Blog - Beach House Rehab Center
November 6, 2019

How Drug Abuse Can Be Prevented?

Some people must work a lot harder than others to avoid drug abuse. Genetic factors, family factors, and environmental factors can force some people to structure their lives around avoiding any temptation.

That may seem like a lot of work, but the following strategies to prevent drug abuse have been successfully used by high-risk individuals to avoid abusive cycles and relapse.

Table of Contents

Strategy 1: Research your Family History with Alcohol
Strategy 2: Cultivate Healthier Friendships
Strategy 3: Cleanse Your Living Space of Tempting Drugs
Strategy 4: Volunteer to Help People Recover from Drug Abuse
Strategy 5: Change Environments

Naturally, the first thing you have to do is be sure that you understand what you’re up against.

Strategy 1: Research your Family History with Drugs

You may be at a higher risk of abusing drugs than other people if your family history includes episodes of addiction. If your family has a history of addiction, you must be far more careful than other people. Unlike some of them, you may not be able to quickly ignore substances that have provided you with something you want.

Along with other factors, your family history may make you liable to attach to specific substances and the experiences they provide. You may feel a powerful compulsion to try them again or even increase the dose after a single experience. Even typical youthful experimentation may be dangerous to you.

A family history with drugs isn’t a guarantee of anything, though. Many people at very high risk have been able to avoid drug abuse throughout their lives. If you research your history, you’ll know if you need to take any level of abuse seriously.

Strategy 2: Cultivate Healthier Friendships

Many people are attracted to drug abuse because they’ve been surrounded by it for their entire lives. They’ve witnessed role models using drugs, including ones on TV and in their local areas. They may subscribe to a lifestyle that encourages drug use, which includes lifestyles at every level of society from gang members to high-rolling executives.

Sometimes, the most effective way to avoid drug abuse is to simply make some new, healthier friendships. It’s not always easy to cut other drug users out of your life (especially if they depend on you), but you can make a new set of friends who can help you develop better habits.

The best way to meet new friends is to get seriously involved in a hobby. Most drug abusers don’t follow any other interests closely, so you’re less likely to meet other drug abusers if you focus on activities like rock climbing, biking or kayaking. Being around people who value improvement and experiences can help you develop a better attitude.

Strategy 3: Cleanse Your Living Space of Tempting Drugs

You may be able to more effectively avoid drug abuse if you focus on removing all drugs from the part of your environment you can control—your living space.

If you feel drawn to drug abuse, make sure that you remove anything that could tempt you. Leftover drugs from a relapse? Throw them away. Old pain pills from a prescription? Flush them. Have friends left some at your house? Send it back with them.

Cravings typically come in waves. As long as you can’t get ahold of drugs right when you need it, you may run out of cravings before you can find a source for what you want.

Strategy 4: Volunteer to Help People Recover from Drug Abuse

One effective way to fight back against lifelong cravings to abuse drugs is to get involved in other people’s recovery. Most cities have programs where you can volunteer to work with addicts. Free facilities, meal services and assisted living facilities often have many formerly-addicted residents.

Volunteering helps you avoid abuse because it gives you a constant reminder of what you’re saving yourself from. It gives you a sense of responsibility for the people who rely on you to set a good example. All of these motivations can help you steer clear of bad habits.

Strategy 5: Change Environments

Drug cravings can be unfair. They affect everyone differently, and some people may need to take enormous steps to stop themselves from free-falling into addiction. One of the most significant (but sometimes necessary) steps you can take to avoid drug abuse is moving away from the environment where you first came into contact with drugs.

Leaving your home is often the last resort for drug abusers. Abandoning relationships and support networks come with serious risks for the freshly sober. However, it is necessary in cases where the former abuser’s needs are not going to be recognized. For example, if other family members are users, they are not likely to cooperate with requests that drugs be kept out of sight or only used outside.

While changing environments is hard, it can be very helpful. As long as you make an effort to connect with healthier social opportunities in your new city, you can create a new support network that is receptive to your personal needs.

Can Drug Abuse Really Be Prevented?

Drug abuse can not be completely prevented through any one strategy. If you struggle with drug cravings, those cravings will likely be with you for life. Different circumstances may require you to change tactics in order to avoid relapsing or becoming addicted to a new substance. Be willing to try whatever it takes to keep control of your mind.