Millions of adult’s struggles with addiction. Some are successful and some, sadly, are not. Experts in the field of mental health say the best way to address the general societal problem of addiction is to focus on prevention. That’s not to say we should in any way neglect those who already suffer from alcohol and drug problems and attend regular sessions at an addiction rehab center.
But, generally speaking, the best way to minimize the long-term spiral of increasing addiction in modern society is to emphasize smart strategies for avoiding falling into the addiction trap in the first place. What are some of the strategy’s doctors recommend for making sure you never have to deal with a drug or alcohol problem? Of course, the younger you are, the more effective the advice is, but here are the suggestions you’ll most often hear from addiction specialists:
Look to Counseling
Perhaps the main trap of substance abuse is the immediate, but never long-lasting, relief it gives for problems like depression and anxiety. Many teens turn to drugs in order to handle the incredible stress that goes along with growing up. The drawback of using drugs and alcohol this way is that users are only dealing with symptoms, not causes. For long-lasting relief from anxiety, depression and other psychological problems, counseling is the answer. An experienced mental health professional can help patients of any age learn to deal with a wide range of problems.
Learn Effective Ways to Handle Stress
Studies have shown that people who regularly meditate and engage in exercise have fewer problems with addictions of all kinds. It appears that when we learn healthful ways to deal with ordinary stress, we are less likely to turn to the quick-fix of drugs and alcohol. It’s telling that the vast majority of drug and alcohol problems begin between the ages of 16 and 30.
Those are the times in a person’s life when they are faced with the greatest amount of pressure. Graduating from high school or college, getting a job, finding a mate and similar milestones of a typical life can be overwhelming for many people. Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol can be an attractive solution for those who don’t have social support networks or lack a supportive friend to point them in the right direction. That’s why maintaining a network of friends and supportive family members can be one of the most effective deterrents to drug and alcohol problems.
Know Your Family’s History
Doctors say that everyone should be aware of any history of substance abuse among parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents. There’s strong evidence that a tendency to develop addiction to certain chemicals, alcohol for instance, can be passed down from one generation to the next. This, of course, does not mean that you will fall victim to substance abuse if there’s a history of the illness in your family. But it does mean, according to experts, that you might be more susceptible to developing an addiction if you begin a pattern of drug or alcohol abuse.