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Drug abuse is a critical topic that needs a lot of attention, especially now that this substance is easily accessible. According to the United Nations’ statistics, there has been a rapid increase in drug abuse over the past two decades. The pandemic might have also played a role in 2020 given the fact that unemployment became a huge issue. (1)

Those whose jobs were affected became vulnerable, not only to drug use but also trafficking of illicit drugs since the logistics industry was severely affected. As such, even those who were not abusing drugs before, the possession of drugs during transportation might have in one way or another tempted them to try the substance.

Woman in a denim jacket sitting at glass counting prescription drugs and tablets

It’s worth noting that dealing drugs is an issue that can have a direct or indirect impact on anyone exposed to them. So, how can you prevent drug misuse and addiction? Keep reading this article to learn more.

  1. Understand how it all starts

The first step towards the prevention of substance abuse is understanding how drug abuse starts. For instance, addiction could start with the use of plant drugs for recreational purposes. While some people go for prescription medication and abuse them. (2)

Understanding where it all starts is very crucial because you’ll know what to avoid. Rather than opting for drugs as your recreational option, it’d be wise to keep yourself busy with other things like your hobbies and fun activities like hiking. This way, you won’t give in easily to the pressure of trying these drugs.

cropped images of hands sharing a needle filled with intravenous drugs
  1. Be wary of peer pressure

Another important thing to keep in mind is peer pressure. Many young people have found themselves abusing drugs because their peers do so. It’s imperative that you be wary of friends or family members who constantly pressure you to try substances. Remember, the people you surround yourself with will also have an impact on your decision-making process.

For example, if you are always spending time with people who use drugs as their only escape from reality, you might be tempted to try them. Before you know it, you’ll be an addict, and that can have a severe impact on your overall productivity. The best way to deal with such situations is to stand firm with your principles or stay away from such friends and relatives as much as possible.

3. Examine the risk factors

There are many risk factors associated with substance abuse. Heroine drugs, famously known as opioids, for instance, is known for its addictive nature. They also cloud the judgment of the user and long-term effects include changes in brain function. Every type of drug can affect the user’s health in various ways. (2)

To get a clear view and understanding of various risk factors, it’s always recommended that you start by assessing your family. Are there members who abuse drugs? How have these substances affected their lives? Studies show that such things tend to run in the family but, fortunately, they can be prevented.

Apart from the biological effects, think of the legal repercussions you might face. Ask yourself “why are drugs illegal”? Also keep in mind the things you’re likely to lose if the law catches up with you. With all the biological, physical, legal, and environmental risk factors in mind, you can easily make good decisions based on that knowledge.

4. Seek professional help for any mental issues

Many people find themselves using drugs because of the mental frustrations they face. Post-traumatic stress and depression are among the leading causes of drug abuse. Therefore, if you find yourself struggling to cope with the state of your emotional and mental health, it’s recommended that you seek professional help rather than turning to alcohol and drugs. (3)

People also tend to use drugs as a solution when some things in their lives aren’t working out as expected. For instance, you might be struggling to meet your targets either financially or in school. Rather than opting for substance abuse, it’d be wise to practice stress management. Planning and working on long-term goals is also a great way to distract yourself from the temptations of drug abuse.


Drug abuse has become quite rampant among teenagers and the youth. There is also a significant number of middle-aged and older adults who have found themselves abusing various substances at some point in their lives. It can be difficult to avoid being part of this category, especially with the amount of pressure surrounding you. But understanding the causes and repercussions of this habit will help you stay focused on living a healthy life. Hopefully, the information in this article will help you in that regard.


  1. UNODC World Drug Report 2020: Global drug use rising; while COVID-19 has far reaching impact on global drug markets.
  2. Drug Addiction (Substance Use Disorder)
  3. How Are Depression And Substance Abuse Related?


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