Ways to Prevent Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Drug addiction and alcohol addiction are major problems across America. In fact, 38% of adults battled substance use disorders (SUDs) before the pandemic while the issues like social isolation and financial problems have posed a threat to people who previously would not have been likely to develop problematic relationships with substances.

When you or a loved one falls into the vicious cycle of drug addiction, Peaks Recovery can provide a range of rehab services to help patients get clean. However, prevention is always the best form of protection.

Steps to prevent alcohol or drug addiction 

Drug and alcohol addiction can develop very quickly if you are not careful, which is why implementing the right steps as soon as the early signs of addiction creep in is vital. Some of the symptoms to look out for include;

  • A loss of interest in other things,
  • Thinking about the next hit,
  • Not knowing your limits,
  • Hiding substance use from loved ones,
  • Erratic behavior.

If any of the above issues occur or you’re worried about your relationship with a potentially harmful substance, here are five steps to help you regain control.

1. Understand why people use drugs

If you wish to avoid using illicit substances, appreciating the reasons why people turn to drugs and alcohol will be crucial. Only then can you identify the source of your problems and work on ways to combat the threats.

There are many reasons why people use drugs, some of the most common issues include;

  • Recreational purposes – such as relaxation after a stressful day or to loosen up in social settings.
  • Mental health issues – drug use may be seen as temporary escapism from anxiety and depression. Addiction in quarantine can be linked to this too.
  • Withdrawal problems – when withdrawal symptoms are too uncomfortable, it can feel impossible to stop and cause the dependence to worsen.
  • Family history – genetics are responsible for 60% of a person’s vulnerability to addictive traits.
  • Mental health disorders – as well as being an escape from mental health, depression, and schizophrenia can be the root cause of addiction.

Understanding the reasons why you drink or use drugs will subsequently help you identify how your mind works and develop coping mechanisms to avoid addiction.

2. Avoid scenarios where you might be tempted or peer pressured

The root of your drug use or substance disorder is a personal issue. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that peer pressure plays a significant role in the development of addiction. Research in the UK found that 60% of people who drink more than they’d like have felt pressured to do so by their friends. 

When peer pressure is an issue, some of the most effective ways to combat this problem are;

  • Spend more time with people who do not rely on substances to have a good time.
  • Volunteer yourself as the designated driver.
  • Ensure that you have a good reason not to use substances, such as having an appointment the following day.
  • Choose social gatherings where substance usage is not a central feature.
  • Choose social occasions where kids are present.

When you have it in your mind that you won’t use substances and can avoid the pressure from others, you’ll be far more likely to stay sober.

3. Practice healthier living habits

While drugs and alcohol can often be associated with having a good time, they are also known to disrupt progress in other parts of your life due to hangovers and withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, a greater focus on healthy living will make you want to avoid using drugs and help you develop a healthier relationship with alcohol.

Some of the most effective solutions include, but are not limited to;

  • Set yourself a target to exercise everyday or practice for a half marathon.
  • Focusing on staying healthy by supporting your immune system so that you can be productive in all aspects of life.
  • Adopting healthier sleep patterns.
  • Starting a weight loss journey will help you avoid alcohol due to the calories and drugs that encourage food cravings. 
  • Avoiding risky habits that can lead to injuries and accidents.

For many people, substances are used to fill a void. When your body and mind are focused on healthier habits, the allure of drugs and alcohol is reduced.

4. Invest in your mental health 

Mental wellness has a huge impact on drug dependence. Aside from depression and anxiety being potential sources, research shows that there are strong links between emotional intelligence and retaining independence from substances. The ability to perceive and control emotions can also link to understanding why you drink.

Investing in your mental health can manifest itself in many ways, such as;

  • Make yourself a priority.
  • Track your mental health to understand triggers for negative emotions and the desire to use substances.
  • Focus on establishing balance in all aspects of your life.
  • Establish a healthier habit with online communications, particularly social media interactions and feeds.
  • Use brain training to develop your mental strength of character.

A deeper appreciation of who you are, particularly away from substances, should lead to a better sense of self-worth, in turn, you can maintain control over drug addiction. 

5. Find the support you need, or reach out to Peaks Recovery

Finally, you must recognize that you do not need to face the battle of overcoming  drug addiction or preventing a bad relationship with alcohol. A strong support network will be key, and it starts with friends and family.

However, you may also find that therapy and detox treatments are needed to get you away from negative situations and put you back on track. To find out more, contact Peaks Recovery today.