Alcohol and Drug Early Intervention Programs for Youth & Adults in The United States
Preventing a drug-abuse problem or addiction from ever happening should always be the first priority, especially if the early-warning signs and indicators are there. Parents with children and teens should know what the indicators are, what to look for, and how to educate their children. Early prevention can happen with adults, and there can be obvious warning signs to look for to help prevent addiction. Preventing the problem from occurring will not always be easy, because of how simple it can be to become dependent on or addicted to drugs and alcohol. In the United States, on average nearly 21 million Americans will have a substance abuse problem, and this number will fluctuate each year. For example, three out of four people will have a substance abuse disorder related to alcohol; one in three people will have one with illicit drugs, and one in eight people will be both alcohol and drugs. In 2016, the death rate from a drug overdose in the United States was a national average of 14 overdose deaths per 100,000 population. The number of substance abuse treatment centers in the United States that focus on drug addiction was reported to be slightly under 14,000 in 2014. The cost involved with substance abuse in America is hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and there is no indicator for much of it slowing down. Prevention, early intervention, and education are useful tools, and do save lives each day; early prevention with each new generation will mean less people becoming dependent on illicit drugs, alcohol, prescription medication, and other substances.
What is early prevention for substance abuse?
Substance abuse prevention or drug abuse prevention is various methods top help prevent the onset of a substance use problem or disorder. Early prevention will also help prevent theuse of drugs and alcohol, experimentation with illicit substances, and provide education to help someone make responsible and educated choices. Early intervention and prevention for adults and youth can focus the individual, the family dynamic, a group of people, or the environment. Much of the substance abuse prevention and intervention within the United States focusses on minors or youth. Early intervention and prevention will help youth, and adults make a responsible decision about alcohol use, binge drinking, drunkenness, and driving under the influence. Prevention is also provided for illicit drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, crystal meth, club drugs, and opioids. Education and early intervention are important with prescription drugs, as early intervention may be needed for someone who is slowly becoming dependent on prescription narcotics. If early intervention and prevention can occur, it will save the individuals life.
What are the indicators leading to substance abuse?
There are two distinct risk factors that will contribute to the likelihood of substance abuse and misuse, and this is environmental and internal such as what may be occurring physically or emotionally. When directing this towards children, their environment that they grow up in will play a key role with how they perceive life, and everything about it. For example, if a child grows up witnessing their parent's binge drink all the time; and not knowing otherwise, they will assume binge drinking is ok. Children who grow up in abusive households are likely to develop a substance abuse disorder, as a way to cope with the environment or emotional and physical abuse. The drug activity that is seen within the child’s community may normalize the use of drugs and abuse of alcohol, and a child will see this to be ok. Internal factors for youth such as self-esteem, poor social skills, stress, a lack of both parents and communication can all lead to substance abuse. Many teens become dependent on drugs because of transition periods such as divorce, puberty, moving, or starting a new school.
Adults for example, who have never struggled with addiction or substance abuse can still be at risk for developing a substance abuse problem. In the United States, many substance abuse issues among adults start with prescription medications, whether it is for emotional or physical pain and trauma. An adult who has injured him or herself and has lost something because of it will rely on the prescription pain medication to cope with the loss. Many adults who suffer from emotional trauma and are prescribed drugs to treat the problem, will become dependent on it. An environment can play a major role with how an adult can develop a substance abuse disorder. An adult who is living in a stressful and abusive environment can turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with their surroundings. Binge drinking is a major problem in the United States among both teens and adults, and this problem can start at any point in an adult’s life. It can be as simple as having one too many drinks after a long day at work, and this progress into a weekly occurrence. Substance abuse, unfortunately, can happen at any point, and it does not take much to turn to drugs or alcohol to solve the problems of life.
What are early intervention and prevention methods?
Family-based prevention and early intervention programs work with parents to teach them better communication skills, appropriate discipline methods, firm and constant rule enforcement, and family management. The family dynamic and household environment is the key, and if a child can grow up in a caring, supportive and structured environment, it will lessen their chances for even being exposed to having a substance abuse problem. Many children in the United States grow up with only one parent or are in a household with parents who are heavy drinkers or casual drug users. What children see when they grow up will directly reflect how they will choose to live his or her life. School-based prevention and intervention programs are by far the most recognizable within the United States. School-based prevention and intervention programs operate all throughout the United States, in large cities and small communities. Many schools will begin to introduce substance abuse-oriented classes for students in preschool, which has proven to be effective to break early behaviors. These types of prevention and intervention programs for drugs will help educate and allow students to be interactive and learn how to refuse drugs. Some programs will encourage a social commitment to abstaining for drugs, along with becoming involved outside of school and in the community. Youth and teens who can become involved with their local community and help other people, will be less likely to make decisions involving drugs. Community-based prevention programs work with school programs, along with religious groups, law enforcement, government organizations, and anti-drug groups. These types of services help introduce a positive message into the community and ensure those living there has the information they need. Early intervention will be necessary when the indicators are there, but drug prevention and education will ensure that early intervention will not be needed.
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