Drug and substance abuse is a menace that affects people regardless of the age, gender, and social status. For many people, they don’t view their drug use as a problem. With continuous use, addiction results often before the user even realizes it. At this point the user will not be able to live without the drugs and coming off of them is a long and painful process.
When to Begin Drug Awareness and Abuse Prevention Education
Effective drug and substance abuse prevention is the key to eradicating this preventable disease. There are several prevention strategies that can be applied and implemented in various stages and settings for better outcomes.
Here are some of the best times to implement drug awareness and prevention strategies.
Trying prevention methods at an early stage has been proven to be the most effective intervention strategy. This refers to the period before highs school. Individuals who begin substance abuse at a younger age find it difficult to quit at later stages of life. The intervention strategies can target families, the community, and schools at large.
To begin, the risk of drug abuse increases during transition periods, and adolescents can be a high risk group. Peers pressures, idleness, lack of employment and the desire to try out new things are among the driving factors to this behavior. This enormously impairs the productive cohort of the society. Additionally, drugs interfere with various functions of the brain leading to future developmental problems.
At this point your usually dealing with full blown addiction and working with the addict to achieve recovery. Prevention must happen much earlier in order to be effective.
Preventive measures that is applicable at all stages
This is a planned basic education aimed at providing relevant information to various groups of people about drugs and the associated adverse effects. Organizations and other programs aimed at eradicating drug and substance abuse can take up this role and educate people on an individual, family or community level.
The government should cooperate with individuals, families and the society at large to legislate rules and regulations guarding drug abuse. This will, in a big way, reduce the number of individuals suffering from addiction.
Guidance and counseling
Divorces, loss of a job and other life stressors are among the key factors that lead to abuse of drugs. Counseling the affected individuals on better coping mechanisms, therefore, is essential to reduce such instances.
Drug and substance abuse is a tragedy tearing the society apart. Loss of lives, loss of productive energy and development are some of the consequences of this act. It is, therefore, essential to take appropriate preventive measures at the right time and setting to eradicate it.