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With drug use on the rise, and addiction and overdose so common, we can feel that the epidemic is utterly hopeless. We’ve experienced addiction destroy our lives and those of loved ones. We hate to see it affecting more and more people, including young children. There are some things we can do to curb drug use. It’s not as hopeless as it might appear, and every step we take can have a powerful impact.

One thing we can do in our own families and communities is encourage people to seek out professional help. When we see someone suffering, we might be inclined to keep our distance because we fear getting involved. If you can do just one thing, give them the number for a local treatment center. Rehab facilities are equipped to handle even the worst cases of addiction, even those who might appear to be beyond help. Encourage people to take advantage of this very important and helpful resource.

Another thing we can do is start talking to young people about addiction at an early age. Let’s not wait until the children in our lives and communities are already experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Let’s talk to them openly and honestly, early on, about the prevalence of addiction, about how easy it can be to develop a dependence, about how destructive drugs can be to our lives. Encourage them to believe in themselves, to make plans for their future, to have faith that they can do anything in their lives that they put their positive energy towards. Tell them that they’re putting their entire lives and futures at risk when they do drugs. Discuss with them the pressures they might be facing, at school or with friends, to experiment with drugs. Help them come up with a plan to resist this pressure and to make healthier choices for themselves.

Perhaps the most important thing we can do is start working to increase our mindfulness, as individuals and as communities. When we are mindful of our emotions, we can learn to process them in healthy ways rather than the suppression, denial, avoidance and escapism of addiction. Being mindful of our thought patterns and behaviors helps us to develop healthier coping mechanisms than turning to addiction. When we are conscious of addiction in our communities and towns, we can reach out to people who need help rather than letting them fall through the cracks, invisible and unseen to us.

Riverside Recover is at the forefront of the battle against addiction, and we’re here to help you. Call (800) 871-5440 today.