Preventing drug addiction

Drug abuse has become a widespread and pertinent issue in today's world. While the detrimental consequences of drug use are well known and widely acknowledged, a large number of people still find themselves falling prey to cocaine, alcohol, marijuana and other harmful substances. Drugs are known to cause irreversible damage to one's mind and body and may render one defenseless and vulnerable against both, physical and mental illnesses. Therefore, it is essential that preventive measures be taken to battle drug dependency.


Effective communication:
How can one prevent a drug addiction? This is a question that is so important yet can seem incredibly scary. After all, most people do not like talking about something that carries the potentiality to destroy a human being. One first crucial step that needs to be taken, however, is effective communication. It is important that parents or guardians communicate to their children the life-changing and negative effects of using drugs. Teenagers are more prone to developing a drug addiction and are more impressionable than adults. They are likely to experiment with drugs due to emotional troubles or peer pressure and research has shown that 1 in 5 teens have abused prescription medications. This is an alarming statistic and to prevent an addiction, parents need to initiate an empathetic and calm conversation with their children about why these things are best avoided. If a teenager admits to using drugs, it is important not to scold them or convey frustration towards them. Instead, it is more helpful to make them feel loved and secure.

Taking mental illnesses seriously:
Teenagers and adults both battle emotional and mental health issues. As a way to ease and numb pain, they may turn towards drugs. For instance, those who suffer social anxiety are likely to drink more and those who get frequent panic attacks, may steer towards benzodiazepines like Valium. Mental illnesses are often treated as a taboo in today's society and are frequently ignored. If a person or someone close to that person suffers from depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses, it is important that professional help is sought. Therapy can prevent drug addiction as it fixes underlying emotional problems and helps one regain control of their life.


Drug prevention programs and education:
Relaying authentic information plays a big role in preventing drug addiction. Drug prevention programs are often introduced in the school curriculum and include documentaries, information booklets and lesson plans. By providing a person with information, such programs enable a person to make their own healthy choices and as a result, become more accountable and responsible human beings. Prevention programs are scientifically designed and tested and retested which makes them reliable and valid. Early intervention can lead people to make better choices.


Engage yourself in activities:
On a personal level, one can engage themselves in hobbies and set short-term and long-term goals. By having something else to focus on, it is easier to resist temptation and prevent falling into the drug abuse trap. Those who keep themselves busy or are passionate about something are generally happier and less likely to use drugs as an escape. For students, this could mean getting involved in after-school activities or even joining community anti-drug programs. Moreover, by surrounding one's self with positive influences and a strong support system, individuals are likely to have a more positive and encouraging outlook on life.


These are some of the steps that one can take to ensure that their own selves and those they love do not fall into an unhealthy drug habit. The effects of using drugs are often life-altering and it is true that it is easier to prevent drug abuse than it is to overcome it.


Sources:
Top 5 Ways To Prevent Substance Abuse (Nov 12, 2009) Retrieved from: www.treatmentsolutions.comHow To Prevent Drug Addiction (Jan 1, 2011) Retrieved from: www.recoveryconnection.comPreventing Drug Abuse: The Best Strategy (n.d) Retrieved from: www.drugabuse.govThe Connection Between Mental Illnesses and Substance Abuse (n.d) Retrieved from: www.dualdiagnosis.org