Engage In Mindfulness Activities
Mindfulness activities such as yoga and meditation can help reduce the bodys stress response, which helps reduce cortisol levels and feelings of depression and anxiety. Yoga can also help lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Mindfulness meditation is a wonderful way for people to learn how to keep negative emotions under check and also to deal with stress. Mindfulness also teaches that cravings for drugs or alcohol are just negative thoughts and they are not under any obligations to act on them
Other Ways To Get Involved
Being aware of the realities of drug addiction and being educated about the risk and protective factors associated with substance abuse are key components of prevention. By targeting risk factors and building upon protective factors, drug abuse can be prevented.
You can become involved in local prevention efforts to raise awareness. For example, many communities host events such as parades or 5K races to bring awareness to the issue of drug addiction and to raise funds for prevention efforts. You can also participate in national events such as drug take-back days to keep potentially addictive prescription drugs out of the hands of people who may be tempted to abuse them.
If you or a loved one is living with an addiction, The Recovery Village offers comprehensive services that can meet your needs. Reach out to a caring admissions representative today to learn more about services can help you find lasting recovery.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Lessons from prevention research.March 2014. Accessed September 20, 2019.
How Might Substance Use Disorder Affect Me
Drugs affect the brain, especially the reward center of the brain.
Humans are biologically motivated to seek rewards. Often, these rewards come from healthy behaviors. When you spend time with a loved one or eat a delicious meal, your body releases a chemical called dopamine, which makes you feel pleasure. It becomes a cycle: You seek out these experiences because they reward you with good feelings.
Drugs of abuse send massive surges of dopamine through the brain, too. But instead of feeling motivated to do the things you need to survive , such massive dopamine levels can lead to damaging changes that change thoughts, feelings and behavior. That can create an unhealthy drive to seek pleasure from the drug and less from more healthy pleasurable experiences. The cycle revolves around seeking and consuming drugs to get that pleasurable feeling.
Addiction to drugs changes the brain over time. It affects how the brain works and even the brains structure. Thats why healthcare providers consider substance use disorder a brain disease.
The first use of a drug is a choice. But addiction can develop, creating a very dangerous condition. Drugs affect your decision-making ability, including the decision to stop drug use.
You may be aware theres a problem but unable to stop. With addiction, stopping drug use can be physically uncomfortable. It can make you sick and even become life-threatening.
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How To Reduce Or Quit Drugs
Many different services are available to help you or someone you know quit drugs.
Its never too late to quit using drugs.
Reducing or quitting drugs can improve your life in many ways. It can:
- improve your physical and mental wellbeing
- reduce your risk of permanent damage to vital organs and death
- improve your relationships with friends and family
- help you reconnect with your emotions
- increase your energy
- improve your appearance
- save you money.
Recovered addicts say that theyve never felt better after quitting drugs, although this can take time. Knowing why you want to quit drugs can help you to stay motivated during the withdrawal process.
Develop Quality Time With Friends And Families
The love and support provided by family and friends often play a critical role in drug addiction. Numerous studies show that people who share a close relationship with their families are less likely to become drug addicts.
Spending time, or being around friends who engage in reckless activities and abuse drugs will increase your risk of also abusing drugs. Conversely, surrounding yourself with people who constantly make you feel worthless or less confident will facilitate negative feelings and emotions that could cause you to engage in drugs and alcohol in order to feel good, which can, in turn, lead to addiction and other problems. Education about drug abuse is an important part of helping individuals understand the many aspects of this topic.
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Risk Factors And Protective Factors
PRINCIPLE 1 – Prevention programs should enhance protective factors and reverse or reduce risk factors.14
- The risk of becoming a drug abuser involves the relationship among the number and type of risk factors and protective factors .32
- The potential impact of specific risk and protective factors changes with age. For example, risk factors within the family have greater impact on a younger child, while association with drug-abusing peers may be a more significant risk factor for an adolescent.11, 9
- Early intervention with risk factors often has a greater impact than later intervention by changing a childs life path away from problems and toward positive behaviors.15
- While risk and protective factors can affect people of all groups, these factors can have a different effect depending on a persons age, gender, ethnicity, culture, and environment.5, 20
PRINCIPLE 2 – Prevention programs should address all forms of drug abuse, alone or in combination, including the underage use of legal drugs the use of illegal drugs and the inappropriate use of legally obtained substances , prescription medications, or over-the-counter drugs.16
PRINCIPLE 3 – Prevention programs should address the type of drug abuse problem in the local community, target modifiable risk factors, and strengthen identified protective factors.14
Dont Give In To Peer Pressure
Some people, particularly teenagers and young adults, experiment with drugs just to portray a cool image in front of others. They do it to fit in among their circle of friends. Some kids wrongly believe that doing drugs or consuming alcohol will make them more acceptable and popular with other kids. Not giving into peer pressure can and will prevent drug addiction.
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Unsure Where To Start Take Our Substance Abuse Self
Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for advice from a medical doctor.
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The content on TreatmentSolutions.com is brought to you by American Addiction Centers , a nationwide network of leading substance abuse and behavioral treatment facilities.
Stop Addiction Before It Gets Worse
Teenage substance abuse prevention can help stop teens from developing an SUD however, treatment is recommended for teens who already have a problem. Treatment puts teens in the care of medical professionals with tools for recovery. For instance, teens may not realize that there are underlying conditions that may encourage substance abuse these are known as co-occurring disorders. Cutting-edge medications and therapies can be used to treat co-occurring disorders. Detox is completed under the watchful eye of a medical professional. Perhaps most importantly, therapies and peer groups encourage a feeling of health and belonging. Contact a treatment provider to locate facilities that offer teen-related treatment today.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
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Support Your Childs Interests
Drug use co-opts the natural work and reward cycle of the human brain because it provides an instant feeling of pleasure. This is why people who are unemployed or socially isolated tend to be more prone to addiction – they arent getting the affirmation they need to feel fulfilled, so they turn to the nearest chemical alternative.
Parents can use the above information to help protect their offspring from temptation: If your child is enjoying a healthy reward cycle, i.e., succeeding at something hes passionate about, he will be less susceptible to drug use. You should therefore support your childs hobbies and interests encourage your child to do what he loves and remind him frequently that youre proud of his achievements. The more involved you are in your childs life, the better able you will be to protect him from negative outside influences.
Who Is At Risk For Drug Addiction
Various risk factors can make you more likely to become addicted to drugs, including:
- Your biology. People can react to drugs differently. Some people like the feeling the first time they try a drug and want more. Others hate how it feels and never try it again.
- Mental health problems. People who have untreated mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely to become addicted. This can happen because drug use and mental health problems affect the same parts of the brain. Also, people with these problems may use drugs to try to feel better.
- Trouble at home. If your home is an unhappy place or was when you were growing up, you might be more likely to have a drug problem.
- Trouble in school, at work, or with making friends. You might use drugs to get your mind off these problems.
- Hanging around other people who use drugs. They might encourage you to try drugs.
- Starting drug use when you’re young. When kids use drugs, it affects how their bodies and brains finish growing. This increases your chances of becoming addicted when you’re an adult.
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Can Drug Addiction Be Cured Or Prevented
As with most other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, treatment for drug addiction generally isnt a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. People who are recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medicines with behavioral therapy ensures the best chance of success for most patients. Treatment approaches tailored to each patients drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery.
More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction. Although personal events and cultural factors affect drug use trends, when young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug taking. Therefore, education and outreach are key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.
S To Prevent Drug Addiction
The best tool against developing an addiction is avoiding drug or alcohol use in the first place. But thats easier said than done. Many people begin using as young as age 13 and are too young to realize the damaging impact addiction will have on their lives. If you are lucky to have recognized the addiction pattern early, then follow these steps to prevent drug addiction.
2. Understand the Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction
Alcohol and drug abuse and alcohol and drug addiction are defined differently. A person who uses heavily and then can abruptly stop is considered to be abusing alcohol or drugs. But addiction occurs when the body requires the alcohol or drugs to stop withdrawal symptoms. The line between abuse and addiction is not solidly defined because a person may be abusing alcohol and drugs and experiencing the negative consequences of addiction.
3. Avoid Temptations and Peer Pressure
4. Find the Support You Need
5. Practice Healthier Living Habits
Exercise, eating well and meditation are excellent ways to avoid using drugs or alcohol. Quite often, the results you feel from living a healthier lifestyle can help you resist the temptation to use drugs or alcohol to escape. A healthy body helps you cope with daily stress. If you have practiced living healthy and managing stress, a trauma can more easily be managed.
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Promote The Protective Factors
In addition to managing risk factors and providing support to those who are at risk, making use of protective factors can serve as an effective drug abuse prevention strategy. Protective factors include high academic achievement, employment, marriage and a strong social support system, including family. Additional research has arrived at a similar conclusion, finding that completing college, having a job, and being married or in a committed relationship reduces the risk of drug use.
Supportive friendships and relationships are another safeguard against substance use and addiction. Making use of these protective factors can prevent people from turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. Prevention efforts should teach about the importance of education, healthy relationships and career.
Why Is Adolescence A Critical Time For Preventing Drug Addiction
As noted previously, early use of drugs increases a person’s chances of becoming addicted. Remember, drugs change the brainand this can lead to addiction and other serious problems. So, preventing early use of drugs or alcohol may go a long way in reducing these risks.
Risk of drug use increases greatly during times of transition. For an adult, a divorce or loss of a job may increase the risk of drug use. For a teenager, risky times include moving, family divorce, or changing schools.35 When children advance from elementary through middle school, they face new and challenging social, family, and academic situations. Often during this period, children are exposed to substances such as cigarettes and alcohol for the first time. When they enter high school, teens may encounter greater availability of drugs, drug use by older teens, and social activities where drugs are used. When individuals leave high school and live more independently, either in college or as an employed adult, they may find themselves exposed to drug use while separated from the protective structure provided by family and school.
Because the brain is still developing, using drugs at this age has more potential to disrupt brain function in areas critical to motivation, memory, learning, judgment, and behavior control.12
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What Are Symptoms Of Substance Use Disorder
Symptoms of drug addiction include:
- Bloodshot eyes and looking tired.
- Changes in appetite, usually eating less.
- Changes in physical appearance, such as having a poor complexion or looking ungroomed.
- Craving drugs.
- Difficulty completing tasks at work, school or home.
- Engaging in risky behaviors, despite knowing negative consequences .
- Inability to reduce or control drug use.
- Issues with money.
Maintain A Happy Healthy Lifestyle
Part of therapy includes helping addicts understand there are alternative ways to solve issues. For example, instead of turning to drugs to manage depression, a professional can help an addict replace drug usage with passions like sports or art. By focusing more on their hobbies, an addict is less likely to jeopardize their life or other’s by using illegal substances.
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Find Better Coping Mechanisms
A good number of people who abuse drugs do so as a coping mechanism to the negative things theyre facing in life. Its important to note that theres nothing wrong with experiencing negative emotions. Instead of turning to drugs for solace, find better ways of dealing with them.
Some effective coping mechanisms include
- Talking to someone
Trying out any of these mechanisms takes your mind off drugs.
Find Support For Your Addiction Recovery
Dont try to go it alonereach out for support. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having positive influences and a solid support system is essential. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery.
Lean on close friends and family. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If youre reluctant to turn to your loved ones because youve let them down before, consider going to relationship counseling or family therapy.
Build a sober social network. If your previous social life revolved around drugs, you may need to make some new connections. Its important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Try taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering, or attending events in your community.
Consider moving into a sober living home. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive place to live while youre recovering from drug addiction. They are a good option if you dont have a stable home or a drug-free living environment.
Make meetings a priority. Join a 12-step recovery support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous , and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what youre going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.
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Programs For Drug Prevention
As previously mentioned, drug prevention begins with education. This education can take place at a number of levels including:
Drug abuse is a growing problem and prevention should be a priority in all of our homes and communities. If you need help finding drug abuse prevention programs near you, contact our confidential Helpline at Who Answers?. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.