Substance Abuse Prevention
Substance Abuse Prevention Could Save Society Billions Annually
What exactly is substance abuse prevention and what is the cause of substance abuse? Modern society often condones drinking and drug use as a way of relieving stress. Alcohol and tobacco, for example, are both highly addictive drugs that have known health risks but are completely legal for adults to consume.
Other intoxicating substances are illegal or controlled, but that doesn’t stop millions from abusing them. Marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs, and dozens of other substances fuel an underground economy worth billions.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse costs society more than $500 billion annually in health care costs, law enforcement budgets, and lost wages and productivity.
Substance Abuse Leads to Addiction – A Preventable Brain Disease
The danger of substance abuse is obvious: drug addiction. Drug addicts are physically dependent on their drug; without it, they could die. But drug addiction is a brain disease that takes time to develop, in many cases, only after years of substance abuse. Addiction can strike anyone, but its causes are as complex and many as the number of addicts.
Many drug addicts begin lifestyles of substance abuse at young ages, so education is a vital key to substance abuse prevention. Numerous academic studies have identified some of the common social and personal factors that can lead to substance abuse and drug addiction:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Exposure to violent behavior
- Psychological disorders
- Lack of social skills
- Poor academic or job performance
- Poor family relationships
- Early first use
Substance Abuse Prevention Means Education & Honest Communication
Addiction is more preventable when substance abuse habits don’t take root in the first place. Early intervention means talking opening to children and teenagers about drug abuse.
Parents should set positive examples by not abusing drugs and alcohol. Studies have shown that children of cigarette smokers are far more likely to smoke themselves, and the same is true for the children of alcoholics and drug abusers.
The complex link between addiction and genetics is becoming clearer, but that doesn’t mean someone is immune to drug addiction. Behavioral patterns that begin as early as childhood can make a person susceptible to drug abuse.
Substance abuse should not be a topic that is avoided at home. Instead, parents should talk honestly about the temptations and dangers of substance abuse, about dealing with peer pressure and stress. Building strong parent-child relationships is one of the best ways to prevent substance abuse. Children and teenagers who have healthy relationships with their families have higher self-esteem and stronger values.
Substance Abuse Prevention: Knowing the Substance Abuse Warning Signs
Because anyone can become addicted to drugs and alcohol, knowing the warning signs of substance abuse plays an important part in substance abuse prevention. Parents know their children best, and substance abuse will usually cause noticeable behavioral changes:
- Unexplainable mood swings
- Noticeable and frequent intoxication
- Changes in sleeping and eating habits
- Academic or work problems
- Changes in friends and social circles
- Secretive behavior
- Frequent arguments
Sudden personality changes could be a symptom of substance abuse. But it’s not too late. Knowing what to do if you or someone you love is abusing drugs is perhaps the most critical substance abuse prevention method.
Help for Substance Abuse Prevention Is Free and Confidential
If you suspect a loved one is abusing drugs, or if you would just like to know more about how to prevent substance abuse from ravishing your family, we’re standing by to help. Simply call our toll-free number. Knowledgeable and understanding people can immediately answer your questions and give you more information. Today, substance abuse prevention is more important than ever.
Call our toll-free number to get help today.