What Can I Do To Prevent Opioid And Substance Use Disorder?

Unfortunately, people take drugs for various reasons. Certain individuals engage in such potentially reckless behavior to cope with life stressors and negative emotions. Others yield to peer pressure. Regardless, the ingestion of illicit or prescription drugs could result in a serious condition known medically as substance use disorder.

Substance Use Disorder Overview

Occasionally, substance use disorder is referred to as drug addiction. Healthcare providers and addiction specialists define this malady as an impacted subject\’s inability to limit or control the amount of a chemical that they ingest. Drugs commonly taken in excess include:

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Prescription medications
  • Designer drugs
  • Marijuana

Even nicotine, which is the primary component of cigarettes, is considered a drug because of its addictive properties and capacity to cause harm.

Risk Factors

It is virtually impossible to determine who will and will not fall victim to substance use disorder. Individuals ingest addictive drugs for different reasons. and hold varying degrees of susceptibility. However, certain factors might increase one\’s risk of growing dependent on a given drug including:

Co-Existing Mental Health Issues

Mental health concerns such as anxiety disorders, depression, or various hyperactivity ailments precipitate negative emotions, feelings of isolation, and worrisome thoughts. In response, stricken individuals often turn to drugs to ease or eliminate these feelings.

Genetic Predisposition

Certain subjects possess faulty genes, which renders them more susceptible to the dangers of drug dependency. Researchers have concluded that chemical dependency is not uncommon in family members representing different generations.


Addiction specialists believe that one\’s environment is a major determining factor. A particularly stressful job, relationship, or living arrangement might create tension those experiencing such difficulties may attempt to defray using drugs.

Using Drugs At An Early Age

Medical investigators have found that the ingestion of drugs at a young age carries the potential to alter the user\’s brain chemistry. Such events render said individuals more likely to eventually become substance abusers.

Ingesting Highly Addictive Substances

Specific substances are considered highly addictive and create dependency faster than others. Common offenders include cocaine, illicit opioid drugs like heroin, opioid prescription narcotics, in addition to stimulants.


The physical and mental manifestations caused by substance use disorder often vary depending on the specific drug taken. However, common universal symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Diminished appetite
  • Red eyes
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Increased perspiration
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Decreased cognitive functions like focus and memory

Additionally, substance abusers might engage in reckless behavior, make poor decisions, lie, steal, accumulate significant debt, encounter professional struggles, and withdraw from the people, places, and activities they once enjoyed.


If not identified and treated as early as possible, substance use disorder carries the potential to result in serious disability and health problems, financial ruin, lost relationships, accidents, legal issues, and possibly even suicide.

Preventing Substance Use Disorder

Fortunately, an appreciable number of substance use disorder cases may be prevented through efforts such as:

Treating Mental Health Issues

Those experiencing lingering anxiety and negative thoughts are strongly urged to consult their doctor for a mental health evaluation. As previously stated, many drug addicts possess underlying or undiagnosed mental health concerns and use drugs as a means of easing associated physical and mental manifestations.

Building The Right Network Of People

One must associate with positive influences. Such individuals provide encouragement, engage in productive behaviors, and hold friends, family members, and other close relations accountable for their actions.

Properly Addressing Stress

Everyone experiences a certain degree of professional, familial, and financial stressors. These pressures are a normal part of life. However, individuals are encouraged to eliminate unnecessary stress and identify positive outlets for the tension they must face. Productive hobbies such as exercising, gardening, or reading help clear the mind and relax the body.

Placing Significant Emphasis On Self-Care

Researchers have discovered that persons engaging in positive and productive lifestyle habits like consuming a nutritious diet, obtaining adequate rest, getting proper exercise, and participating in mind-stimulating activities often use drugs less than individuals who fail to partake in such endeavors.

Contacting Us

Persons believing that they might be at risk of developing substance use disorder are firmly urged to reach out to us at 833-610-1174. Our highly experienced team of addiction treatment specialists can analyze their circumstances and offer suggestions on the most appropriate next steps.

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