5 Tips to Prevent the Development of Addiction
Addiction researchers know the best way to fight addiction is to prevent it before it starts.
As with any disease, limiting risk factors is the secret to getting the best outcomes. Scientists know a lot more about addiction now than when modern insights began surfacing in the 1970s. This new knowledge also sheds light on the best ways to avoid developing an addiction. The following five tips can keep a person from engaging in risky activity and lead to better decisions.
Be Informed About Addiction
Several factors must work together for a person to develop an addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). A combination of biology, environment and social factors work together to either increase or decrease a person’s risk. While a person can’t control his or her genetic makeup, there are environmental factors that can be controlled. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to addiction because their brains are still developing. A combination of factors, including developing brain structures, make drug and alcohol use seem more exciting to teenagers and like a better solution to problems.
Be Honest About the Negative Effects of Drugs and Alcohol
Some people, particularly adolescents, experiment with drugs because of curiosity about them. They also may feel drug experimentation is a normal part of growing up because of images they see in the media or attitudes they hear from parents or other adults. American cultural attitudes toward drug use make experimenting with smoking, drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs seem glamorous and normal, according to CASAColumbia, a research group devoted to ending addiction. The group’s research shows adolescent drug use is the largest preventable and most costly public health problem in the country.
Maintain Strong Relationships
Close family ties and a strong network of friends gives a person social support that protects against substance use, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). When a person has someone to turn to in times of stress or has someone watching out for him when he’s going through employment or relationship struggles, he is less likely to use destructive coping skills such as substance use.
Develop Ties to the Community
Staying involved with community groups or religious institutions also protects a person from addiction, notes CASAColumbia. Groups that provide an incentive to avoid substances and engage in activities that avoid substances, give a person a healthy way to socialize and form positive relationships.
Practice Good Mental Health
Negative thoughts and long periods of self-doubt increase a person’s chances of developing an addiction, notes SAMHSA. A person can increase his happiness, which also improves his ability to manage stress, by using positive self-talk. Instead of dwelling on negative responses to issues that come up in the day, respond with positive statements, such as “This is unexpected, but I can handle it,” or “I know I can do this, one step at a time.”
Warning Signs of Addiction
Protective factors such as a supportive family and positive attitude can keep a person from developing an addiction, but there are still cases when the disease develops. Even when a person becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol, early intervention keeps addiction from becoming severe and gives a person the skills for managing symptoms.
There are many telltale signs of addiction. Although the signs may be subtle at first, a person who exhibits the following behaviors may be at risk, according to Medical News Today:
- Changes in eating, sleeping or mood – Sudden withdrawal from substances can produce a variety of physical and mood-related symptoms, including insomnia, sweating, irritability and trouble concentrating.
- Social habit changes – A person addicted to alcohol, for example, may refuse a social activity that doesn’t include the possibility of drinking.
- Money troubles – An addiction motivates a person to maintain a steady supply of drugs or alcohol, even when he can’t afford it.
- Dropping hobbies/activities – As an addiction progresses, a person will spend more and more time finding and taking substances and less time with friends or doing activities he once enjoyed
Staying aware of personal changes or changes in a loved one can lead to an early diagnosis. Getting the right amount of treatment for an appropriate period of time gives people the ability to stay sober long term, notes the NIDA.
Need Help Finding Addiction Treatment?
Poor coping skills drastically affect a person’s ability to manage stress and maintain a good quality of life. It also can eventually lead to substance use. There are several effective treatments for addiction, and the best response is to get help as soon as possible. The most effective programs combine psychological services with practical solutions to handle daily problems.
If you or a loved one suffers from addiction to tramadol, reach out today for help. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to guide you toward the best treatment options. Don’t spend another day suffering with addiction, call today and get the help you need.