Recovering from addiction can be a difficult and taxing process. Certain people are much more susceptible to addiction, as factors such as genetics or environmental issues can make substance abuse much more likely.
There are, however, several effective ways to prevent drug addiction.
Here are some tips on how to stop addiction before it even starts.
- Find healthy ways to cope with stress.
Many people begin using drugs as a way to deal with stress and tension. The reality is, however, that drugs are only a temporary fix. Once a person comes down from drugs, they are likely to experience physical and psychological side effects that only intensify feelings of anxiety. Finding coping methods such as exercise or meditation can eliminate the urge to try drugs.
- Seek therapy or counseling.
It is not at all uncommon to experience feelings of depression. Many people experience highs and lows that can be difficult to cope with. Drug users often are people who are attempting to self-medicate for their psychological issues.
The problem is that drugs do not treat mental issues themselves. They simply treat the symptoms. Working through problems with a mental health professional is a much more effective and long-lasting way of treating a psychological or emotional problem.
- Maintain a lifestyle that makes you happy.
Low self-esteem and depression are major triggers for drug abuse. It is easy to let one aspect of your life, such as work, become overwhelming, to the point that you do not enjoy or partake in other important aspects of your life.
Maintaining strong relationships and a healthy balance between physical and mental activity can help you maintain the stability that is needed to stay drug free.
- Have things in your life that you care deeply about.
Whether it’s a sport, artistic endeavor, or personal relationships, having something that you are passionate about motivates you to stay healthy and mentally and emotionally in shape. If you care deeply enough about the people and activities in your life, you are less likely to jeopardize them by experimenting with drugs.
- Be aware of your family’s history with substance abuse.
The tendency toward addiction is linked to genetics, so be familiar with any parents or other family members who have struggled with addiction. If you know that you have a higher chance of becoming addicted, take extra precautions to avoid drugs and alcohol.
It is much easier to avoid substances altogether than it is to recover from addiction. If you were around a parent who abused drugs as a child, you may also want to seek counseling to help you resolve any issues you may have around alcohol or other addictive drugs.
No matter what your background or current situation is, it is possible to avoid slipping into the dangers of addiction. They keys lie in keeping yourself happy and healthy while you are drug-free.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Aug 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Seeley, K. (2013). 5 Steps to Stop Drug Addiction Before it Starts. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/08/05/5-steps-to-stop-drug-addiction-before-it-starts/