Individual mentality will have a profound impact on whether or not the person will be vulnerable to experimentation with drugs. Levels of mentality vary according to age: younger individuals (eg. up to age 16), young adults (eg. 17 to 25), and mature adults (25 plus). Increased maturity gives rise to a better ability to understand the risks involved in substance abuse and hence prevent abuse in the first place. Unfortunately, most drug abuse starts at a young age. By the time the drug abuser has matured enough to realize what the risks of drug addiction are, he is already addicted. When educating different age groups, it is important to address the group in an appropriate manner that they can relate to and understand. For example, it is pointless talking to mature adults as if they were children. This may, in fact, have the complete opposite effect. By the same token, talking to children as if they were adults will fail to make the vital points in a way they will understand.
Community and Home Environments
It is a common fact that children who grow up in social conditions where drug abuse is not only common but a part of everyday life are more likely to abuse drugs themselves. Factors that can increase a child’s risk of experimenting with drugs can be lack of activities for children in the community, lack of education and awareness of the dangers of drug abuse and negative home environments. These factors also apply to adults. If there is little prospect of employment or progression, adults often turn to drugs as a way out, in despair. Communities must take an active part in educating people about the risks of drug abuse and ensuring that children especially have sufficient mental and physical stimulation to prevent them turning to drug experimentation. Parents of young children must educate their children before they face the real world on their own about drugs and the potential dangers and realize themselves that thier actions will have a profound impact on their children’s actions.
One of the reasons that people start abusing drugs is because their friends are doing it. Peer pressure, in this respect, could be regarded as a form of bullying. Bullying, these days, is not tolerated in any situation. When it comes to drugs, people need to recognize that they shouldn’t feel pressured into using drugs just to keep in with their friends. This is extremely common in schools and academic institutions, amongst youngsters. Children must be told that any so-called ‘friends’ who encourage them to take drugs are not their friends at all. The pressure of life is often enough to make some people start experimenting with drugs, usually as a way of escaping from external sources of stress. This behavior must be discouraged, educating people that it is much stronger, more admirable and character-building to face life’s problems head on without any kind of chemical crutch. There are other groups of people who take drugs purely for recreational enhancements. The most common example is of people who feel unable to enjoy themselves on a night out without excessive consumption of alcohol. The risks of recreational drug abuse are serious and can have a massive impact, from just one use, on the quality of the rest of that person’s life. It is important to note that children in thier own home can feel under pressure to take drugs, not through direct encouragement, but through feeling rejected, left out or picked on. It is necessary, in this case, to ensure that the child feels that he can talk to his parents about his feelings or problems before turning to drug abuse.
Implementing Prevention Methods
Determining the most effective drug prevention methods is hard enough, with so many reasons for drug abuse in the first place, but actually implementing those methods can be even more difficult. Analysis of different environments, age groups and external influences or pressures, as described above can be of help to a certain extent. The final decision, however, lies with the individual. This is why the most effective method of preventing drug abuse is thorough and appropriate education about the risks involved. Good drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers will provide detailed education as part of their rehabilitation program and will also offer advice to anyone who feels they may want to experiment with drugs.