Addiction is very common in the United States. Statistics from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that in 2010 8.7% of the population aged 12 and older have been diagnosed with an addiction. Approximately 1 million of these individuals sought treatment at a substance abuse treatment facility. The same report mentions that nearly 20% of youth age 18 to 25 years old use illicit drugs, and 2.8% of the population uses prescription medication for non-medical or recreational use. Many of these people may have an undiagnosed addiction. Because drug and alcohol use is so common, it’s up to family and friends to create an environment that does not make obtaining and using drugs and alcohol easy. This is especially important if you are close to someone you suspect has an addiction. Here are a few things you can do to keep drugs away from those who might misuse them. Lock up your medicine. A large number of addicts start using the medication available to them at home. Do not make it readily available. This is especially important if there are large gatherings of people in your home.
Don’t give money as a gift. This is doubly important if you suspect a loved one has an addiction. Continue to be supportive, but don’t give money that will only be used to feed a drug or alcohol habit. Monitor your own attitudes and actions regarding medication, alcohol and drug use. If you abuse prescription medication, it’s hard to set boundaries that stop others from doing so. When you drink or provide alcohol to family members, especially if they are under age, it sends a clear message that the behavior is acceptable.
Make your home as stress free as possible. The world is a stressful place. Providing loved ones with a safe and healthy environment is important. Overloaded family members tend to use chemicals to cope with stress. Seek help if you fear a loved one is addicted. If you have tried to help but cannot seem to make a difference, call a professional. Emergency drug treatment is available if the situation is serious. The Ranch PA helps find the path to recovery for those with addictions. (photo via)