First 30 Days Blog

01 aug

Staying Clean and Sober -5 Ways to Help Reduce Drug and Alcohol Abuse

RobertCordrayWith the demand for whiskey booming and the legal prescribing of opiate pain pills at an all-time high, drug and alcohol abuse in American society is an ever-growing problem. In light of this fact, taking positive steps to help ourselves and others steer clear of substance abuse is more important than ever. Although we can’t prevent everyone from using drugs and alcohol, there are things we can do to make a difference. With that goal in mind, here’s a look at 5 ways to help reduce the risk of drug and alcohol abuse.

1. Seek friends with healthy habits: Drug abuse doesn’t just happen. More often than not it’s the result of peer pressure from friends. But people who pressure others to “fit in” by taking drugs and alcohol aren’t really friends at all. If you’re being steered toward substance abuse by those you hang out with, it’s time to seek out new friendships with people who share the same values, are achievement oriented, and are motivated to work hard in pursuit of worthwhile goals. Finding new friends doesn’t happen overnight, but making the decision to say “no” to current friends while seeking out healthier friendships is a choice you can make right now. You can also actively support and encourage others to avoid temptations and peer pressure by being a good friend yourself.

2. Learn ways to deal with everyday pressures: The challenges that life brings can at times seem overwhelming. Many people feel overworked and are looking for ways to relieve stress and improve their moods. Although taking drugs may seem like a good way to chill out and escape from stress for a while, any so-called “feel-good” effects are fleeting. The cold reality is that becoming dependent upon drugs and alcohol only leads to more stress and unhappiness. Finding other ways to combat stress, such as exercising regularly, or reading or taking up a hobby can reduce the desire for a “quick fix” through alcohol or drugs.

3. Recognize your risk factors: While no one is totally immune to drug and alcohol abuse, there are certain biological, environmental and physical risk factors that can make substance abuse more likely. Acknowledging and taking ownership of the risk factors that exist in your life, such as a family history of substance abuse, associating with others who encourage recreational drug use, or living with family members who use or abuse drugs or alcohol, can be a powerful motivating force for resisting the temptation to do so yourself.

4. Seek help and support: Resisting drug and alcohol addiction requires the help of others, especially for those who are suffering from emotional distress. Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression can often lead to drug and alcohol abuse in an attempt to ease the pain. Those who recognize anxiety and depressive symptoms in themselves or others should seek professional help before drug abuse and addiction develops. Some people may get discouraged thinking there isn’t the “right” kind of help out there for them. Many options are out there, however, including non 12 step drug rehab.

5. Find a healthy balance: When things are not working in our lives, when we’re unhappy with how things are going with work and relationships, the odds of turning to drugs or alcohol increase. Finding a balance by reevaluating priorities, setting new goals, exercising and eating healthier are all good ways to reduce the risk of using drugs or alcohol. Meditation is also a good outlet for relieving stress and anxiety. The healthier your body is, the greater your abilities will be to reduce the risk of drug and alcohol abuse.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on August 1st, 2013 in Health | 0 comments

  • Add Comment

Share Your Thoughts

You must be logged in to post a comment.