The old saying goes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is true in so many situations in life, and it’s very much true when it comes to substance abuse and addiction.
While addiction is a disease, like many (but not all) diseases, there are preventative steps that you can take to stay healthy -- especially if you have a family history or predisposition to addiction. So here are five steps from Ken Seeley, of PsychCentral, that you can take to help stop an addiction before it starts:
1) Manage stress in healthy ways. Drugs and alcohol are not only just a temporary way to cope with stress, but they add even more stress into your life the more you use them. Regular exercise, meditation, and talking with someone you trust are all healthy ways to manage stress.
2) Find a therapy program or counselor to help you cope. At OneEighty we have a wide range of therapy and counseling programs to help you avoid addiction.
3) Maintain a lifestyle that makes you happy. You can’t control the world, but you can control your actions and how you react to the world around you. Make choices mindfully to build a life that makes you happy, even if there are things you can’t control.
4) Fill your life with things that make you happy. Find something that you care deeply about, whether it’s a relationship, an activity or a hobby.
5) Be aware of your risk factors, such as a family history of addiction. There is a genetic link to addiction, so if you know you have a genetic predisposition based on family history, it’s especially important to avoid using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism.