Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention
If you or someone you know is already using drugs or alcohol and has a problem, substance abuse treatment in a quality alcohol and drug rehab program can help. Call 800-993-3869 anytime, and ask a trained addiction coordinator how to get on the path to recovery. All calls are confidential.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 23.5 million people age 12 and over were treated for alcoholism and/or drug addiction in 2009. That's almost 8% of the US population; almost the population of Texas (24.7 million in 2009) and more than population of New York State (19.5 million in 2009).
Current addiction trends show that prescription pills are the fastest growing substance abuse problem in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classifies prescription drug abuse as epidemic. Almost one-third of people who used drugs for the first time used a prescription drug for non-medical reason in 2009 (SAMHSA). Marijuana and ecstasy abuse among teens are also on the rise. Alcohol, cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine use among teens however, is declining (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
Alcohol and drug abuse prevention usually concentrates on preventing addiction in children, teens, and avoiding relapse in recovering addicts. Addiction prevention programs for children and teens emphasize:
- Alcohol and drug education - the physical, psychological, and social consequences of substance use
- Resisting peer pressure to use drugs or alcohol
- Healthy social interaction with non-drug using friends
- Getting involved in sports, clubs, music, the arts, etc.
After school programs give children and teens a safe, supervised place to go, rather than being at risk for drug and alcohol abuse on the streets.
Relapse prevention programs also encourage healthy personal habits and lifestyles. They teach recovering addicts to avoid the stressors and triggers of drug and alcohol use as well as develop life skills and coping tools. Relapse prevention focuses on:
- New ways of thinking about daily problems
- Learning from experience and move forward
- Seeking healthy social boundaries and interaction
- Developing hobbies and interests outside of drug use
Quality drug rehabs offer relapse prevention programs as an important part of maintaining sobriety. According to SAMHSA data, 87% of drug rehab facilities offered relapse prevention in 2009.
Government and health care organizations are taking steps to fight back against the growing prescription drug abuse problem. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has placed addiction prevention high on it's agenda. ONDCP advocates:
- Educating parents, children, patients, and health care providers
- Monitoring prescription drug disbursement
- Developing programs to dispose of unused prescription drugs
- Enforcing prescription drug control laws
Read the full plan, Epidemic: Responding to America's Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis, and action items.
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