Addiction and substance use issues can occur anywhere, at any time. Many who struggle with substance use lose connection with loved ones, struggle to hold onto jobs, and encounter health risks that can turn deadly. Substance use can be accepted in our culture today, especially regarding alcohol or prescription medication. However, anyone can turn from use to abuse, and it’s essential to know the signs for preventing substance abuse.
What Is the Cause of Substance Abuse?
One of the scariest aspects of addiction is that it can affect anyone, regardless of their background, situation, or age. Assessing coping mechanisms regularly can help prevent substance abuse from occurring. When faced with hard times, healthy coping mechanisms can make a difference. Many things can contribute to someone developing a dependency on substances, meaning that no one thing can explain all addictions. However, being aware of the various influences which may increase the risk of developing a substance use disorder is a great preventative measure.
3 Strategies to Help Prevent Substance Abuse
The key to preventing substance abuse is information. Information is one of the most powerful tools that can be used to combat addiction. In the past, some have neglected the reality of addiction in favor of scaring young people with outlandish claims and patronizing propaganda. For each of the strategies listed below, honesty and integrity of information are equally important.
Have a Plan
As previously stated, healthy coping mechanisms can combat the risk of addiction. This means having reliable stress-reducing techniques that can be employed at a moment’s notice should a stressful situation arise. These include breathing exercises, yoga, journaling, art, and meditation. For those battling addiction, try to identify objects and situations that may trigger the impulse to use and develop strategies for avoiding such triggers.
Understanding how and when addiction is most likely to occur can significantly reduce the risk of developing a substance use disorder. Often, those who are in the process of forming a substance-based dependence are unaware of it until noticeable consequences manifest. Awareness of substance abuse’s signs and symptoms can help stop addiction before it becomes dangerous.
Some of these symptoms include:
- Social isolation
- Failing to meet work and social obligations
- Poor work performance
- Mood swings
- Fluctuations in weight
- Changes in attentiveness
These symptoms can be attributed to various other health issues, but their effects may signify something more when working in tandem.
Examine Family History
Of the many factors influencing substance abuse disorders, genetics and family environment are two primary contributing factors. Those who have a history of substance abuse in the family are more likely to suffer from substance abuse.
Another significant influence can be growing up in a household where a family member had a substance abuse issue. While some might assume that witnessing substance abuse at a young age would do well to scare an individual away from ever developing an addiction, it can normalize the presence of addiction and make it more likely for that individual to view substances as a reliable coping mechanism.
Mind-altering substances have the potential to take an individual out of the moment and make them feel shielded from stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, such an effect does not come without a cost, and addiction can take hold of anyone who is not mindful of their coping mechanisms.
Learn More About Preventing Substance Abuse at the Santé Center for Healing
Finding strategies for substance abuse prevention can be overwhelming for those not well-versed in the world of substance abuse. Contact the Santé Center for Healing. For the past quarter century, our facility has worked passionately to treat our clients with care, compassion, and enthusiasm. To learn more about preventing substance abuse, or to schedule an appointment today, contact us at 866.238.3154.