While many elements increase the chances of developing an addiction, there are steps you can take to help mitigate the risk of alcohol and drug abuse in yourself, your family, and your community.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION FOR YOURSELF
Depending on your genetic makeup, childhood experiences, and mental health status, you may find that you face an increased vulnerability to alcohol or drug abuse. The following strategies for preventing addiction may help.
- Set boundaries. Unhealthy relationships with family members, friends, and acquaintances can harm your mental, behavioral, and even physical health. By setting boundaries with those around you, you can prioritize your well-being, increase your quality of life, and leave little, if any, space for drugs and alcohol.
- Nurture healthy relationships. Creating and maintaining supportive connections with individuals who bring you joy can contribute to a sense of interest and purpose which protect against alcohol and drug abuse.
- Seek therapeutic care. During therapy, you can process your past, discuss your experience with alcohol and drugs, develop healthy coping strategies, and discover other support resources. If you decide that you may benefit from an outpatient or inpatient addiction treatment program, your therapist can likely refer you to one that’s a fit.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION IN YOUR FAMILY
Some ways to prevent substance abuse from developing in your loved ones may include the following actions.
- Support your loved ones through significant life transitions. Impactful changes such as the death of a loved one, a breakup, job loss, or a move can increase the risk of substance abuse for both adults and youths. Do your best to remain connected to a loved one experiencing a life shift while observing their emotions and behaviors. If they do begin to misuse drugs or alcohol, you can help them begin clinical care.
- Spend quality time together. Bonding with your loved ones can promote healthy self-esteem, allow them to experience belonging, and provide them with a safe outlet for honest expression which may keep them from turning to drugs or alcohol.
- Empower your loved ones to say no. Pressure from their peers to use drugs or alcohol may greatly influence youths and young adults. By educating your loved ones about the harmful consequences of substance abuse and fostering their sense of self-respect, you can nurture their resilience for refusing drugs or alcohol when offered.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Alcohol and drug abuse have widespread implications for communities, including increased rates of car accidents and domestic violence. To offer your time to addiction prevention efforts in your community, you may consider the strategies below.
- Share your story. If you have a recovery story or experience with addiction, consider sharing it with those around you as long as you feel comfortable doing so. The individual you speak to may have a friend or family member struggling with addiction. Your experience can make them feel less alone and maybe even provide them with hope. Your willingness to share can also help reduce the stigma associated with addiction and encourage open conversation around the topic.
- Get involved. Educate yourself on the most prevalent kinds of drugs and the populations that are most vulnerable to them in your community. Seek out volunteer opportunities that allow you to interface with these populations to provide those at risk with compassion, support, and connection.
HEALING FROM ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE AT WASATCH CREST
Wasatch Crest’s addiction treatment specialists understand the all-encompassing destructive nature of addiction and many are in long-term recovery themselves. Approaching treatment with the utmost compassion and awareness of the seriousness of the condition, our clinicians and staff facilitate clients’ healing and empower them to create meaningful lives in addiction recovery. Through individual, group, and adventure-based experiential therapy, clients are able to begin their recovery journeys while surrounded by our alpine landscape in the Wasatch Mountains. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs, reach out.