Addiction is loosely defined as creating a habit of depending on something or a substance. Although treatable, it is best to avoid addiction in the first place. Although there are numerous steps one can take to avoid addiction, it all boils down to relationships, self-care, and healthy coping skills. You don’t necessarily need to live a better lifestyle to prevent addiction; it is good for your overall well-being. Nonetheless, here are 5 easy and practical tips for avoiding addiction. Also, learn more about the different types of addiction counseling in the event that you need one.
1. Educate The Youth
Educating the youth and those at the highest risk of alcohol and drug abuse is one of the most effective ways to prevent addiction. Individuals with prior knowledge of the dangers and risks involved with substance abuse are better placed to say NO than those without. They will thus be hesitant to experiment on alcohol or drugs at a tender age, improving the odds of never using the substances at any point in their life. Creating awareness of most of these substances, how they are abused, and their effect is a topic every parent should have with their child. Role models, too, can help break the ice on these topics and educate the youth in better ways.
2. Train Them On Healthy Coping Skills
Circumstances, especially anxiety, stress, and depression, may lead one to seek solace in substance abuse. Although some substances may help boost your self-esteem and confidence for a short time, their effectiveness is only temporally. Training the youth on how to cope with various situations without turning to ‘motivators’ can thus go a long way in reducing their chances of using drugs. Healthy coping skills don’t have to be anything fancy. Examples of healthy coping skills include:
- Taking a walk or run outdoors
- Talking to a therapist or someone you trust
- Engaging in creative activities, e.g., painting, drawing, writing, playing an instrument, etc.
- Deep breathing
- Meditation and prayer
- Keeping a journal
- Create time for self-care
3. Engage In Something You Are Passionate About
Engaging in activities you are passionate about, or give you a sense of purpose, can help you overcome anything, including addiction. Stress and depression mostly tighten their grip when one is idle and with lots of time on their hands. Filling the void by finding a meaningful hobby, e.g., gardening, opening an Etsy store, writing stories, caring for young and aging ones, or even volunteering at local organizations can help. The things we are passionate about can help us look forward to the next day and give our lives meaning.
4. Keep Your Family And True Friends Close
Maintaining a healthy relationship with your family and friends is good for your mental and physical health. Your family and friends will be your pillar, especially when struggling with something or going through a tough time. Human connection is one of the undisputable pillars of fighting stress and depression, and, eventually, addiction. As long as you can keep a social circle and are happy, it will be easier to fight the urge to use or depend on drugs.
5. Learn And Practice Self-Care
It’s easy for one to neglect themselves in favor of making others happy. Although you might have responsibilities, it would be advisable to take some time off to self-reflect and for self-care as well. You don’t necessarily have to go on an expensive holiday or other extravagant ventures; this can be as simple as hitting the gym, treating yourself to a healthy and nutritious meal, going for a swim, or even starting a martial art. Creating some Me time can help you solve issues that otherwise seemed overwhelming. Only by taking care of yourself will you be able to mind and look after others.