Prevention of Substance Abuse Is Key During The Holidays

Alone during the holidays, a single man sits on a rock at the edge of a cliff.

Prevention of Substance Abuse Is Key During The Holidays

Substance abuse is a continuing epidemic within the United States and studies indicate that it increases during the holidays. Men and women are starting to use different substances, and more lethal substances, not just marijuana and alcohol, at a much younger age than they have before.

While some may be aware of the long term causes of substance use, others may not be. Substance use at a young age is detrimental to brain maturation. If someone starts using at age 12 or 13, their brain will have developmental problems and create additional issues as they get older.

We understand this can be scary. However, it is crucial to be aware of what your loved one is doing daily. You may begin to notice changes in behavior that stem from substance use. For some, the changes may be mild, or take time, while for others it could be rapid.

Over the holiday break, try to determine if your loved one is using, be aware of their “friends.” Ask yourself:

Do you know their friends?
Do you know what they are doing before school, during school, or even after school?
The first step is to ensure you’re involved with your loved one’s life. But that does not always mean they won’t find a way to use.

Other signs that your loved one is using more frequently could be the following, but not limited to:

Behavioral changes (i.e., loss of interest in activities, withdrawing from family or family events, mood swings and decreased performance at school or work)
Physical changes (i.e., sleeping or eating habits, poor hygiene, poor coordination, consistent exhaustion and weight change)

Are you concerned about a loved one having an addiction problem? Our clinical team is available to assist with finding the appropriate treatment, whether that’s outpatient treatment or even therapy.