4 tips to preventing alcohol addiction

Excessive alcohol use is one of the leading causes of accidents, injuries, deaths, mental health problems, etc. Many people continue to misuse alcohol because of the temporary relief it provides.

Alcohol addiction can destroy relationships, health, and well-being if not treated.

Health practitioners usually advise that before it gets to the point where alcohol addiction is a hard nut to crack, it is best to prevent it from the start.

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Here are some tips to prevent alcohol addiction from forming

  • Drink moderately

If you are taking alcohol already, you can avoid addiction if you take it on a minimal level. Do not be forced into taking large amounts of alcohol due to reasons like peer pressure.

You need to know your limits and ensure you don’t exceed that boundary.

Before you do some delicate activities like driving, ensure you don’t take alcohol because it can impair your brain’s performance.

  • Avoid triggers that compel you to drink

Triggers are features that give you the urge to drink. They can be people, places, pictures, or even words.

If you can identify your triggers, it would be easy to deliberately avoid them so that you don’t drink excessively or drink at all.

You can avoid gatherings where alcohol will be served. If you have alcohol stored in your home, you have to declutter because you might be tempted to drink excessively. Alternatively, you can replace alcohol with healthy drinks.

  • Seek help from your support system

It is important to have people around you who deliberately care about your health. That way, they can remind you of your resolve to stay away from addiction. They can help you monitor your drinking habits to ensure that you don’t go overboard.

  • See an addiction counselor

Addicts are not the only ones who are supposed to seek help from an addiction counselor.

If you suspect that you might get addicted considering the rate at which you are going, it would not hurt to see an addiction counselor.

An addiction counselor would provide you with coping strategies to help you fight off alcohol abuse and reduce your drinking rate.

Signs of alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction is an intense form of high-risk drinking where the individual involved cannot control their urge to drink or stay away from it. This is the point where they know that their health is at risk, but there is only a little they can do to help themselves.

When someone is addicted to alcohol, they acknowledge that they cannot live or function without it. This is because their brain’s reward system gets triggered when alcohol is in their system.

For such people, one of the primary ways that they can be happy or satisfied is when they take alcohol.

Trying to spot someone addicted to alcohol can be an extreme sport because not all of them show that they are addicted.

Generally, people don’t want others to know they are struggling with addiction because of the stigma that comes with it.

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However, when you recognize the signs of an addicted person, you can use this knowledge to provide them with the right treatment.

  • They avoid public gatherings

One of the ways to know that someone is addicted to alcohol is when they prefer to stay in their private space. They have this uncanny feeling that if they spend too much time with people, someone would figure out that they are addicted.

Therefore, to prevent that from happening, they would rather stay where no one would find them out.

  • Physical signs

If you are very observant, you might notice some strange physical signs that are closely connected with alcohol addiction.

Some of these physical signs are redness in the cheeks, nose, and entire face, unpleasant skin sores, a disrupted appearance, excessive loss or weight gain, numbness in the feet and hands, etc.

  • Mental health problems

Another way to know when someone is addicted to alcohol is when they struggle with mental health issues. Some of these mental health problems are anxiety, depression, etc.

If you observe some of these signs in an individual, they might be addicted. The best you can do for them is to recommend a reputable treatment center where they can begin the journey to sobriety.

How alcohol addiction affects your mental health

Alcohol addiction is one of the most common forms of addiction in the world alongside with drug addiction. Several people are plagued by the effects of alcohol addiction in all facets particularly their mental health.

If you are having mental health problems and you are hooked on alcohol, it is important you seek treatment early before your case becomes a chronic one.

One of the ways alcohol addiction affects your mental health is, it is a depressant. When you take alcohol, it reduces the pace at which your brain functions.

It is not bad to take alcohol once in a while. However, when it becomes a habit that you do every day, it is tantamount to an abuse which later develops into addiction.

When you take alcohol, you feel more confident. However, this effect is usually in the short-term. Alcohol has the capacity to adversely affect your reflexes. Also, it affects your balance and coordination.

In addition, alcohol affects the pace of your inhibitions and it affects the way you make decisions. When you are drunk, you are likely to make rash decisions that you will typically not make when you are sober.

This also means you are likely to engage in a risky and dangerous behavior, where you might be more aggressive.

Individuals who are addicted to alcohol would have problems with their moods. Often times, they will experience mood swings which will affect people around them. Furthermore, alcohol addiction affects your ability to handle stress.

If you are facing a huge volume of stress at your workplace, the last thing you need is alcohol addiction because it worsens the case.

Also, people often think that alcohol is efficient in drowning their sorrows. The truth is, it only works in the short-term. Once you are sober hours after taking alcohol, you will realize that those bad emotions and sorrows never left.

If you have mental health problems, the best solution is to seek the help of a counselor who will work with you to restore your mental health to normalcy.  

Reasons why people get addicted to drugs

Some people are at risk for abuse and developing addiction disorders. The vulnerability of an individual to be addicted differs from another even if the factors are the same.

The factors that contribute to drug addiction make the addicts value drugs so much, that they stay within its usage in the long-term.

Below are some reasons why people have drug addiction

  • Genetics: The preference of an individual to take part in addictive behaviors are often shaped by their genes, which was passed down to them. The association between the social environment of an individual and their genes can explain why some people are addicted and some are not.  

For instance, children whose parents were drug addicts are at a high risk of developing their own drug addiction at any time.

  • Cultural behavior: The value that an individual attaches to taking drugs is greatly influenced by the environment where the person resides. For instance, a student in college where drug abuse is a common habit will most likely indulge in it. And if care is not taken, the student would be addicted to drugs.
  • Financial capacity: One of the reasons why people are addicted to drugs is its affordability. If drugs were expensive, not everyone would be taking it. This does not understate the fact that, some people will take loans to fund their addiction and they will end up in debt.

If the prices of drugs like cigarettes and the likes increases, people will cut down on their consumption.

  • Peer Pressure: Peer pressure is one of the major contributors to an individual’s addiction. If you have friends who abuse drugs, there is a likely chance that you will join them. People who do not bow to peer pressure are often seen as the bad egg. However, in the long run, they will be grateful that they took their stand.
  • Mental health problems: A good number of times when people are depressed, anxious or they have a mental health problem, they resort to taking drugs. Eventually, they are hooked on it and an addiction ensues.  


Not everyone has an idea of how alcohol addiction starts. Alcohol addiction starts with alcohol abuse; this happens when a person takes alcohol basically for the purpose of getting the same results gotten at the initial stages of trying it out for the first time.

Therefore, when they love the effects which it comes with, they take it over and over again, till a compulsive and obsessive habit is formed, and this is known as addiction.

One of the major causes of alcohol addiction is stressful environments. We all experience stress in our lives due to education, our jobs and the likes.

Now, not everyone has the capacity to handle stress, there are some people who are more likely to be heavy drinkers because of their stressful jobs.

For people in this category to help themselves, the best solution is to put measures in place to de-stress themselves.

These measures should be healthy ones such as taking a nap, going on a vacation, exercising, reading a book amongst others.

In addition, another cause of alcohol addiction is taking it at an early age. There are some people who were exposed to alcohol right from their young age, probably from their parents, older siblings or relatives.

When these children get older, taking alcohol seems like a healthy habit to them, and an addiction is formed in the process, because the tolerance levels of their body is increased.

Also, people who have mental health problems like depression, anxiety and the likes have a higher chance of being addicted to alcohol.

Taking alcohol becomes easy for people in this category because it temporarily takes off their bad feelings.

So, they would drink alcohol over and over again, so that those feelings are off permanently, but it does not work that way.

There are some people who take alcohol with medicine, and this is not good enough. Some medicines can enhance the toxic effects of alcohol.

When someone takes alcohol regularly with medications, they can become addicted to the following effects, and this can be detrimental and life threatening.


Although, it may not be easy recognizing or diagnosing substance abuse among the older ones due to a lot of reasons such as isolation or even mistaking substance abuse problem as a condition of ageism. People hesitate to deprive elderly individuals or patient from substances from the fear of causing harm or negatively causing detriment to their quality of life. As people become old, psychological changes occur in the body making individuals to become easily susceptible and less lenient with the effects of drugs.

The first stage in the treatment process of substance abuse among the older ones is identifying or recognizing the substance abused by the older individual if it is drugs or alcohol. Often times, an intervention may involve the need of a medical personnel. This is important in order to enable the patient see the need for, and to freely undergo a treatment process. One way by this can be done is to painstakingly plan meetings with the loved ones of such affected older patient. Also, counselling and enlightenment can help the older individual gain the necessary inspiration to seek medical intervention.

Age specific addiction treatment programs exist which provides facilities to offer care options to people of the same age bracket. Younger people for example, have specific issues and solution plans, like the older ones too. It is effective to group people of the same age bracket together in order to provide treatment programs for different age-groups.

There are medical interventions to safely remove substance from the body systems of individuals who are dependent on them. There is an important need for the medical personnel to know all other medications used by the older patient in order to avoid any form of negative interactions which may dangerously lead to adverse after effect which can even include the loss of life. Therefore, there is an immense need for proper evaluation of the medical conditions faced by the patient before administering medications.

In addition, support groups can play a pivotal role in a substance abuse treatment program and they can be most helpful especially after the patient has undergone an intensive treatment plan. There is a tendency for an older patient to return to a substance abuse behavior after treatment and sometimes there is a fatal risk of overdose when this occurs. Support groups generates programs and meetings that prevent cases of returning to the substance abuse behaviors.


Substance abuse and its effect does not care whether one is young or old. It has an even opportunity to cause havoc to the lives of both young and old. Any individual no matter the age, is vulnerable to the consequences of abusing substances such as drugs and alcohol. Addiction to any drugs can result in significant physical and mental health problems regardless of their age.

Risk of psychological issues resulting from abuse of a substance can have an adverse effect on any user. Therefore, while it is possible for anyone to be victimized of substance abuse, it is more likely that the lot of some, such as children of addicts or adults would be diagnosed with depression.

Addiction to a substance affects young people as well. There is ignorance among many young people on the fact that they could also be victims of substance abuse, even though they are aware of the seriousness of abusing drugs or alcohol. It is necessary for them to understand that they are not secured from the risks of substance abuse and they could also suffer the negative effects that follows.

Substance abuse or addiction like any disease varies from person to person whether young or old, on its effects and symptoms. There is no subjective factor that determines whether a person can become addicted or not. While substance abuse has a lot of effect, one of the prevalent risks is dependence on the substance.

For instance, like adults, younger ones know that drugs and alcohol can provide temporary relief from pain, lack of concentration, lack of interest or anxiety and so they are eager to use this substances for self-medication and in the process they end up abusing it. Similarly, the case of young people growing up with adults who abuse drugs tend to emulate them, and are also susceptible to the effects that come along with it.

Furthermore, it is important to attribute responses to substance abuse to an individual’s attitude or behaviors. People have different tolerance for risks such that, while one individual has the nerve to keep engaging in the abuse of the substance after the first trial, the other individual would deem it fit not to continue. It is much likely dependent on the individual to control the extent of addiction to a particular substance.



Substance abuse occurs when you take drugs that are not legal or you use drugs without taking into consideration the relevant drug prescription that is needed for the use of such drug. There is a wide range of difference between substance abuse and substance addiction, people often refer to them as the same, probably due to the fact that one is capable of leading to the other.

Substance abuse is a mere inappropriate use of substance as dictated and prescribes by the relevant regulatory bodies. However, substance addiction on the other hand, is a brain disorder that propels compulsive and persistent improper usage of drugs, despite the adverse effect or consequences that are capable of arising from it.



People who engage in substance abuse purposefully or ignorantly, do find it not too difficult to quit and return to their normal lives. However, substance addiction on the other hand, does not go the same way.

The problem of substance addiction is quite difficult to break free from in comparison to that of substance abuse. For kids and teenagers, drugs like alcohol, pain killers, antibiotics and the likes are some of the substances that could be commonly abused due to the kind of home (family background), the kind of friends (peer group influence), and lastly the norms and values of the environment (societal influence).

Preferable Remedy

In treating substance abuse, what prompted it is very important, because it helps the therapist in figuring out the best and easiest way for you to get out of it. Some substance abuse and their remedies are:

1. Alcohol: the measure at which alcohol reacts in different people vary. However, excessive intake could be dangerous and may lead to adverse physical and mental health conditions, depending on the capacity of the person. Alcohol offers stress ease and gives temporary pleasure which could also be derived from other activities other than alcohol that is capable of causing liver disease. The consequence is a good reason to abstain from it, since it is not yet an addiction.

2. OTC medicine: over-the-counter medicine are drugs that are used without a doctor’s prescription. It could be as dangerous as taking illegal drugs, because when drugs are not purchased with prescription from a medical practitioner, overdose, taking drugs that are meant for other people, and unnecessary use of drug for non-medical purposes are inevitable. Drugs like pain relievers, antibiotics, cough syrups are likely to be abused by kids and teenager and which is capable of making them intoxicated and hyperactive. To prevent these for kids and teenagers, get a prescription for every drug.


Abuse of drugs particularly among older adults is becoming on the rise and as such, recognizing drug problems in adults is very critical. The dynamic physical and common changes that accompany getting old makes the adults susceptible to drugs and the problems that are related to it. For example, the loss of loved ones such as children and relatives, depression that comes from retirement especially with financial issues may cause the adult to seek self-medication by using illicit drugs to cure their anxiety or despair.

Similarly, the consequence of substance abuse may be related to health associated problems and medications, hence, there is a need to be properly aware of the forms of substance abuse among older adults and be conscious of the possibility that physical problems such as accidents may originate from the excessive abuse of drugs and other substances. Inappropriate use of substance may range from using higher doses for longer periods of time due to the intense need to solve a particular health condition, using the medications for frivolous means such as for their mood fluctuating effect.

Although, illicit drug abuse is less common among older adult than the younger ones, substance abuse poses a serious risk to the lives of the older ones particularly when the use is very excessive. Due to the process of ageing, older adults are exposed to psychological changes and the beginning of a number of health issues. Also, they may not be able to absorb and process drugs as effective as younger adults, and thereby placing them on an increased threat of overdose or abuse of a particular drug.

Adults are at a more alarming rate of experiencing conditions such as chronic pain, sleeplessness or insomnia and mental health problems such as anxiety or nervousness. Therefore because of this, prescription drugs such as narcotics are usually given to older patients in increasingly high numbers. Due to this exposure to such drugs, there is a high tendency of abuse and a risk of developing problems and later become addict to such drugs.

It is important to know that substance abuse in older adults could be classified as a hidden problem, because sometimes, symptoms derived from the abuse could be related to their ageing conditions. Likewise, many adults are isolated from family members and friends and they are no longer people engaged in their normal day to day lives. Also, several health conditions that is common amongst older ones may cover the symptoms of addiction.


In strict terms, Substance abuse is the illegal use of drugs and the use of illegal drugs. In clearer terms, it is the use of drugs without prescription and the use of drugs that are not legally available for use, or drugs that are not registered under the relevant regulatory bodies. Substance in this case, could mean anything that is capable of affecting the state of a person’s body either positively or negatively, when being used.

A drug is basically any substance which when injected, smoked, consumed, inhaled or absorbed through the mouth or any other parts of the body, is able to cause temporary psychological and physiological changes in the body, aside from food which gives the body nutritional support and enhances strength. It could further be explained in the pharmaceutical world, as a chemical combination or substance that causes biological changes in a living organism when administered.


Adolescents are young persons, who are also referred to as teenagers. The teenage period of a person’s life is the period when he or she desires freedom and exposure, which could be either of positive effect or negative effect. It could be positive, depending on three factors; the environment, peer group and family background where the person is, and it could be negative, also depending on those three factors.

Benefits from the exposure may include, access to better opportunities, meeting good friends, improved mental and physical capacity and so on. On the other hand, one prominent negativity that adolescents are prone to getting exposed to, due to the freedom and exposure granted, is substance abuse.


Tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and other substances are the most likely drugs that could be abused by adolescents. One could make use of these drugs without abusing them, the abuse comes into play when it is illegally purchased, used without adequate prescription and illegally used. Substance abuse could have dangerous consequences of not quickly controlled or corrected. Some of such consequences are:

1. Aggravated health issues

2. Irregular physical and psychological disabilities

3. Compulsion to maintain a persistent use of the drug (i.e. substance addiction)

4. Financial crises arising from excessive spending on drugs which is capable of leading to theft, forgery and fraudulent practices.

5. Social and mental impairment: Social issues could arise when improper usage of the drug leads to mental disorders.

Some people take drugs for recreational reasons, to enhance strength and give energy boost. For such purposes, there are standard prescriptions that are to be followed to abstain from substance abuse.