While many substance abusers tend to start using drugs at an early age, and end up becoming addicts before they realize it, it is possible to prevent addiction in the first place. How? Awareness, awareness, awareness!
Here are 3 ways to prevent substance abuse before it starts. These methods apply to those who are committed to staying sober as well.
1. Awareness about how Addiction starts
There is temptation everywhere, and access to substances is easy. So educating yourself or making your loved ones aware of the risk factors makes it possible to prevent abuse in the first place.
Here are some possible risk factors:
- Family history of substance abuse, including family disputes
- Peer pressure and/or bonding experience with friends and in parties
- Toxic relationships between parents and children, or spouses/partners
- Exposure to school or workplace pressures such as bullying and discrimination
- Stress from psychological, sexual or physical abuse
While these are just a few possible factors that might induce someone into abusing substances, becoming aware of such factors in your own (or your loved one’s) life goes a long way toward preventing drug abuse.
2. Awareness of Coping Mechanisms
A large number of substance abusers start using drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism for the stress that they encounter in their daily lives, and not knowing how to handle it. Becoming aware that there are hundreds of effective coping mechanisms that can be used to not only handle stress but to enhance their life physically, mentally and psychologically can be life changing.
Some popular coping mechanisms:
- Building better habits including diet and exercise
- Creating positive relationships
- Learning mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation
- Daily routines such as art, journaling or other creative pursuits
- Volunteering for charity or other positive social causes
Building your own tool kit of coping mechanisms will help develop a strong daily routine that keeps you on track and not get derailed into pursuing other options such as alcohol or drugs.
3. Awareness of Counseling and Therapy
We are living at a time when going to therapy is no longer a stigma, but a necessity. Modern life, with all its high speed, high tech advances, is also creating a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety in our lives. Becoming aware that help is just within reach is the best thing that can help people avoid seeking substances to cope.
Here are some effective therapy approaches:
- Psychotherapy, commonly called talk therapy
- Evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavior therapy or dialectical behavior therapy
- Holistic therapies, such as yoga, meditation and tai chi
- Group therapies, such as adventure therapy and psychoeducational therapy
- Family therapy and couples therapy
Seeking counseling as soon as you recognize stress or other mental issues in yourself or your loved one is the best way to prevent substance abuse.
Get Help Now!
Our expert therapists and clinicians at New Hope Health understand substance abuse and mental health issues, and deliver treatment with care and compassion. If you would like to prevent further substance abuse and are committed to staying sober for the long term, do yourself a favor and reach out to talk about options.
Help is available 24/7! Text us at (865) 509-9349 or Call us at 866-806-1027