The Importance of Drug Prevention and How to Approach the Subject Effectively

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It’s no secret that a large portion of addiction cases are preventable. With an ever increasing number of young people ending up in hospital for drug related illnesses and overdoses, more and more people are looking to prevent the growing number of young addiction cases. There are a lot of factors when it comes to preventing the use of illicit drugs and alcohol, one of the primary ones being how to effectively teach our youth how to manage emotional stress and trauma, something that has now been show to result in a startling number of addictions later in life. Another factor to be heavily considered is to allow young people to be open about the issue of drugs and their experiences with them, something many parents overlook when they learn that their children have been experimenting with alcohol and drugs. Some suggest that instead of harsh punishments and shouting matches that inevitably arise when parents learn of their kids’ drug experimentation, an open and honest discussion about the facts of drugs and the risks of prolonged use might be a safer option. This option both avoids heated arguments and edges some of the responsibility towards the children in question, who with a bit of trust may appreciate their parents opinions more than if they were enforced without any openness and respect from their parents. This option also helps curb the teenage rebellion that is often one of the route causes of drug and alcohol use in teens and young adults. It should also be noted that many teens and youth don’t start using drugs on a regular basis just to be rebellious, or because they are curious. Many begin taking drugs and drinking because of some deep routed issue that is leading to them wanting to self-medicate. Self-medication can cause serious harm and often is caused by a lack of a trusting relationship between a young person and those responsible for them, which is why an active and involved interest in the development of a young person is so key to preventing a serious addiction that could spell real trouble for a young person’s future.

The issue of abstinence is often presented to young people when the topic of drugs and alcohol is brought up, but it typically an unreliable way to truly educate youth about substance abuse. Especially when dealing with someone who has an obsessive-prone personality. A better way to approach the issue would be to effectively teach young people good ways to deal with their emotional issues, primarily stress and the ways to reduce it.

The benefits of prevention are insurmountable when the numbers are examined. A 2011 report conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University mourns that “Teen substance use or addiction is the origin of the largest preventable and most costly public health problem in America today.” Substance abuse related costs- including juvenile justice programs- totes a gargantuan price tag, totalling nationally at $468 billion annually.

While prevention is perhaps one of, if not the best way to curb the growing trend of substance abuse, it is important to remember that there a variety of ways to handle the issue when bringing it up with someone you care for. Just like no addict and addiction are quite the same, no child is quite the same, nor is any relationship of parent to kid the exact same as another. The issue should be brought up before a kid begins dealing with the emotional stress and peer pressure of high school, and it should be an open ended discussion that engages both parties. Opinions should be encouraged, and with a little effort it shouldn’t be too hard to explain to your young loved one that addiction can be a life long illness that can be entirely avoided with trust and honesty.

 

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Sobriety Foundation

The Importance of Drug Prevention and How to Approach the Subject Effectively

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