Are you someone who is struggling with addiction or know someone who is? Well, there are few effective steps you can take for preventing substance abuse!
It is unrealistic to believe that everyone will stop abusing drugs or alcohol, or more people every year will not become addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, every individual can take steps not to become addicted and prevent substance abuse. It is not easy because there are endless reasons why someone would become addicted to drugs or alcohol.
These substances provide an escape from pain, anguish, remorse, guilt, and the responsibilities of life. Along with being psychologically addictive, most legal and illegal narcotics cause devastating physical addictions. The battle ensues physically and psychologically, but it is preventable. Knowing there are many reasons to become addicted, there are also countless reasons not to.
To keep it to the point, here are the three big pointers for preventing substance abuse.
1. Peer Pressure, Life Pressure, Work Pressure, Family Pressure—It Is All Pressure!
A primary reason why teens become addicted to drugs or alcohol is because of peer pressure. It is an awkward feeling to be left out and not part of the group, and some teens succumb to these feelings. Teens also feel pressure from their family, school, or even a part-time or full-time job they have.
Adults experience many of the same pressures, but often on a grander scale. The pressure may come from family, work, or even friends. Adults face these pressures alone or with their significant other and family. There are pressures of life, livingness, and existence, but it is the process of dealing with these pressures that helps us prevent substance abuse and become trapped in addiction.
Identify triggers, anticipate problems, and avoid what you already know—identifying the triggers that cause stress is essential because it helps you avoid them or find a way to solve them. These are the issues that come up regularly, or one-off events and ongoing stressful events.
If you are unsure of what your triggers are, perhaps writing down the problems you are dealing with will give you an idea of how much you are coping with. If this is something you feel you need to address, counseling or therapy is an excellent place to begin.
It is also essential to anticipate what problems may arise, which is not always easy, but planning does save you potential stress. This could be applied to anything in your life, whether with work or family. Planning also helps you avoid what you already know.
The average person knows they are in a difficult situation, but it is the inability to act that allows the pressure to overtake us. Do not push aside your initial instincts or feelings as they are often the right ones.
Drugs and alcohol are used to cope with the pressure of life—it becomes an easy escape and a way to avoid the problems. However, it leads to more problems and a different level of stress that becomes too much to cope with.
Want to know more about preventing substance abuse? Read A Kind Guide To Coping Skills For Substance Abuse When Depressed
2. We Assess Risks Every Day and Are Quite Competent at It
Assessing the risk involved with substance abuse may seem straightforward—the average teen and adult know the dangers and what drugs are. However, there is an appeal to many of these substances because they may have helped you take a risk that you would never have made before.
Part of assessing risk is having confidence in our abilities and trusting our instincts. Drugs and alcohol offer an easy way to take risks in life, but it never occurs to us that it drastically increases the level of risk.
Recognizable risk factors include a history of substance abuse in the family, living in a social setting that glorifies drug abuse, or a family life that models drug abuse. These risks also extend beyond the family dynamic into your personal life and social group. The risks are real if you are glorifying drug and alcohol abuse as part of your life.
Stay close to people who support a drug-free life, listen to your instincts, but do not be afraid to take risks that benefit your life and achieve your goals.
3. Maintain a Well-Balanced Life, Do Not Ignore Your Physical and Mental Health
Declining physical and psychological health are motivating reasons to abuse drugs or alcohol. People take drugs when something in their life is not working, or when they are unhappy about how their life is going. These problems occur when there is an inability to handle the pressure in life or taking part in risky behavior.
Look at the big picture and take the small steps needed to reach the final goal. Maintaining a well-balanced life involves many things, such as working through problems in a healthy way, staying active, eating well, staying connected to supportive friends, and maintaining a healthy family dynamic. However, every situation is not the same, and people face unique challenges and barriers in life. Yet, it is the small steps that count, whether reaching out to a friend to talk, going for a walk a few times a week, or making small dietary changes.
Maintaining balance is not about climbing mountains, but instead traversing the foothills before you get to the mountains. The process is all about gaining the knowledge, skills, confidence, and abilities to create the life you want.
Want to know more about how you can fight substance abuse? Read Less Drinking, More Self-Care: 5 Fun Things Recovering Alcoholics Can Do Instead of Drinking
The temptation for drugs and alcohol will not disappear, yet the more goals you accomplish in life, whether small or large—drugs and alcohol take a back seat. It is easy to fall into patterns that do not benefit your short-term or long-term goals.
However, preventing substance abuse is doing what you know is right and listening to your advice. Plan ahead, be optimistic, take care of your health, re-frame negative thoughts, be patient, be grateful, and breathe every breath of life.
If you want to know more about how you can prevent substance abuse, then check this video out below: