Role Models and Addiction Prevention

Role Models and Addiction PreventionThere are many forces that influence addiction, such as genetics, stress, social pressure, and co-occurring disorders. When any of these are coupled with a dysfunctional environment or a lack of resources, individuals may choose to abuse drugs. Not everyone has a great support system, so it is imperative that there are consistent positive messages to influence these individuals. A positive role model can have a major impact on another’s decisions to use drugs or to get clean.

Who Can Act as a Role Model?

Any individual has the opportunity be a positive role model. Role models are not limited to athletes and celebrities, and it takes the effort of all individuals to create effective substance abuse and addiction prevention. Obviously, parents are a prime example of role models as they are responsible for shaping the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of their children. Parents’ positive influence can affect more than just their own kids, including other friends, families, schoolmates, and neighbors. Kids with healthy functioning families are easy to overlook when an unhealthy and dysfunctional family is in the mix, which is why it is imperative for parents to make the extra effort to take on the role of being positive role models for their own children and also for everyone else in a school or community.

Other great opportunities to act as a positive role model are found in teaching or volunteering at schools. Schools provide the perfect setting to connect with or reach a large group in a simple way. Kids spend so much time at school and doing school-related activities that the people they see every day can make a huge impact by simply practicing and living the choices that they preach.

Peer influence is another huge way to positively impact others, especially when it comes to addiction. Peer mentoring and leadership programs are very effective in youth addiction prevention. More positive adolescent role models combat the looming negative peer pressure to use drugs or alcohol.

Everyday individuals, no matter what age, race, gender, or income level, have the power to act as a positive role model in their neighborhoods and communities. From setting a good example to getting involved in volunteer community and drug prevention groups, people can make a difference. Building healthy, drug-free environments requires participation and effort from everyone in the community.

If you would like to learn more about how you can be a positive role model for drug abuse and addiction prevention, you can contact one of our recovery professionals by calling our toll-free, 24 hour helpline.

Can You Help a Loved One Struggling with Drug Abuse or Addiction?

If someone you care about is abusing drugs or alcohol, you can help. By being proactive, you can prevent drug abuse from progressing to addiction or put an end to addiction before it causes too much destruction or turns fatal. If you would like to learn more about how you can help a loved one who is struggling with drug abuse or addiction, you can call our toll-free helpline and speak with a trained addiction counselor. Our addiction counselors are ready to help 24 hours a day, whether you have questions, need information, or would like help finding the intervention, treatment, and recovery services that are right for your loved one. It is not often that an addicted individual will “wake up” and get rehab treatment on his or her own. Concerned friends, family, and acquaintances have more power than you may think; call to learn more about what you can do to help a loved one battling addiction.