Prevention is the promotion of constructive lifestyles that discourage drug use. Lifestyle strategies are the threshold to saving our youth. Remember, it’s always first things first, stop it before it starts.
Prevention efforts should make sense, be Inclusive and insure diversity to be effective and provide early childhood interventions by building individual, family and community capacity to prevent use before it starts.
Children need to be taught how to distinguish between right and wrong and know the difference between the two. Parent must generate good moral values to instill healthy beliefs in our children. Parental engagement is the prevention and intervention method kids need to avoid the dangers of drug use.
We in the community and parents are responsible in preventing any onset of early drug use and promoting a vision of healthy behaviors. Parents, children and adults must be held responsible for their bad choices. Parents must be held accountable for their child’s behavior and drug violence. Parents must be engaged in conversation regularly with their kids about the dangers of drugs and drug use.
Risk Factors? Prevention strategies should acknowledge that there are other issues that need to be addressed as well as the availability of the drug itself.
Protective Factors? We must reach out with truth to our young people and involve our youth more in the process. The messages and programs delivered to those who have made bad choices must be truthful and appropriate.
Types of Prevention
- The development of social and physical environments that facilitate drug-free lifestyles.
- Prevention is a “proactive process” which empowers individuals and systems to meet the challenge of life events and transitions by creating and reinforcing conditions that promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles.
- Secondary Prevention is also known as intervention attempts to intercept the progression from experimental with alcohol and or drugs of habit. The goal is to reduce the number of individuals who will have severe alcohol/drug related problems. The target group includes those who regularly abuse alcohol and other drugs, particularly those who experience problems and difficulties to their alcohol/drug consumption.
- Tertiary Prevention, sometimes referred to as treatment, makes an effort to reduce the number and or the extent of severe alcohol/drug related disabilities. The goal is to save the life of the individual and to minimize suffering resulting from the abuse of alcohol and other drugs. The target group is those who are considered to be alcohol dependent.
While our focus is on the primary prevention, in some cases our process may be advantageous for all the above, especially as it pertains to secondary prevention. We encourage those who have drug/alcohol
problems to “regain your brain” and seek appropriate intervention before you cause any further destruction to yourself and others.
Risk Factors in Primary Prevention
There are many factors that contribute to risk. Here are a few as adopted
from the WestCAPT, Developmental Research and Programs, Seattle Washington:
- Availability of alcohol and drugs.
- Community laws and norms favorable toward alcohol and drugs.
- Transitions and mobility.
- Low neighborhood attachment and community disorganization.
- Extreme economic deprivation.
Family Risk Factors
- Family history of substance abuse.
- Family management problems.
- Family conflict.
- Parental attitudes and involvement in alcohol and drug use.
Social Risk Factors
- Early and persistent antisocial behavior.
- Academic failure beginning in elementary school.
- Lack of commitment to school.
Individual/Peer Risk Factor
- Alienation / Rebelliousness.
- Friends who engage in substance abuse.
- Favorable attitude toward substance abuse.
- Constitutional factors.
Protective Factors in Primary Prevention
Protective factors are conditions that buffer young people from negative consequences of exposure to risk by either reducing impact of the risk or changing the way a person responds to risk.
We can all play a part in the protective factors of our children and others who have a drug or alcohol problems simply by having healthy beliefs and clear standards. Individual characteristics and bonding are two other protective factors, as well as, community environment, family and social factors.