Substance abuse impacts the lives of thousands of individuals and families each year. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 23.5 million Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol each year and only about 11.2 percent actually seek treatment for their addiction. Furthermore, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World reports that roughly 22.9 million Americans have experimented with inhalants at some point in their lifetime. Making a home addiction proof is not easy, but it is essential for the health and stability of any home.
Reducing the Risk Through Conversation
Active discussion and participation in prevention programs will help reduce the risk of addiction by ensuring that young adults, teenagers, and even children are aware of the risks associated with substance abuse. Parents and teachers, in particular, play a significant role in addiction prevention.
Ways to prevent substance abuse in the home include:
- Explaining the risks of different drugs
- Showing the long-term consequences of addiction
- Discussing the perceptions of the young adult
- Providing accurate information
- Allowing children and teenagers to talk about their beliefs or ask questions
- Staying current on the risks and effects of substances
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that parents, teachers and other adults in a child’s life impact their perceptions about substance abuse. By openly discussing the topic and explaining the long-term consequences, a child or teenager is less likely to start abusing drugs or alcohol.
Keep Medicine in a Safe Location
Prescription drug abuse is a concern that impacts many families. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 8.76 million Americans abuse prescription medications.
There are two ways that prescriptions are abused: taking more than the recommended dose for legitimate medical reasons or taking the medication when it is not prescribed by a doctor. Non-medical use of prescription medications causes as much or more harm than the use of illicit substances.
A home is not addiction proof if medications are readily accessible by other members of the family. Place medications in a safe location where children and teenagers do not have access to the drugs.
If a medication is necessary for legitimate medical reasons, then take the medication as directed by a doctor. When concerns about additional pain or symptoms arise, discuss the concerns with a doctor before taking more medication. A doctor will determine if it is safe to continue taking the medicine and the appropriate dosage.
Accessibility is a key factor that impacts prescription drug abuse. By keeping medications in a safe and inaccessible location, the risk of non-medical use of personal prescriptions is limited. If a child or teenager is prescribed a medication, then parents should keep the medication and give it to the child as directed by a medical professional.
Keep Chemicals Safe
It is not always possible to completely addiction proof a home because certain chemicals are abused, even when parents take precautions. The Foundation for a Drug-Free World reports that 22 percent of inhalant abusers who died from their substance abuse were first-time users.
Inhalants are dangerous to physical, emotional and mental health. As a parent, it is important to reduce the risk of death by limiting access to cleaning supplies and other chemicals in the house.
Keep cleaning supplies in a safe location or use environmentally-friendly and non-addictive cleaning supplies. For example, use baking soda for cleaning rather than using a chemical product that can be used as an inhalant. If it is not possible to avoid certain chemical products, then place them in a locked cabinet when they are not being used.
When a loved one is showing signs of substance abuse and addiction, encourage a treatment program. Inpatient treatment provides an opportunity to start fresh and begin healing from substance abuse.
The benefits of an inpatient treatment program include:
- Focusing on addiction recovery
- Moving into a drug-free environment
- Professional and medical assistance at any time of the day or night
- Identifying the underlying causes of addiction and treating the causes
- Multiple treatment options
Treating an addiction provides a chance to start fresh and regain physical health. It also ensures that a loved one will have the tools to avoid substance abuse in the future and obtain his or her goals. During treatment, relapse prevention courses are provided as part of the action plan.
Addiction is dangerous, but treating the underlying cause of addiction provides a chance to regain a healthier lifestyle. The key is recognizing the risks and taking measures to limit the risks. If your home is not yet addiction proof, then make a few changes to the current situation so that the risk of addiction is limited and loved ones will maintain their health.