Preventing Drug Abuse
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Preventing Drug Abuse

Preventing Drug AbusePreventing drug abuse means that our loved ones would never become addicted, we’d have less people living out on the streets, less problems with family life, less people losing their jobs, and less crime. While it is impossible to prevent everyone from using drugs, there are things we can do to keep ourselves from abusing drugs or alcohol. If we share this knowledge with those closest to us, we may be preventing drug abuse in others.

People begin abusing drugs for a variety of reasons. If we are aware of those reasons and work to fix these areas of our lives without drugs, we will be on our way to preventing drug abuse. Below several proven tips on preventing drug abuse:

  • Effectively deal with peer pressure. The top reason teens start using drugs is because their friends talk them into it. No one likes to be left out, and teens (and sometimes adults too) find themselves doing things they normally wouldn’t do, just to fit in. In these cases we need to either find a better group of friends that won’t pressure us to do harmful things, or we need to find a good way to say no. Teens should prepare ahead of time a good excuse or plan to keep from giving into a tempting situation.
  • Deal with life pressure. Another way for preventing drug abuse is learning to cope with life’s tuff situations. People become drawn into addiction is through their failure to deal with the pressures of life. People today are overworked and overwhelmed and often we feel like we deserve a break or a reward for all we do. Drugs will only make a person’s life more stressful, but we often fail to see this in the moment. To prevent using drugs as a reward, we need to find other ways to handle stress and to unwind. A person can take up exercising, or reading a good book, or volunteering with the needy. Anything positive that is relaxing will help take the mind off using drugs to relieve stress.
  • Get help for mental illness. Mental illness and substance abuse often go hand in hand. Those with mental illness often turn to drugs as a way to ease their pain. Those suffering from some form of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or post traumatic stress disorder should seek the help of a trained professional for treatment, before it leads to substance abuse.
  • Look at risk factors. If we are aware of the biological, physical, and environmental risk factors that we possess we will be more likely to overcome them. A history of substance abuse in the family, living in a social setting that glorifies drug abuse, and family life that models drug abuse can all be risk factors.
  • Keep a balanced life. People take up drugs when something in their life is not working, or when they are unhappy about where their life is going. It is important to look at the big picture of life, and have priorities in order.

Preventing Drug Abuse: Establish and maintain good communication with your children

The better you know your children, the easier it will be to guide them towards positive activities and friendships.

  • Talk to your children every day. Share what happened to you and ask what happened to them during the day.
  • Ask questions that kids can’t answer with “yes” or “no,” such as “what was your favorite part of the day.” Ask your children their opinions and include them in making decisions. Show your children that you value their thoughts and input.
  • Be ready to talk to your children as early as the fourth grade, when they may first feel peer pressure to experiment with alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • Listen to your child’s or teen’s concerns non-judgmentally. Repeat them to make clear that you understand. Don’t preach.

Preventing Drug Abuse: Get involved in your children’s lives

Young people are less likely to get involved with drugs when caring adults are a part of their life.

  • Spend time doing something your children want to do every day.
  • Support your children’s activities by attending special events, like recitals and games, and praising them for their efforts.
  • Help your children manage problems by asking what is wrong when they seem upset and letting them know you are there to help.

Preventing Drug Abuse
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