Thoughts on Preventing Drug Abuse

Prevention of substance abuse is a complex issue. The best approach is proactive drug education. There is also a need for intense parent child interaction. Motivation to use stems from social and emotional issues, most are identifiable at a young age. Peer pressure, isolation, boredom, lack of parental involvement,and depression, leads to substance abuse. The teen years are the most vulnerable. During this time exposure to social and emotional situations, requiring coping skills are experienced. The lack of proper coping skills leads to low self-esteem, weakened resistance to peer pressure, isolation, boredom, and depression. Isolation is a warning sign for high risk of substance abuse.

Low self -esteem, brought about by ridicule from peers and family weakens resistance to substance abuse. Teens have a tendency to be cruel. This cruelty leads to low self-esteem and isolation, which in turn leads to substance abuse. Communication and involvement in the child’s activity is the first step in preventing drug abuse. Positive reinforcement improves self-esteem. Be aware of the Child’s peers. Are they rebellious, troublemakers, drug users? Stay involved; participate in sports and after school activities. Prevention starts at home. This is best time to have a positive influence. It is not an easy task, so do not hesitate to seek professional help if drug use is suspected.

Traumatic events such as divorce and the loss of a loved one is a catalyst for drug abuse. A child can be confused and lonely during such periods. The need for adult guidance during these periods cannot be understated. Divorce can confuse a child. Their entire world is changed. The change and uncertainty can cause terrible pain and sadness that lasts for years. Counseling might necessary. If not addressed, the chance of the child turning to substance abuse is possible. The loss of a loved one causes immense pain in adults. It is worse in children. Especially if the loved one is a parent or sibling. Addressing the Child’s grief is important. Grieving is a process. Children do not understand grief. Consultation with a grief counselor is often required.

If a loved one has progressed to using drugs. It can be painful and frustrating. The important thing is communication. Confusion, depression, and denial are problems when confronting substance abusers. Confusion about the future, depression from personal issues and denial about the drug problem are obstacles to communication. Breaking the cycle of use is important. Rehab or intervention should be a consideration. Until achieving sobriety, the user will not be receptive to recovery. Inside every addict, there is a desire to quit. Until they acknowledge this desire, it is useless to attempt recovery. Forcing someone to quit against his or her will is futile. This will Cause anger, resentment, and alienation, pushing them deeper into addiction.

Most addicts wait until they reach rock bottom to seek recovery. Their lives spin out of control. Then they become receptive to the idea of recovery. They realize the damage done and what the future holds if they continue. This is the best time talk about recovery. Do not enable them, it is the quickest way to get them to rock bottom. Practicing tough love is difficult, but when a loved one is in active addiction, it’s the most effective way to drive them to recovery. The enabler thinks they are helping the addict, when in fact; it is prolonging the active addiction.

When the judicial system becomes involved in the addict’s life, the addict is near rock bottom. Some people take it as a chance to get clean. Others continue getting high and breaking the law. Those that decide to get clean can utilize the counseling offered by the system. The users that continue to use and break the law end up with extensive criminal records. This limits their ability to find jobs and homes. Forcing them back into criminal activity for money, starting another vicious cycle