Author: James Anderson

Prevention of Substance Use and Mental Disorders

how to prevent drug abuse

NIDA is a biomedical research organization and does not provide personalized medical advice, treatment, counseling, or legal consultation. Information provided by NIDA is not a substitute for professional medical care or legal consultation. NIDA also supports research to examine the social and economic impact of certain laws and policies in preventing substance use and its negative health effects. Together, this research helps policymakers and public health professionals make informed decisions to promote better health outcomes around substance use. If you’re someone who engages in substance use and you’re concerned about the direction your engagement has taken, you have options.

how to prevent drug abuse

Medical professionals and counselors can provide guidance, early intervention, and resources. Regular check-ins ensure that potential issues are addressed promptly, reducing the risk of escalation. Drug addiction negatively impacts society placing stress on healthcare systems, and the workforce, and is a significant contributor to crime and prison sentences. People struggling with addiction usually deny they have a problem and hesitate to seek treatment.

People may turn to drugs as a quick fix for immediate mental health problems like anxiety and stress. A 2012 article in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse by Winstanley et al. found that between 50% and 71% of adolescents with substance abuse disorders also have co-occurring mental health disorders. For a teenager, risky times include moving, family divorce, or changing schools.35 When children advance from elementary through middle school, they face new and challenging social, family, and academic situations.

Economics of Prevention

Follow-up care or continuing care is also recommended, which includes ongoing community- or family-based recovery support systems. Being self-aware and recognizing triggers or negative influences is the first step. Seek out new hobbies, join support groups, or engage in community activities to replace old, harmful environments. Yes, early signs include sudden changes in behavior, decline in academic or work performance, increased secrecy, withdrawal from social activities, and unusual mood swings.

Moreover, individuals who are said to have an “addictive personality” may be at a larger risk for developing a range of addictions. Thus, even small doses and short-lived interactions with substances may lead someone to become addicted. An intervention includes trained professionals like a drug and alcohol counselor, therapist, and/or interventionist who can help guide a family through the preparation and execution.

how to prevent drug abuse

Read more about how NIDA is advancing the science on effective prevention strategies. Teens might partake out of curiosity, experimentation, peer pressure, or to cope with stress and trauma in their home life. An intervention is an organized effort to intervene in a person’s addiction by discussing how their drinking, drug use, or addiction-related behavior has affected everyone around them. Triggers can be any person, place, or thing that sparks the craving for using. Common triggers include places you’ve done drugs, friends you’ve used with, and anything else that brings up memories of your drug use. Lofexidine was the first medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid withdrawals.

Obtain Education on the Dangers of Substance Abuse

Many people—especially young people—use drugs out of curiosity and because of social pressure. The age at which people start using drugs—and whether or not they continue—depends on many different individual and societal factors across a person’s life. Read more about risk and protective factors that impact whether people use drugs or develop substance use disorders.

  1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a balanced lifestyle as a preventive measure against substance abuse.
  2. If your health care provider prescribes a drug with the potential for addiction, use care when taking the drug and follow instructions.
  3. Talk with your health care provider or see a mental health provider, such as a doctor who specializes in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

Whatever is said during an intervention should be done so with the intention of helping the person accept help. While a person is free to say anything they want during an intervention, it’s best to be prepared with a plan to keep things positive and on track. The Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS), Family First Interventions, and the Network of Independent Interventionists are three organizations of professional interventionists. Detoxification is not equivalent to treatment and should not be solely relied upon for recovery. A person may need to try quitting more than once before maintaining any length of sobriety.

Avoid Relapse

Compared to a placebo (a pill with no therapeutic value), it significantly reduces symptoms of withdrawal and may cause less of a drop in blood pressure than similar agents. Counseling may also involve family members to develop a deeper understanding of substance use disorder and improve overall family functioning. Over 20 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in 2018. Opioids are narcotic, painkilling drugs produced from opium or made synthetically. This class of drugs includes, among others, heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone, fentanyl and oxycodone. Use of hallucinogens can produce different signs and symptoms, depending on the drug.

Charitable Care & Financial Assistance

Using drugs can change brain structure and functioning, particularly in areas involved in reward, stress, and self-control. These changes make it harder for people to stop using even when they really want to. Drug Addiction, on the other hand, is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Addiction is characterized by changes in the brain that result in a powerful craving for the drug, coupled with a loss of control over its use. Addicted individuals typically build tolerance to the drug (needing more of it to achieve the same effect) and experience withdrawal symptoms when not using it.

Oftentimes, a combination of factors increases an individual’s susceptibility to substance use disorder. While anyone can misuse substances, some individuals are at an increased risk for misuse and addiction. While individuals with more risk factors are at a greater likelihood of becoming addicted, risk factors don’t guarantee that an individual will experience addiction, especially if an individual is careful to avoid it. One of the most telling signs of substance abuse is a change in emotional state, which can include heightened anxiety, irritability, or even aggression. Fernández-Montalvo, J. López-Goñi, and Alfonso Arteaga found that nearly 40% of individuals with drug addiction exhibited violent behaviors.