How can you prevent drug addiction? There are plenty of prevention techniques out there, but the simplest and most effective way to avoid becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is not to use them at all. That being said, this isn’t always an option for everyone in recovery from addiction or substance abuse.
Understand Why People Use Drugs and Alcohol
People use drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons, including to relax, for recreation, or as a coping mechanism. For example, some people may turn to drugs and alcohol when they are in pain or when they are dealing with a traumatic event. Understanding why you’re using drugs and alcohol can help you figure out how you’ll prevent relapse. The first step toward preventing drug addiction is knowing that it’s possible—and necessary—to get your life back on track.
Understand the Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction
Many people assume that drug abuse is just a stepping stone toward addiction, but in reality, it’s important to understand that drug abuse and addiction are two entirely different things. Drug abuse refers to any use of a drug that isn’t intended or recommended by a doctor. For example, taking more medication than you’re supposed to is considered drug abuse.
Avoid Temptations and Peer Pressure
It is not as simple as avoiding drugs and alcohol altogether. It can be difficult to avoid temptation when surrounded by people who abuse drugs or alcohol. If you are around a group of people who use these substances often, make it a point to avoid them entirely so you don’t feel peer pressure to use with them. In addition, avoid bad associations that may trigger your addiction to return.
Control Your Emotions
If you are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, your emotions are likely running high. Alcohol and drugs can amplify whatever emotion you’re experiencing—whether it’s excitement at a party or depression after an argument. Learning how to control these feelings may help prevent relapse and keep you from acting on impulses.
Find the Support You Need
One of the most important things that people can do when trying to prevent relapse is find the right support. For some, an addiction rehab program can be a very effective place for finding that support. But for many others, rehabilitation is not the best choice. No matter what your specific needs may be, though, it’s important to make sure you have support in other ways as well. Try looking at options such as therapy to help.
Practice Healthier Living Habits
Although people often use drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with stress, depression, or anxiety, using can actually worsen these issues over time. To help prevent drug addiction altogether, it’s important that you practice healthier living habits. For example, exercise is one of your best options; research shows that even moderate amounts of exercise can help improve mental health. Other healthy living habits include eating nutritious meals regularly and getting enough sleep.