Can you prevent addiction? Most questions concerning addiction have indefinite answers explained in heavy-handed, somewhat dismal articles. So you may be expecting the same thing here.
Fortunately, this isn’t that kind of article at all. In fact, addiction prevention is a 100% good news scenario—meaning, yes, it is absolutely a possibility.
Even better, it’s actually easier to prevent addiction than to quit one after it’s started. It really doesn’t require many struggles, either, only commitment.
Furthermore, we’ve written you this guide to teach you exactly how to prevent substance abuse and other addictions. Use these steps to keep both yourself and your loved ones on the clean, sober path.
1. Start Now
The number one tip for preventing addiction is to start as early as possible. For instance, some children start abusing drugs as early as age 12. Thus, it’s best to begin working on these tips with very young children.
This way, you can teach them the dangers of addiction and the benefits of sobriety years before it is even relevant. Then, these lessons become solidly established ideas for the rest of their lives.
Fortunately, this is not to say that it’s ever “too late” to start. The only thing that could make it too late for these tips to help is if an addiction has already started.
You see, breaking free from addiction takes different steps and strategies than these. The point is, start using the tips in this guide as soon as you’re finished reading them.
Next, the easiest way to prevent addiction is simply through education. Learn about addiction in general as well as the many types of addictions.
Also, learn about the short-term and long-term effects of abusing substances. Find out what the risk factors are and how you can avoid temptations like peer pressure.
Furthermore, teach these lessons to others who need them the most, especially teens and children. The more saturated your mind is with these ideas, the less you will be swayed by any temptations that come your way.
3. Watch Out For Risk Factors
Now, here are some of those risk factors you need to become familiar with:
- Difficulty coping with problems and stress
- A verified mental illness
- Spending excessive amounts of time in isolation away from others
- A family history of substance abuse and other addictions
- Living in the same house with someone who is currently abusing substances
- A large number of peers misusing/encouraging misuse of substances
- Experimenting with drugs or alcohol at an early age
Knowing these risk factors is only the start, however. The most important part is to be on the lookout for these risk factors constantly. If you notice any, then increase your diligence in using the tips on this list.
4. Use Available Resources
You can easily find free addiction prevention resources just about anywhere you look. Of course, you still have to look. If nothing else, simply search online for addiction prevention topics.
But the best resources to use are research-based prevention programs. These are scientifically designed programs that have been studied and proven effective.
You can search for these online as well. Also, see if your child’s school employs any addiction prevention/awareness programs you can become involved with.
5. Get Help When Needed
If you or someone you know has an actual mental illness, don’t ignore it. Such conditions can often lead to addiction. For instance, a depressed individual may start drinking more alcohol to cope with emotional pain.
To prevent this, you must make sure you get treatment for any mental illnesses early on. Self-treatment is fine, too, as long as it’s effective.
6. Keep Communication Open
Addiction almost always starts and continues in secrecy. You need to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Do this by simply keeping communication lines open. With everyone you know—especially those in your household—always strive to encourage openness and honesty.
You and your loved ones must always feel safe about sharing your struggles. If you start hiding issues from others, you may start addictive behaviors in secret as well.
7. Strong Connections With Family/Friends
Isolation also fans the sparks of addiction into a flame. And, like secrecy, this can be easily prevented as well.
Just make sure that you, your friends, family, and children all stay strongly connected. Go on family outings, invite friends for a game night, or host a family reunion barbecue. That doesn’t sound so bad, right?
It can be tempting to stay isolated, especially during seasons of mental illness. So, to combat this, just remember how fun it is not to be isolated.
8. Gently Instill Healthy Coping Skills
Addiction largely develops as a result of poor coping skills. If you have difficulty dealing with stress, research some proven stress-reduction strategies and practice them.
Learning to cope is especially difficult for certain children, too. For example, children with ADHD and other conditions often get frustrated very easily. If you don’t help them overcome this hardship now, it might lead to addiction later.
9. Engage in Wholesome Activities
When you’re regularly engaged in healthy, wholesome activities, you’re less tempted to engage in unhealthy activities. So, find a healthy, fun hobby to start.
Even better, join clubs and organizations that you’re enthusiastic about. Engaging with others in this way helps you stay committed to these activities.
10. Don’t Neglect Self-Care
When you care about your outward appearance, you feel more care towards yourself on the inside. As cliche as this sounds, it’s still true. It’s proven that a decline in self-care is a common sign of mental illness/precursor to addiction.
Use and Share These Steps to Prevent Addiction
Please, keep this guide and follow its advice to keep yourself and others free from addiction. With your help, we truly can reduce the total number of addictions worldwide! To that point, please share this guide with everyone you know so that they can help us prevent addiction, too.
Do you suspect that you or someone you know has a problem with addiction? If so, we’re always available to help. Contact ReAlign Detox today if you need any more information about addiction or addiction treatment.