October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. This is a time to raise awareness that preventing addiction is possible—and crucial.
Addiction and the Developing Brain
People who drink or use drugs before age 15 are two to three times more likely to have a substance use disorder by age 32. Chronic substance use changes the brain in people of all ages, and teenagers’ brains are still developing. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Because the brain is still developing, using drugs at this age has more potential to disrupt brain function in areas critical to motivation, memory, learning, judgment, and behavior control.”
As NIDA goes on to point out, a certain amount of risk-taking is normal for people at this stage of life. However, if they’ve been given healthy tools to cope with stress, they are less likely to use substances to do so. Early interventions set people up with support, teach them emotional regulation, provide education and awareness about addiction, and other factors that can protect against addiction. They minimize risk factors for people who may be growing up in a difficult environment.
It’s important to make sure those struggling with addiction have the resources and support to enter recovery, and it’s just as important to prevent as many people as possible from going through addiction at all. While recovery is a wonderful and life-changing experience, most of us don’t want to go through the devastation of addiction. This month, we remember that prevention is just as possible as recovery.
At TruHealing Centers, we not only provide quality treatment, but also prevention programs. Our podcast SHARE and show Straight Talk are educational resources for the community about addiction and recovery. We have partnered with Baltimore County Public Schools to give drug and alcohol counseling through one of our centers, Foundations Recovery Center.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build a great life in recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.