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When a parent participates in substance abuse, it can be very harmful not only to themselves but to their children as well. For younger children, it can be a very confusing and frightening time for them, especially if they do not know what is causing their parent to act the way they do but for older children and adolescents, it can be hard to tell if the changes in their mother or father are due to stresses in their lives or substance abuse.

There are a few signs and symptoms to let them know if these changes in their parent(s) behavior is due to substance abuse.

Physical Symptoms of Abuse

The most obvious way to tell if a parent or guardian is suffering from substance abuse is through the physical symptoms. He or she may be able to hide their behavioral symptoms, but it becomes very difficult to hide the physical symptoms of abuse.

These symptoms include glazed or bloodshot eyes, an abrupt change in weight, dilated or constricted pupils, and bruises, infections, rashes, or red marks where a drug may have been administered on the body. Depending on how long the substance is used, the user may also experience a disruption in brain function or a dysfunction of the heart or organs.

A Change in Personality

suffering from Substance Abuse

Personality changes may indicate a substance abuse problem.

According to the NIDA, people who experience substance abuse will begin to act differently than normal and can spend more time alone than usual, lose interest in their favorite things, be uncharacteristically enthusiastic or depressive, be nervous, become irritable, and have intense mood swings.

Many parents try to quit for their family but when the withdrawal symptoms become too overwhelming, they begin using again to feel better. It takes professional help to quit using the substance because for many substances, trying to quit can cause dangerous and potentially deadly consequences that require immediate medical attention.

For more information on how to talk to parents about their substance abuse, please call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) .

Substance Abuse Behavioral Symptoms

Behavior is the toughest to spot in substance abusers but they may also be a huge indicator of it. Parents especially can show it through sudden financial troubles or involvement in criminal activities despite their responsibilities and may also become more aggressive, become lethargic, and change their social circles and priorities.

According to Mental Health, substance abuse can arise when a parent is driving or operating heavy machinery, which can be extremely dangerous to their well-being and can also cause unexplainable fear, anxiety, or paranoia.

Spotting the signs of substance abuse in parents can be difficult, especially if the child or young adult does not want to see it but it is important to look beyond what he or she want to see and discover the truth.

When an adult is suffering from substance abuse, he or she will exhibit behavioral, personality, and physical changes that can range from easy or hard to see, but if the child know what they are looking for, the truth will come out. If the parent is suffering from substance abuse, it is very important that they get the help they need to become sober again.

If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse, call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) to help get yourself or them the help required to recover.

Is My Parent an Alcoholic?

Poverty, it affects millions of people worldwide causing disarray and an number of inequalities financially, but what about socially, economically, and more importantly—with health and the decision to use drugs? Does poverty increase substance abuse? Does poverty cause substance abuse? Can someone in poverty who is abusing substances get help?

These are all viable questions—and the answers in some cases are grimly defined. If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, don’t give up hope—call our helpline toll-free at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) for treatment.

What is Poverty?

The term poverty is defined as a state in which there is a lack of material resources—for most, poverty means a lack of money which leads to a lack of housing, food, clothing or other necessities. Someone who is suffering from poverty may live in a small, broken home or have no home at all. They may live with people in large groups or they may have inadequate dwellings.

Poverty goes beyond housing though—people who live in poverty may not have enough money to afford a car or transportation to work or school. Children living in poverty may not be able to attend school or receive proper health care. Severe cases of poverty may mean that the individual or individuals living in the situation don’t have enough to eat or drink.

But what about substance abuse and addiction? How does poverty impact these conditions?

Social Problems

Poverty Impact Substance Abuse

Many people who suffer from a mental illness also abuse substances and live in poverty.

Studies have found that people who live in poverty often have low hope, feel inadequate, suffer from depression and anxiety, and are unstable. The following social inadequacies are identified in many individuals living in poverty:

  • Low education
  • Low level job skills
  • Low aspirations
  • Significant school dropout rates
  • High unemployment levels
  • High underemployment levels
  • Poor health
  • Poor mental health

All of these characteristics can cause problems in life, but they do not define the intelligence of the individual, nor do they define the way that an individual will behave—at least not necessarily. The compassion, attitudes and behaviors of an individual are defined by their underlying human state and have nothing to do with how they live, how much money they have or what material items belong (or don’t belong) to them.

However the question of substance abuse, and whether poverty increases substance abuse is questionable, here’s why:

People who live in poverty often must find “alternative” methods of making money. And often times this means dealing drugs—when lack of education prevents employment, a poverty stricken individual may take action to make ends meet, and this may mean selling drugs. Unfortunately, this creates a backdrop of problems for other poverty stricken individuals—why? Because now poverty stricken adults are selling drugs to make ends meet and poverty stricken children are growing up watching these things occur.

Does this behavior FORCE the child to grow up and become an adult addict? No—but does it increase the chance that the child will use drugs—quite possibly so. The fact is, children who grow up around drugs are more likely to abuse drugs than those who have no clue what drugs are—is a rich child who doesn’t know about drugs therefore immune to addiction—absolutely not. But the risk is definitely greater for the child who lives around substance abuse all of his or her life.

Living poor wraps the addict into a lifestyle of poorness. This can include things like breaking the law, incarceration, poor health and living on the streets. Do these factors contribute to substance abuse—absolutely they do. People who live on the streets are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol to “get away” or “forget” their situation, even if only for a brief period of time.

Does this mean that all people who live on the streets are addicts—absolutely not. Reporting that all people who are homeless, poor, or otherwise poverty stricken are prone to substance abuse would be completely biased and untrue. But failure to report that certain lifestyles can contribute to other leading causes of substance abuse such as anxiety or depression or other mental illness would also be wrong.

The fact is, people who suffer from mental illness are at least 50 times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than those who do not suffer from mental illness. It’s proven that at least 50% of those who have mental illness also suffer from substance abuse. Mental illness, be it depression or anxiety, or be it schizophrenia or another serious condition, leads to substance abuse. And it’s rather safe to say that poor living conditions can easily lead to some types of mental illness such as anxiety or depression.

Further, for mental illness that are NOT caused by inadequate living situations, illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or mania, left untreated, there is a risk that the sufferer will find his or her own way of medicating and “coping” with the problem. For an individual who has no money for health care, the method of “coping” could well become substance abuse.

How Treatment Reduces the Financial Impact of Substance Abuse

Lack of Access to Treatment

Does poverty cause substance abuse or does substance abuse cause poverty? The answer to that question is both. Poverty can lead to substance abuse (not guaranteed, but it can), and substance abuse can lead to poverty (again, not guaranteed but it can). Why? Because without money, people will go through great lengths to cope and with money, people will go through great lengths to cope.

Once substance abuse becomes evident, treatment is generally required to facilitate healing and recovery. Poverty stricken individuals may not have access to the necessary addiction treatment that will lead to healing and recovery.

Lack of money, lack of health insurance, or a pure lack of education about the treatment options that are available can lead to a reduced likelihood that an individual will get the help that he or she needs when addiction has set in. Even public health services that may be available to assist a poverty stricken addict may be overlooked due merely to a lack of knowledge of the programs or a lack of hope.

Free Programs Lack Quality

People without money often resort to free substance abuse treatment program IF they choose treatment at all. The problem with free or low cost substance abuse treatment options is that they don’t always provide adequate care for those in need. Those that can provide care may not have availability to help the addict when he or she decides to seek treatment—and, according to NIDA, treatment must be readily available when an addict is ready.

Finding help becomes a vicious cycle for an already struggling individual and the easier, often chosen option becomes remaining addicted.  This isn’t because the individual wants to suffer from substance abuse forever—but that they’ve lost hope and really just don’t know where to turn.

If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, if you’re poverty stricken or know someone who is, consider calling 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) for help. Health insurance and other options are available now to aid in the payment of treatment for addiction. Poverty, inequalities or inadequacies should not prevent anyone from getting the help that they need.

Don’t delay, call our helpline toll-free for assistance and to take the first steps toward achieving your recovery gaols.

The best thing that you can do when you are grappling with a substance use disorder is seek out treatment. Structured, professional treatment will provide you with support, direction, and purpose. You can dedicate all of your energy into taking the small steps down the road to recovery. For help finding treatment that’s right for you, call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) .

Excellent rehab programs will help you transition back to your everyday life when you complete your rehabilitation. Often, they offer some forms of aftercare. The reason for this is that living a life without drug and alcohol treatment can feel empty.

For so long, your addiction is the focus of your life. How do you get drugs? When can you use them? In treatment, you focus all of your energy on abstaining from drug use and learning how to lead a sober life. But, what do you focus on when you are out of treatment? What fills that void. Well, you may be tempted to fill it with a relapse.

To prevent backsliding, you need to give your life purpose. One way to do this is through volunteering.

Volunteering is one way to support recovery after treatment, but you need the rehab first. For help finding a facility that will meet your needs, call our helpline at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) and speak to someone who can help. Our experts will happily answer questions.

Negative Feelings

A lot of damaging thoughts and feelings will follow you from addiction into treatment and out to recovery. The big double whammy is made of guilt and shame. These terms might feel like different words for the same thing, but addiction specialists argue that isn’t the case.


Volunteering can help you meet new people who encourage your recovery.

Shame refers to a universal adverse belief about yourself; you feel this as a reaction to an offence or failing. Grief, on the other hand, is an adverse belief about a particular event.

Volunteering can act to diminish these feelings. Any lingering shame you feel about being selfish as part of your addiction can be countered by acting selflessly.


During your addiction, you probably did a lot of taking. Even if you weren’t outright stealing to feed your drug use, you weren’t contributing positively to the lives of people around you. Volunteering is the exact opposite; it is all about contributing.

Once you begin giving to those around you, you will feel some of your self-respect return. You will also see yourself as someone who matters to others.

Preparing for Work

Recovering addicts often face barriers to work because of an absence from the work force or poor job performance when actively using. Volunteering is a good way to demonstrate behaviors that matter to employers. In addition to building valuable job skills, volunteering is a great addition to a resume. You may also get job leads from your volunteer positions or the people you serve in them.


Speaking of the people you serve, recovery depends upon a positive support system and connecting with people through your volunteer work will be a way of working on that. In addition, you will be needing to make new, sober contacts anyway, so that you can move away from your old patterns and behaviors. Get to know some likeminded people through your service work.

Why is Seeking Forgiveness Important in Recovery?

Service with Addicts

You might be interested in volunteering with addicts, so that you can give back. An example is serving as a sponsor in a 12 step program. Honestly, you should build up to this. As noted above, you can use volunteering to build new friends to break you of old negative patterns. But, connecting with struggling addicts won’t do that. It could actually trigger relapse.

Does it Work?

Sheffield Hallam University reported on “Life in Recovery, the first systematic attempt to capture how people overcome alcohol and drug addiction and maintain their recovery in the UK.”

Eight out of ten people in long-term recovery—five years or more—had volunteered in community service since beginning their recovery.  Only four in ten members of the general public do so. Clearly, volunteering is both an important part of recovery and one that helps maintain it.

For more recovery advice and help finding qualified treatment, give our treatment helpline a call at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) .

It is not at all uncommon for substance abusers to believe that their addictions do not hurt anyone but themselves. Many may even admit to the damage that their substance abuse has caused to friends and family. However, what many of them do not consider is just how far reaching the damage can be. It is believed that substance abuse costs Americans hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Substance abuse treatment is the best way to lessen the financial impact of drugs and alcohol in several categories.

Healthcare Costs

Impact of Substance Abuse

ER visits and hospitalization are much more costly than addiction treatment.

Perhaps the most obvious source of financial burden from substance abuse is in healthcare. Everyone knows that substance abuse and addiction are very damaging to your health. This results in multitudes of:

  • Emergency room visits
  • Hospitalizations
  • Doctor’s visits
  • Indigent patients

Healthcare is an essential service and the increased financial burden of substance abuse is passed on to other consumers, most of whom may never abuse drugs or alcohol. While you may think that addiction treatment just adds to this cost, the fact is that treatment costs far less than hospitalization for drug overdose or a chronic liver condition caused by alcohol abuse.

Business and Lost Productivity

The largest financial impact is on businesses. According to the Oklahoman News Service, substance abuse cost employers over 200 billion dollars in 2012. The majority of this cost comes from lost production. Substance abusers that do not seek treatment frequently miss work, underperform at their duties, or injure themselves or others on the job.

Treatment for substance abuse greatly improves the attendance and productivity of recovering addicts, reducing this financial strain. If you are missing work due to substance abuse, treatment can help. Call us at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) today.

How Can I Afford Substance Abuse Treatment?

The Criminal Justice System

The prosecution, incarceration, investigation, and victimization costs of substance abusers costs taxpayers over 60 billion dollars, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. It is estimated that nearly half of all crimes committed in this country can be related to substance abuse.

Whether the crimes are committed for drugs or alcohol or while under the effects of these substances, the fact remains that substance abuse and crime go hand-in-hand. By seeking treatment, addicts and alcoholics are less likely to commit crimes, reducing the financial drain on the criminal justice system.

Money Diversion

Another way that substance abuse causes financial damage is in the diversion of money to illicit substances. Millions of dollars flow out of the country every year to support drug cartels and crime syndicates, through the purchase of illicit drugs. This means there is less money available to purchase goods, pay bills, and support families. There really is no limit to the financial impact of substance abuse.

Seeking treatment reduces the demand for these substances, and the money spent on them. This means that substance abuse treatment does reduce the monetary damages of substance abuse. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, treatment is the best way to end your addiction and reduce the financial damage that it causes. Call us at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) , and let us assist you in finding the help that you need.

You wake up one day and you are an addict. Not really.

Some people believe that addiction just happens. However, moving from addiction to sobriety is a process. Sometimes this process is a lengthy one, other times it happens very quickly. Regardless of the speed, every addict goes through several stages as they move from addiction to sobriety.


A person might initially try using drugs for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Peer drug use
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Isolation
  • Mental or physical illness

Once they try the drug the next phase is likely to begin.


Beginning of an Addiction

Once addiction sets in, treatment is necessary in order to stop using.

This is the casual user stage, using the drugs occasionally. A person may only use a few days per week but they do continue to use whether they completely want to or not.


Abuse is the stage where the drug user has their last chance to stop on their own. They might start to use the drug daily or habitually seek the drug out. The time to seek help is now. For more information on finding a treatment center call SubstanceAbuse.org at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) .


According to the National Institute on Heath, this is where the compulsion begins. During the addiction phase, a person cannot stop— even if they want to—without help. Many people try, but it is close to impossible to stop without treatment at this point.


According to the Manitoba Education System, the fall is marked by a harmful involvement in which the drugs start to damage the individual. During this period, a dependence on the drug is developed, despite its harmful effects. It hurts the family and friends of the user as well as the user. At this point, the family and friends of the user might intervene or the user themselves might hit rock bottom and decide that they are desperate for treatment.

How do You Know that it is Time to Seek Treatment for Your Substance Abuse?


When things get bad enough, the user seeks treatment. This treatment may take the form of (but is not limited to):

This treatment might come in the form of incarceration or through a treatment center. Some will need treatment due to a court order or because of an accident; some will seek it voluntarily.


Aftercare is the recovery phase. This phase means continued sobriety and the desire to be sober is very strong. Users are completely distanced from drugs, but there is still the chance of relapse. During this phase the user needs to be very wary of triggers and use what they learned in treatment in order to remain sober.

When you are in any one of these phases and feel the need to use drugs, it is important to seek treatment. If you want treatment or information about treatment call us 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) . We can help you find the treatment you need with just a phone call.

Living with a person with a substance use disorder is difficult. Their erratic behavior can compromise the mental, emotional, and financial well-being of the family unit your hold so dear. If you are in this situation, you know the high cost of living with an addict.

But, many addicts are high-functioning ones, which means they can maintain their job and their responsibilities most of the time and this can feed into denial that the problem isn’t that bad. When it does get bad and the denial wears away, you know your spouse needs help. He or she needs professional treatment.

But, what can you do if you suggest treatment and they refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem? You need to make choices that protect you and your family. To that end, you may be considering having your spouse involuntarily committed to an addiction rehabilitation center.

That is certainly an option and one that is legal in certain situations. But, there are a few more avenues you should explore before committing to this severe approach, as it can create quite a problem in your relationship.

To help you with getting your spouse into treatment, you need the assistance of experts. Trust SubstanceAbuse.org to answer your questions, link you to resources, and direct you to reputable treatment that will meet your needs. Call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) to speak to someone today.

Involuntary Detox: State Law

Spouse into Treatment

Refusing to help your spouse deal with the consequences of their addiction could convince them to seek treatment.

If your spouse was still under 18 and you were their parent, it would be no problem to get them into treatment. But, it would make for a very confusing marriage.

In a lot of ways, it might feel like your spouse is still a teen. Drug use impairs brain function and can arrest development. So, a using spouse may act like an adolescent and you may feel like their parent much of the time.

Sadly, as you are both adults, your options are limited. In general, the lengthiest involuntary commitment is 72 hours because long-term involuntary commitment was determined to be a violation of civil liberties.

However, there are a few steps that actually have laws that allow friends and/or relatives to place a loved one in drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation. On such law is nicknamed Casey’s Law.

In place in Kentucky and Ohio., Casey’s law is a way to intercede with a person who will not acknowledge their need for drug and alcohol treatment. Through a process that involves the court determining probably cause and evaluations by two medical professionals, one must be a doctor, you can get a legal mandate for rehab attendance.


Honestly, seeking involuntary commitment should be a last resort when your loved one is a danger. Instead, try approaching them in a way that is firm, but less severe.


  • Leaving recovery literature around the house, so they can read it at their leisure
  • Suggesting you take him or her to a 12 step group
  • A carefully prepared intervention that uses a professional intervention specialist.
  • Declining to shield your spouse from the consequences of their substance use
  • The assistance of an addiction specialist, who will help move your spouse let go of denial
  • Talking to your spouse when you know they will be more receptive, usually during a time when they are looking at their substance use as a negative behavior

Forced Recovery in Prison: How to Stay Clean After Release

Does It Work?

But, if you press for involuntary commitment, will it work? That is what matters, right? You are probably willing to risk your relationship with your spouse to give them the chance to recover from their addiction. Or, are you?

If you are, the National Institute on Drug Abuse asserts treatment can be effective, even if involuntary. Court, family, and employer directed rehab has increased “treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.”

If you feel like you have tried everything, you may want to commit your spouse to treatment. But, a better approach might be researching treatment programs and finding ones that really fit into your family dynamic. SubstanceAbuse.org can help you with that. When you present a treatment option to your spouse, they may be more receptive if you already have options to present them. Call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) to get started.

Most people have probably heard about Munchausen’s syndrome. It has been used in the plots of popular television shows, been reported on in the news, and there are even a number of celebrities that have been diagnosed with it. What may not be known is the relationship between Munchausen’s and substance abuse.

What is Munchausen’s Syndrome?

Munchausen’s syndrome is the most extreme form of factitious disorder. According to the National Library of Medicine, factitious disorder is marked by persons faking or creating symptoms of injury or illness in order to get medical treatment.

People with Munchausen’s syndrome take this practice so far as to actually abuse substances in order to make themselves sick, or injure themselves. These extreme acts of self-harm are what set Munchausen’s apart from other aspects of the factitious disorder.

Signs of Munchausen’s Syndrome

Munchausen's Syndrome

Someone with Munchausen’s syndrome may abuse substances in order to make themselves sick.

While factitious disorder and Munchausen’s are difficult to spot, there are a number of things that people can look for that may indicate someone suffering from these mental disorders. Some signs of Munchausen’s syndrome include:

  • unusual symptoms compared to medical history
  • frequent visits to multiple doctors and hospitals
  • incomplete medical records
  • unusual knowledge of medical terminology and conditions
  • aggressive insistence on medical treatment
  • improbable stories of past medical experiences or conditions
  • evidence of frequent surgeries and injuries
  • changing symptoms or symptoms that only occur when a medical professional is present

While these signs of Munchausen’s may seem extreme, the lengths that people with it will go to in order to make themselves sick, including substance abuse, are even more so. If you need treatment for substance abuse and Munchausen’s, call us at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) . We can help.

Munchausen’s and Addiction

One of the most common ways that people with Munchausen’s syndrome get the medical treatment they desire, is by abusing addictive substances. They do this for two reasons. The first reason is to simulate symptoms of another disease. An example of this is someone taking cocaine or prescription stimulants in order to cause cardiac distress.

The other reason is addiction itself. Someone with Munchausen’s is not above purposely becoming addicted in order to receive medical treatment. There is also the very real possibility of someone with this disorder becoming addicted to prescription medications, such as narcotic painkillers, as a result of their unnecessary medical treatment. This creates a need for addiction treatment in people with Munchausen’s.

Dual Diagnosis and the Importance of Treating Co-existing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Addiction Treatment for a Person with Munchausen’s

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people suffering from both mental illness and substance abuse illustrates the need for comprehensive treatment that considers and addresses both disorders. Even though the connection between mental illness and substance abuse has been known, and well documented, for over a century, it is only in recent years that this connection has begun to be considered in treatment.

Today, there are integrated treatment protocols that are designed to treat substance abuse and related mental disorders, such as Munchausen’s syndrome, at the same time. This combination of treatment reduces relapse and symptoms of the mental disorder far more effectively. If you have Munchausen’s syndrome and a substance problem, call us at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) , and get help today.

There are hundreds of myths surrounding drug addiction and drug treatment. The lies around drug addiction are perpetuated by popular media, and it is time to dispel some of these fallacies.

Lie: Drug Addiction Is a Character Flaw

Fact: Drug addiction is a disease. When someone starts using drugs, they make that choice to start, but once the addiction takes control, they are robbed of this choice. The addiction makes chemical and physical changes in the brain. These changes—although often reversible—stay as long as the drug is used.

For more information about the way drugs change you and types of treatment available, call SubstanceAbuse.org at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) . We can help you find a treatment that works for you.

Lie: Drug Addiction Is Immoral Behavior

Believe About Drug Addiction

Most drug addicts cannot quit on their own, and require specialized treatment.

Fact: There is nothing immoral about being a drug addict. Granted drugs make some people do some immoral things, the addiction itself has nothing to do with ethical or moral behavior. This is an attitude that has changed as scientists learn more about the actual mechanics of addiction.

Lie: Drug Treatment Has to Be Voluntary

Fact: From interventions to incarceration, it has been established that drug treatment does not have to be voluntary. Many people are placed into drug treatment due to incarceration or through pressure from their families. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, involuntary treatment works the same as any other voluntary treatment.

There is no reason why a drug addict has to want treatment to get it. Many times treatment starts with a family member, friend, or law enforcement official getting involved and putting an addict into treatment.

Lie: There Is Only One Type of Drug Addiction Treatment That Works

Fact: There are hundreds of types of drug addiction treatment. Each one has a different method of helping an addict recover from their addiction. Most of these treatments can be tailored towards an individual. Treatment is not once size fits all and thinking that it is can stop you from getting the help that you need to recover.

If one type of treatment isn’t working, then it is time to try another and there are many types to choose from depending on:

  • Your location
  • Your preferences
  • Your addiction
  • Other problems you might have
  • Medical issues that need treatment as well
  • Your individual needs

5 Common Myths and Facts About Drug Abuse and Addiction

Lie: Drug Treatment Only Has to Happen Once in Order for the Addict to Be Cured

Fact: Drug treatment and recovery is an ongoing process. Many people relapse and have to go back into treatment in order to fully recovery. It is important to remember that you might have to go to treatment a few times before you find the one that works right for you.

Lie: Treatment Is Unnecessary; You Can Just Stop

Fact: Treatment is often necessary when you are addicted to drugs. The majority of addicts cannot quit without the right treatment or treatment center. According to the Oklahoma Community Champions Initiative, many of these lies can easily be dispelled before they begin to undermine your recovery and the chances your treatment will work. To find the right treatment, call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) before your addiction gets out of control.

During substance abuse research, prediction, and prevention, risk and protective factors need to be identified. There are some things that scientists and doctors consider predictive of drug abuse.

If these things are identified and corrected, particularly at an early age drug prevention treatment can begin then, instead of when there already is a problem with it. To do this it is important to know what a risk factor is, what a preventive factor is, and how they work both before and after drug use.

What is a Risk Factor?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a risk factor is something that makes a person more likely to use drugs. Risk factors can show up as early as infancy or happen in very late life. There are many risk factors that a person might experience over their lifetime. They are more likely to show up in childhood or adolescence. Some of the risk factors are:

Factors in Substance Abuse

Isolation and loneliness often lead to substance abuse.

  • stressors
  • poor performance at work or school
  • isolation
  • lack of companionship or friendship
  • gender or gender identity
  • mental health issues
  • loneliness
  • lack of family
  • family history

There are many more risk factors. This is just a sample. If you or your child has any of these, plus the signs of drug addiction, it is important to seek help now. You can do this by calling 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) .

What is a Protective Factor?

Protective factors are the pros of the substance abuse world. They are identified as protective factors because they protect someone from drug abuse and addiction. They are the things that are positive in a person’s life or positive things that prevent a person from using drugs. A person has many things that can be positive influences. According to the Massachusetts Health and Human Services Department, a few of these are:

  • a good job
  • good academic performance
  • having friends
  • being well liked at work or school
  • no family history of substance abuse
  • a tight knit family
  • a good support structure
  • good finances

There are many more protective factors. This is just a sample.

How Should Substance Abuse Prevention Work According to the NIDA?

Why Identify Risk Factors and Protective Factors?

It is a good idea to identify risk factors and protective factors to try and intervene. The point is to develop preventative measures before someone becomes a drug user. It also helps scientists study the behavior of addicts and those who might become addicts.

It also helps to identify treatment goals for substance abuse treatment. Knowing someone’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to addiction is extremely important when developing a treatment plan. During treatment you can focus on correcting your weaknesses and celebrating your strengths, if you’ve already identified them.

Many 12 step programs, group counseling, and individual counseling focus on these strengths and weaknesses to improve your chances of recovery. For more information on using strengths and weaknesses in recovery or to find a treatment center that uses them, call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) .

Everyone knows that a parent that uses drugs usually has a child that uses drugs. This is a way that parents purposely teach their children to use drugs. There are ways to encourage your children to use drugs without even realizing it.

Not Talking About Drugs

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, talking to your children about drugs is crucial. Some parents think that if they ignore the subject of drug use and drug treatment their kids will never get the idea to use drugs.

Strangely enough some parents think that talking about drugs will give their kids the idea that drugs are a good thing. You need to talk with your kids about drugs and drug treatment early and often. Keep the lines of communication open.

Being Insipid About Your Kids Drug Use

Encourage Substance Abuse

Withdrawing is a presign of substance abuse in teens.

If your kids are using drugs you need to stop it now. When you are insipid, they will continue to use. You need to put your foot down and take a no drugs allowed stance. If they are already using, then send them to treatment immediately, do not wait for them to quit on their own and do not think of it as just a phase. If you need help finding a treatment center in your area call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) . We can help.

Ignoring Signs of Mental Illness

Many people with mental illnesses also abuse substances, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Research Report Series. Some children show signs of mental illness very early. If you know and recognize these signs, you have a good chance of preventing drug abuse later on.

Ignoring Presigns of Drug Use

There are signs that happen before drug use happens. If you ignore these signs, you run the risk of looking for the signs of drug use later on. These signs are:

  • emotional behavior
  • withdrawing
  • academic failure
  • social difficulties
  • family difficulties

Identifying Teen Drug Abuse

Not Talking About Prevention

If you ignore the prevention techniques, you might wind up with a child using drugs. There is a lot of literature on preventing drug use on our website. Take advantage of it and read up on how to prevent teen and child drug use.

Not Supervising Them

People supervise their child’s internet use looking for predators, their child’s grades for college, and their child’s television time. With all this supervision, they sometimes fail to supervise their actual child. A watched child will not use drugs. Do not be afraid to search your child’s room, bag, or purse. Yes, they will complain about privacy but they also will not be able to hide anything.

Not Sending Them to Treatment

A child using drugs needs treatment. There are centers for teens and children of all types. Not sending your child into treatment at the first sign of drug use encourages them to continue to use. It will also show younger children your stance on drug use. For more information or to find a treatment center call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) .

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWI NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW 800-487-1890Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?

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