective communication
  • Drug resistance skills
  • Developing anti-drug and alcohol attitudes

School-based prevention programs should be repeated through the semesters for the most effective level of success.

Family-based drug and alcohol prevention
The prevention of drug and alcohol abuse should begin inside the family unit as early as possible. There are so many significant benefits when teenagers and young children are taught about drug and alcohol prevention which can include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Effective communication skills
  • Family bonding
  • Enhancement of parent-child communication
  • Confidence

The role of a parent is to not only educate their children on the dangers of alcohol and drugs but must further establish and enforce family rules around illicit substances.

Community-based drug and alcohol prevention

Communities that actively make an effort to come together and fight against drugs and alcohol addiction make a significant impact on the surrounding individuals. There are various places in which the community can come together to establish a familiar place to speak on prevention programs.

Drug overdose deaths continue to impact communities across the country. Drug overdose deaths are still high; in 2019 alone, nearly 71,000 people died from drug overdoses. If you or a loved one requires help for their addiction or are looking for a drug and alcohol prevention program near you, contact our helpline on 866-286-2096. Our expert crisis team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you in your time of need.

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