Drug and alcohol abuse is a vice that affects most people’s lives in the world either directly or indirectly. Hence there is a need to apply strategies to prevent the behavior amongst the vulnerable groups.
Most authorities have developed interventions to deal with drug abuse offenders. However, the strategy leaves the victims, the drug users, defending themselves instead of offering them the much-needed help of turning their lives around through other interventions such as the addiction treatment programs in Delray Beach, FL.
Substance abuse Prevention Strategies
However, there is a need to intervene in the situation that usually emerges at the adolescent stage before the problem becomes too heavy to bear through prevention strategies. Here are various techniques that will help prevent and reduce substance abuse amongst the most vulnerable groups.
However, it may not be easy to achieve the goals without the collaboration of the federal and state governments to provide resources, with schools, health professionals, and police providing ideas and data necessary for planning. It’s also essential to have the private sector collaborate as it supports the effort by providing a conducive environment in combating substance abuse.
1. Teaching Substance Abuse Prevention Methods in Schools
Teaching prevention methods of substance abuse in schools is one of the most effective ways to prevent the vice since it targets a vulnerable group early enough before indulging in drug abuse. Teachers and school administrations can identify early signs of substance abuse, such as declining academic performance and changes in social behavior.
Helping students develop personal and social skills such as assertiveness, conflict resolution, stress management, and social interaction enhances their awareness and increases their resistance to drugs.
The skills enable young people to identify social influence to use drugs and resist the pressure to use drugs. As students interact concerning their views about drugs, they become aware that most of them don’t use drugs hence motivating them to remain sober.
2. Reaching Out to Youths After School Hours and Follow-Ups
Prevention interventions should continue beyond the school environment. Communities can offer alternative activities after school with drug prevention messages since most young people commit crimes after school hours.
Also, it’s important to make follow-up sessions as they grow through the adolescent stage to prevent the young from picking up the habit of substance abuse. In collaboration with the police, some communities have created youth centers that offer supervised activities for the youth, including counseling on drug abuse and sports programs.
3. Targeting High-Risk Groups
Some people are at higher risk of using drugs than others and may not be easily reachable. The strategy involves making home visits, providing counseling to parents and children, and promoting resilience and personal strengths. The aim is to create a strong relationship between parents and children, create a positive attitude and a sense of self-respect, creating a supportive network including family and schools. Such high-risk groups include;
- Children of drug addicts
- Juvenile offenders
- Pregnant teenagers
- Children from dysfunctional families
4. Building Family Bonds
Research has shown that parents can counteract their children’s peer pressure through regular talks about substance abuse and delinquency. Family-based substance abuse prevention is effective since it starts at an early stage of development.
Family-based approach strategies include;
· Parent and family-based training
It helps parents build protection strategies that reduce the risk of children indulging in substance abuse such as child neglect, parental drug abuse, over stringent discipline measures, too lax discipline measures, and communication problems.
· Family Protective Factors
Family protective factors may improve communication between parents and their children, reduce family conflicts, improve child behavior, and reduce the risk of substance abuse. These family protection strategies include;
- Supervision of children’s activities by their parents or guardians
- Consistent discipline
- Enhanced family relationships
5. Introducing A No-Use-Campaign
The most effective way of prevention is adopting the no-use norms in collaboration with all the stakeholders. A No-use-campaign to prevent the use of substance abuse is effective through community-organized campaigns, school programs, and media campaigns.
With time, young people outgrow social pressure and develop social strength and excellent resistance to indulge in drugs. However, if the schools can identify drug and substance abuse cases among the youth, they should receive professional medical assistance for recovery from drug abuse. Broad collaboration amongst the federal government, state governments, schools, parents, health sector, and the private sector is the only sure way of protecting the young generation from substance abuse.