As doctors are fond of saying, “prevention is the best cure.” This is especially true for substance abuse. The best way to avoid an addiction is to tackle the underlying causes before it can begin. There are several ways to do this:
It’s common to feel overworked and stressed, even for teens. Drugs and alcohol turn into something people use to “take the edge off” and relax. But there are other, healthier ways to de-stress. Sports and hobbies are wonderfully constructive alternatives to drinking or taking drugs.
Dealing with Peer Pressure
One of the biggest reasons teens start abusing substances is peer pressure. Everyone wants to feel like they fit in, even if the behavior is self-destructive. Teens need to find good ways to say “no” or, if necessary, find another group of friends—as difficult as that may be.
People with a mental condition such as depression or anxiety may turn to substances to help deal with their problem. They begin by self-medicating, but this usually turns into a downward spiral of addiction. It’s always better to consult a trained psychiatric professional who can give you proper counselling and prescriptions.
Close, positive relationships with friends and family are the best method of substance abuse prevention. Having a shoulder to cry on and a laugh to share does wonders for a persons mental and emotional well-being, and drastically reduces the need to abuse alcohol or drugs.