drug and alcohol prevention

Prevention: How to Stop an Addiction Before It Starts

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Substance use disorder is the hazardous or harmful use of psychoactive substances like illicit drugs and alcohol. All addicts begin from somewhere and so does the prevention. Some start with recreational drugs, others indulge in prescription drugs, while others are addicted to over the counter medicine.

While many of these drugs and substances are safe and even helpful when used in moderation or to solve a particular concern, repeated use leads to dependence syndrome. Abuse of these substances results in addiction, which includes difficulties in controlling the use, strong desire to take the drugs, among other things.

Addiction renders the user powerless with minimal control of life. It is a prison where one is bound by unseen chains, and completely lose control of what is happening. Your body depends on the substance to function. Victims of substance abuse prioritize drug use over all other activities.

Prevention of Drug Abuse

Like any other bad habit, prevention is the best approach. The use of alcohol or drugs increases the chances of one becoming an addict. Since drugs change the brain, this leads to serious problems like addiction, among others.

Transition increases the risk of drug use greatly. An adult going through a divorce or separation, loss of a loved one or job has a higher chance of using drugs. Teenagers are more likely to indulge during changes like moving houses or changing schools, family separation or divorce, availability of drugs and peer pressure.

Since adolescents are in the experimenting stage and have a strong desire to try new things, most teens register an encounter with trying some substance in this stage.

Look out for each other whenever you face changes or difficult situations as a family or friends. Walking through transition together is one of the best ways to prevent substance abuse. A support system works well in the prevention of substance abuse at all stages whether one is just starting or deeply entangled.

Since people handle things differently, some may need professional help and medication to go through a situation or change. Seek help for yourself or loved ones when you face overwhelming situations to prevent drug abuse.

Warning Signs for Necessary Prevention

Addicts neglect responsibilities and prioritize drug use over other things. Physical signs of drug abuse are most of the time evident like bad breath and low hygiene standards, bloodshot eyes, or larger or smaller pupils than usual. Change in appetite, inconsistent sleep patterns, and impaired coordination are also pointers to drug abuse.

Drug abuse also leads to a drop in productivity, secretive engagements and behaviors, a sudden change in favorite hangouts, hobbies and friends, and isolation.

Psychological changes include an unexplained change in attitude and personality, irritability, sudden mood swings, outbursts. Increased anxiety, fearful appearance, paranoia with no cause or reason can also be as a result of drug abuse.

Involvement in extremely risky activities like unprotected sex and illegal activities are red flags pointing to drug abuse.

Picking out the symptoms early is a great step in saving a situation into being dire. Policies and measures that influence the patterns and levels of substance abuse significantly reduce public health problems, crime, and general unproductivity. It helps to identify signs of drug abuse in people close to you at the earliest time possible.

Taking the Next Step to Recovery 

If you or your loved one is grappling with substance abuse having lost power to drug use, there is hope. Many people have recovered from the grips of addiction and taken back control of their lives. The first step is to admit that you need help. First Steps Recovery has walked with thousands and led them back to the right road. Reach out today and let us help you or your loved one get back on course of life from substance abuse.

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