Addiction is a serious problem suffered by many individuals. Whether you’ve watched a loved one struggle with addiction or you’ve simply been frightened by the statistics on abuse and addiction, you want to be sure that you can prevent it from happening to you. These key strategies will enable you to live a healthier life that is more likely to be free of addictions.
Strategy #1: Choose Friends Carefully
When you’re surrounded by a friend group where substance abuse is prevalent, it’s hard to avoid “just trying it out” for yourself–and unfortunately, “just trying it out” often leads to a fast slide into addiction. Instead, choose to surround yourself with friends who are able to support you in your desire to live a clean lifestyle. Peer pressure is a very real problem in many addiction scenarios, and protecting yourself with trustworthy friends is a great first step to ensuring that you’ll be able to avoid addiction yourself.
Strategy #2: Deal With Trauma and Past Hurts
One of the major triggers for substance abuse is trauma and unresolved past hurt. If you’re struggling with things in your past, keep in mind that drowning it with alcohol or drugs won’t bring you the resolution you’re looking for–and it can make your struggles even worse. Work with a qualified therapist and a great support system to deal with past trauma. You’ll discover that this makes you less likely to lean on substances as a crutch, better preparing you for an addiction-free future.
Strategy #3: Manage Stress Early
When stress gets out of control, it’s easy to turn to the quick-fix solution of drugs and alcohol. Ultimately, however, these strategies can damage your body, your relationships, and your ability to reach your future goals. Instead, find healthy coping strategies that will allow you to manage stress more easily, whether that means working with a therapist or picking up healthier coping habits.
Strategy #4: Set Goals for Yourself
What are your big goals in life? How can you start progressing towards those milestones? When you have positive goals ahead of you, you’re less likely to engage in activities that will sabotage your chances of reaching your goals. Working toward positive goals will help keep you engaged in a positive lifestyle that will ultimately help you attain greater heights.
Strategy #5: Know the Warning Signs
There’s nothing wrong with a beer at the end of a hard day or a glass of wine with dinner. Problems arise when signs of addiction start to appear in your life. If you “need” a drink at the end of the day, you’re drinking every day, you’re hiding your drinking, or you’re suffering from other warning signs of addiction, you should get help sooner rather than later to prevent yourself from spiraling out of control.
Strategy #6: Avoid Triggers for Relapse
If you’ve struggled with drug or alcohol addiction in the past, chances are, you have a good idea of what triggered you to start using heavily. Once you’ve taken the steps to get clean, avoid going down that road again! Know your triggers and do whatever it takes to avoid them.
Strategy #7: Delay Trying Alcohol or Drugs
While it’s possible to become addicted to drugs or alcohol at any age, adolescents who try these substances are at higher risk for addiction than adults. If you’re young, avoid alcohol until the legal drinking age of 21. At this point, your brain is better able to process the pleasure signals involved in alcohol and less likely to become addicted.
Avoiding addiction is a lifelong process–but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. By utilizing these key strategies, you’ll find that it’s easier to avoid addiction, live a healthy lifestyle, and meet your personal career goals. If you have struggled with addiction, contact us! We’ll work with you to get clean so that you can live your life free of addiction.