People talk about drug and alcohol prevention all the time, but what is prevention and why does it matter?
Hey Michael, you’re right… We hear this word prevention all the time and sometimes it can feel like overkill — to the point where we ask the same questions you’re asking: Can we really prevent drugs and alcohol? Aren’t they already here?
To break it down, prevention literally means to stop something from happening. So, to bring it back to you; what things are important for you to try and stop?
I feel like, because of your age, you’re going to hear the most about prevention related to drugs and alcohol. The hard part about this is that you’re young and curious. Because of this, you might get confronted with a lot of choices that you’ve never had to make before. That is why prevention gets brought up so often.
The great thing about prevention is that, for the most part, you have control over the outcome… Meaning, you get to choose what happens!
The more knowledge you have, the better informed you are in making your choices. So here’s some info about the Drugs & Alcohol that you want to prevent:
Becoming Addicted. Using alcohol and drugs before the brain has fully developed (this doesn’t happen until your 20’s or sometimes your30’s!) increases your risk for future addiction to alcohol and drugs dramatically.
Drinking Before 15. Drinking alcohol or using drugs before age 15 makes you 5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence.
Be Careful of Your Genes. The risk of developing alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by genetics. If you have a family history of alcoholism or addiction, you are four times more likely to develop a problem.
Thanks for the curiosity Michael…just try to keep it balanced, by finding out as much as you can before making a decision. This site has helpful facts, games and videos, if you’d like to learn more: teens.drugabuse.gov/