Drug and substance abuse can drastically affect the body, mind, and overall health. It may cause relationship issues, poor academic or work performance, poor personal hygiene, impulsive and risk-taking behavior, and noticeable physical changes. Substance abuse comes with short-term effects, including increased heart rate, cognitive ability changes, insomnia, changes in appetite, and more. It also has long-term consequences such as depression, anxiety, high aggression, hallucinations, panic disorders, and more.
Overcoming drug addiction can be difficult, making prevention the best alternative. Prolonged chronic substance use may result in cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, kidney damage, liver disease. Discussed below are tips for preventing substance abuse.
Learn how addiction occurs
Learning how addiction occurs is the first step to preventing it. Substance abuse begins with consuming alcohol and other addictive substances for enjoyment, pleasure, or leisure purposes. First-time drug use is usually unplanned, but once they enter the system, they produce a lot of dopamine in the brain, resulting in intense pleasure feelings and less natural dopamine production by the brain.
When the drug effect wears off, the lack of sufficient dopamine in the brain causes a mental and physical crash, leading to lethargic and depressive feelings. The urge for more pleasure keeps pushing you to take it one more time to feel normal and stable again, resulting in addiction. If you notice that you or your loved one can no longer control the urge for drug and substance consumption, consider enrolling yourself in a substance abuse recovery center for rehabilitation and support.
Taking care of your mind, body and spirit is essential to helping you find the strength you need to handle daily challenges. Self-care allows you to unwind to prevent being overwhelmed by everyday life stresses. It may involve physical self-care, which includes caring for your bodily needs, emotional and spiritual self-care.
You can start by exercising, getting enough rest, going into the wild, shutting down negativity, practicing self-love, spending time with loved ones, praying, and practicing mindfulness. Replace any self-destructive activity with a productive one to preventing substance abuse.
Device a plan to handle stress and other negative emotions
Sadness, stress, and other negative emotions are part of life. While some people turn to substance abuse to relieve these feelings; there are healthy ways to let out these emotions and get over them. You can share your emotions with a friend, exercise, watch an exciting movie, talk to a counselor, or join a support group to ease pain, stress, or sadness. Devising healthy mechanisms for fighting against stress helps you stay away from substance abuse.
Don’t succumb to peer pressure and temptation
Remaining in the company of friends and family who indulge in drug and alcohol consumption is the easiest way to get into substance abuse. Establish healthy relationships and friendships by staying away from loved ones who push you into substance abuse. Peer pressure can also influence you into falling victim to drug and alcohol abuse. Find ways to keep you from giving in to peer pressure or stay away from peers with bad influence.
Seek help for mental illness treatment
Your mental health plays a crucial role in regulating your mood and general health. While mental disorders go hand in hand with substance abuse; seeking professional assistance on time can help you prevent substance abuse. If you’re experiencing post-traumatic stress, anxiety, or depression, working with a healthcare provider can help you find healthy ways to cope with your mental illness symptoms without turning to alcohol and drugs. Combating mental health conditions takes time, so be patient and stick to your treatment regime.
Maintain balance in your life
Maintaining a proper balance between family, work, leisure, and some you-time is a great way to avoid drug and alcohol abuse. Stressors usually occur when things aren’t going right or are missing in your life. Overworking, not working at all, and loneliness can also be stressful. The right life balance will vary from one person to another.
However, these preferences change as you grow older. Learn to recognize the signs of too much of something and have excellent time management skills to create a perfect life balance. Burnouts can be dangerous for your mental, physical and emotional well-being; so know when it’s time to take a break and switch to something different.
Create and maintain a strong network
Being around people you admire, go-getters, and people who stick to their beliefs helps create a better version of yourself. Surrounding yourself with people who support the choices that help you succeed enables you to stay on the right path, preventing substance abuse. Associate with friends with common goals and who enjoy similar healthy activities.
Stress is an inevitable part of life. It’s how you handle it that makes all the difference. Use these tips to prevent substance abuse.