“A CLEVER person solves a problem, A WISE person avoids it” - Albert Einstein
Prevention means: recognizing the possibilities of harm and preparing oneself beforehand or take action to stop it from happening. The main focus here is for every citizen, adults and especially school children, to never have any reason to resort to any dependency. This “dependency” path starts off as an “experimental adventure” but, when abused, it will eventually lead to the only way of living.
There are two main reasons how one can be prevented from substance abuse:
EDUCATION, where you teach the person that there is no need to resort to drugs to function well in life. Concrete knowledge and moral persuasion about the repercussions of substance abuse, will help immensely in the future formation of the individual; the choices, attitudes and desires of one’s own future.
REALITY, with which you make the person aware of the consequences and repercussions of addiction. It is important to stress on the fact that the price one pays for substance abuse is way higher than the pleasure one feels when using.
It has been proven that the strategic idea of education/persuasion was to lessen its market while the strategy used to emphasize on the repercussions and hard consequences was to deter use. As a matter of fact, both strategies helped in reducing demand and sale, therefore both strategies were an essential and effective form of prevention.
In every prevention program, just giving information on the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse, hardly helps to reduce demand. There is the risk of having the opposite effect by stimulating natural curiosity our youngsters have towards that which is forbidden and enticing to experience.
The most effective method is a combination of both strategies, where all facets of the problem are exposed and discussed openly. There are other factors in life that effect people, mostly youngsters. These are the positive and negatives factors that determine how one would tackle the issue. People experiencing these opposite factors should be given the opportunity to be involved in various strategies regarding prevention.
The latter also include the family, the school, the work place and also places of entertainment. Parents, neighbours and the social community have to stress on the fact that drugs and alcohol abuse are unacceptable. Employees have to give their input as well in this fight against dependency by stressing on the fact that substance abuse and work are absolutely incompatible.
For this collective mission to be credible, the same message needs to be conveyed continuously to both adults and youngsters – that drug and alcohol abuse is wrong. Every substance abuse is detrimental and abusing use will bring negative consequences on both the user and society as a whole. Immediate, serious and effective intervention needs to take place as soon as the first signs become visible.
To conclude, as a society we have to admit that alcohol abuse is the most abused substance in our country. And every prevention program, to be really credible and effective, has to look at this issue in a collective manner.