In the United States, over 20 million people above the age of 12 have an addiction problem. In addition to that staggering number, 100 people die each day from a drug overdose, which is a common ending to a life full of addiction.
Substance abuse is a mental illness that has grown increasingly prevalent over the last several years, making it more important than ever to understand the dangers of drug addiction.
If drug addiction worries you, there are steps you can take to keep clean and live a sober life. Here are some helpful tips on addiction prevention that may even save your life.
1. Resist Peer Pressure
The majority of people are introduced to drugs and alcohol by their peers. Before they are offered anything, they had been living a sober and clean life. Friends and acquaintances may start pressuring you into trying something once, just for the experience.
But every addict was sober at one point, and decided to try something “just once”. That one-time only drug use turned into regular use, which turned into an addiction.
Don’t choose to do drugs because your peers are pressuring you to try. Don’t tell yourself that just one time won’t hurt, because it just might turn into an addiction.
If your peers continue to pressure you to try drugs even after you’ve refused, it may be a good idea to find friends that support your decision and healthy lifestyle choices.
2. Understand the Dangers of Addiction
Having an addiction will affect every aspect of your life. It will make it difficult for you to get a job due to drug testing (discover more about drug testing here).
And if you do manage to get a job, your addiction will make it difficult to hold the job. You’ll put your addiction first and start slacking on your responsibilities at work.
Addiction will affect your family and your relationships with loved ones. You’ll start lying to people, manipulating them, and making excuses for your poor behavior while under the influence.
Worst of all, addiction can cause you serious physical and mental harm, and even lead to death. Healing from years of abusing your mind and body through drug abuse is extremely hard work, so it’s best to just avoid it altogether.
3. Practice Self-Care
People who suffer from substance abuse often have another mental illness that they aren’t dealing with, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or PTSD.
It’s important to recognize your mental well-being and take care of yourself. If you are feeling depressed, it’s easy to turn to drugs and alcohol to cover the pain. But using drugs will only temporarily relieve the pain. In reality, you’re actually making it worse.
If you are suffering from mental illness, admit to yourself that you need help. Talk to your doctor or a therapist about your options. Don’t turn to harmful drugs to self-medicate, because you’ll only be making it harder on yourself in the long run.
4. Know How to Handle Stressful Events
People often turn to drugs or alcohol following a stressful life event, such as getting fired or having a loved one pass away. These events can turn your life upside-down, leaving you feeling completely out of control.
Before tragedy hits, it’s important to work on how you react to stressful life events. Develop coping skills and be willing to ask for help when you need it.
If you’re experiencing a stressful life event, try reaching out to family, friends, or seek therapy to help you process everything. If you hold all of your emotion inside, you’ll be more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol for a release.
5. Surround Yourself with Positive Influences
If all of your closest friends use drugs and alcohol, it’s difficult to stay clean and prevent addiction. That’s why surrounding yourself with positive influences can be such a big help in keeping you clean.
If none of your friends are interested in getting drunk or high every weekend, you probably won’t be too tempted to, either.
6. Keep Busy
If you keep your schedule full of activities and minimize your free time, it will be a lot more difficult to become addicted to drugs because you simply won’t have the time.
Boredom can lead people to try things they normally wouldn’t do, so don’t put yourself in that position.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have time to relax or be on your own. It means that when you are relaxing, you should have things to occupy yourself, even if it’s simply watching Netflix or reading a book.
Try picking up hobbies such as exercising, fishing, or going on hikes. These are activities that will be calming for you while keeping you busy.
7. Develop Healthy Habits
Everyone should develop healthy habits that they practice each day to help them cope with everyday stressors. Some great examples of habits you could adopt to help prevent addiction include:
- Healthy eating habits
By keeping your mind and body healthy, you’ll feel much less inclined to turn to drugs when you’re feeling low. You’ll have alternative, healthy habits that will boost your mood when you need the extra endorphin rush.
Use These Tips for Successful Addiction Prevention
Addiction is one of the biggest problems in the United States, affecting millions of people every day. This is why it’s important for people to practice addiction prevention habits before it’s too late.
Are you or someone you love already suffering from an addiction? Check out our blog on tips for overcoming addiction today.