Staying away from drugs and alcohol

Dear Editor,
Prevention is key. This may sound like a cliché but it’s nevertheless true. Prevention is the best way to keep people from becoming addicted to drugs. When it comes to drug and alcohol consumption, holding the notion that one will do it only once may prove to be quite dangerous. And for those that do it the first time, it’s equally dangerous to say, “I can stop at any time.” Many people can, but the unlucky few that cannot end up with a dependence that spirals out of control.
Experimenting with drugs and alcohol can lead to addiction, which may ruin the physical and mental health of an individual. Staying away from drugs and alcohol is the only way to positively prevent drug addiction.
The question is how to say no to drugs. While it’s difficult to prevent someone from taking drugs, there are certain things that each one of us should remember to prevent drug addiction.
Clearly, not every person that tries alcohol or drugs will become addicted to them. Many people drink alcohol socially, without having a problem with it. The same goes for recreational drugs. But some people have underlying factors such as genetics, mental health disorders, and other issues, that serve as a stimulus for relying on drugs or alcohol to get them through the day. The day becomes a week, and then a month, and before they know it, they need to self-medicate to get through life.
Nobody knows whether they can handle a little recreational experimentation with substances or if it will overtake them, until it’s too late. So again, the best way to avoid addiction is to prevent it from becoming a problem by abstaining from the beginning. Here are four ways to avoid relying on drugs to get through life.

Learn to deal with life’s pressures
Inability to deal with normal life pressures is one of the major reasons that drive people to drugs and alcohol. For many people, drug and alcohol consumption is a way to escape the harsh realities of life. Learning to cope with life’s pressures will go a long way when it comes to helping people stay away from drugs and alcohol.

Don’t give in to peer pressure
Some people, particularly teenagers and young adults, experiment with drugs just to portray a cool image in front of others. They do it to fit in among their circles of friends. Some kids wrongly believe that doing drugs or consuming alcohol will make them more acceptable and popular with other kids. Not giving into peer pressure can and will prevent drug addiction.

Develop close family ties
Research indicates that people who share a close relationship with their families are less likely to become drug addicts. The guidance and support provided by the family makes it easier for a person to deal with life pressures and stay away from all types of harmful substances. The same is true for having a close relationship with good friends that are responsible and trustworthy.

Develop healthy habits
Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly is another way of preventing drug and alcohol addiction. Being healthy and active makes it easier for people to deal with life stresses. This, in turn, reduces the temptation to rely on drugs and alcohol to deal with stress. A healthy diet and regular exercise promotes feel-good chemicals in the brain.
While these are just a few ideas that can help prevent drug and alcohol addiction, it’s important for a person who has already developed an addiction to seek drug and alcohol treatment. There are many reliable treatment centres that may prove to be immensely useful in this regard.
P Apai