Can Drug Addiction be Prevented?

Various experts have been figuring out the very nature of drug addiction - a type of substance abuse disorder. Debates continue about whether, or not this disease can be prevented.

For some, the tendency to abuse drugs may be ingrained in their system. Genetics, or a family history of drug addiction puts many people at a greater risk. For others, however, drug addiction might be a form of weakness following a person's decision to experiment with illegal substances. Thus, various drug prevention and early intervention programs are in place to help curtail this problem. 

Common Causes of Drug Addiction

To help prevent drug addiction is to first understand why people are drawn to drugs in the first place. The reasons are different for each individual. Some people take drugs because it makes them feel good as some substances can have a euphoric effect. Others keep using drugs because it relieves them from stress, anxiety or depression. Also, some use drugs because it improves their performance, or enhances their abilities. 

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the most common causes of drug addiction are: 

  • Biology or genetics

It is in a person's DNA and it also covers the person's state of mental health. According to the American Addiction Centers, 40-60% of drug addicts are at risk because of this factor. 

  • Social Environment

This pertains to the influences around the person (peer pressure), the person's economic status and general quality of life, including the experienced stress and trauma. 

  • Development

This is when using the drugs interacts with a person's critical development stages, thus drug addiction usually starts during the teenage years. 

However, drug addiction may also happen to those prescribed with painkillers following an injury, or surgery. With no intention to experiment, some, unfortunately, get hooked on prescription medications.

Early Intervention to Prevent Drug Addiction

Experts believe that the challenges to stop the addiction are greater when experimenting teenagers get hooked on drugs. Thus, family members have a crucial role in preventing addictive disorders.

Studies have also indicated that when a person has a solid foundation, reared with love and understanding by the parents, and has close family ties, then he is less likely to be pushed into drug addiction. If a person also has a role model to look up to from whom he can develop good and healthy habits, he'll also be less likely turn to drugs to deal with stress.

Recognizing Drug Addiction

Young people need to be guided on how to deal with the pressures of life early on. Otherwise, their inability to cope would make them weak against the temptation of drugs. Here are some ways to recognize if someone is using drugs:

  • Behavioral changes

Drug addiction can drastically change a person's behavior and the most glaring sign is exaggerated effort to hide, or be holed up in his room. 

  • Physical changes

Substance abuse can trigger drastic weight changes (gain or loss), fatigue, lack of energy, and frequent red eyes.

  • Problems with work or school

A sudden drop in the grades, or frequent absences from work might be a red flag.

  • Problems with money

A sudden need for money, or unexplained loss of items at home could be indicative of someone trying to sustain their drug use. 

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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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