When a person uses drugs or alcohol over a period of time, their brain chemistry is changed. This is especially important when considering helping young people stay off drugs. Young people might believe they are just trying something out. When in reality they are dabbling with a substance that could create a lifelong need—creating a prison where they are chained to the substance they initially tried for fun.
There are plenty of ways to try to help people in their teens and early 20s do some preventative work. They key here is that while, just saying, “No!” is a great idea, there has to be some kind of way to back up the statement. And a bit of information can actually go a long way for young people on the fence about addictive substances.
So, while there are many treatments available for substance use disorder, it’s far better to focus on prevention when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse. This way you are catching it before the possible lifelong effects take hold. It can be difficult to know where to concentrate your time and energy, but here are a few ways you can make a positive impact.
One of the keys to preventing drug abuse is to realize when someone is at risk. A look at your family genetics can give an indication of an increased risk. For instance, if your mother or father were alcoholics, there is some indication that you will have the proclivity towards it. Even if your parent has been clean and sober for 20 years or more, studies show that genetics is one of the factors in determining who is at risk for addiction. If addiction runs in your family, make sure your son or daughter is aware of it. A great tactic here is to be honest and vulnerable about how you or your family has been affected by the actions of a person with an addiction.
Teens and even adults will often give in to the pressure to “just try it” and end up hooked. It’s best to never give in and avoid the risk of addiction in the first place. We all know that regulating your children’s friend circle could have negative effects. However, you can still use your gut. Without being judgmental, take note of their friend circle. Especially if it is in the midst of change. Keep communication open with your kids, and get to know a little about their sphere of influence. Help them come up with an understanding of healthy friends, good role models, and positive activities. As well, help arm them with quick replies to alcohol or drug offerings. Sometimes it’s just a quick well-thought-out response that helps young people avoid the pressure.
One of the best methods of prevention for young people is for them to find activities that don’t revolve around drugs or alcohol. This might seem obvious, but being part of a group that is involved in sports is a healthy alternative. There are also chess teams, church groups, music collectives.
Helping them steer clear of temptation helps them be less likely to find themselves in a position to have to make decisions that go against the crowd.
It’s much better to focus on prevention when it comes to substance abuse. The alternative is a devastating road that affects every aspect of a person’s life.
Here at First Steps Recovery, we are an addiction treatment center that specializes in drug or alcohol addiction. Our adolescent outpatient services are available if you the young person in your life has already gone beyond the point of prevention.
Call us to find out how First Steps Recovery can help the young person in your life begin a life of recovery today: tel:1-844-244-7837.