6 Ways to Fight Against Substance Abuse

Posted on: 09-2-2016 Posted in: Blog

By Jon Wicks

In late August, Cincinnati emergency health responders treated an appalling 174 heroin overdoses in a six-day period. On average, 4 people overdose a day in Cincinnati and in the past year, over 3,000 people have lost their lives to accidental drug overdoses. In 2015, there were 47,055 deaths from drug overdoses nationally. More people die from drug overdoses every year than car wrecks and suicides. Let’s be clear, this is an epidemic and one that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. This leaves the question: How can we better prepare youth to face the growing trend of substance abuse?

Below are six ways that everyone can use to fight against substance abuse.

For Educators and Parents

Be Real

Students are tired of having statistics thrown at them. Tell a personal experience about someone you know who was hurt because of their drug or alcohol habits. This will help them relate and understand that the consequences of drugs are too great. I often tell the story of my cousin Mike. When he was 23 he was in a motorcycle accident that took his life. He had a few drinks earlier in the night and deciding to go riding without a helmet. He was a good guy, he wasn’t an alcoholic, but that one decision was all it took.

Be Specific about Drugs

It’s easy to beat around the bush when talking about tough topics like drugs. DON’T! Be specific about drugs and why they aren’t worth even one try. Sit down with your kids and google stories, and maybe (if you’re brave enough) some pictures of what drugs can do to your body. They may only know that “drugs make you feel good, but I shouldn’t do them.” The more informed they are, the better.

Be Involved in their Growth

Encourage your kids to engage in clubs, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Sit down with them and help them set personal growth goals that they can chase after and achieve. Make sure to set and share your own goals as well. This will mean a lot to them that you aren’t ‘coaching’ them on how to live but living with them. “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” is a motto we use at Remix every day!

For Students

Be Bold

If you know your friend is abusing drugs, say something. Whether they are struggling with addiction or occasional drug users, they are preventing themselves from reaching their full potential. As a good friend, you should approach them kindly, but be firm. First, let them know that you care about them and that no matter what you will be there to support them. Secondly, let them know that their choices are harming themselves and their relationships. If you’re personally struggling with substance abuse – tell someone. A guidance counselor, a parent, a close friend, someone. None of us are perfect and those people want the best for you. They will help you to get back on track to being the best person you can be.

Say Yes!

Join a club, sports team, or other extracurricular activity. Being involved in activities with your friends will help you to build strong relationships with people that will hold you to being your best. Say yes to helping out at the local homeless shelter or other charity in your community.

Set Goals

Sit down and write out some goals or things you want to do in the next year. Five years. Ten years. Striving after your goals will help you to know why you aren’t choosing to use drugs. “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” is a great motto to live by everyday. Make sure you know your values and the goals that you want to achieve.

Check out These LINKS on Heroin

Learn More about Heroin

What happens after first responders save heroin users from overdose?

Facts About Heroin

Video of NJ Cop saving the life of an overdose victim

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