Why Talk About Substance Abuse Prevention?
InnerWellbeing collaborates with a local organization to bring substance abuse prevention education to youth and adults in Dallas. Research studies show that prevention—through science validated programs—is the best strategy to decrease and eliminate drug abuse and addiction.
Substance Abuse Prevention Education
Abuse and addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs has significant medical, economic, criminal, and social impacts in our communities. In the U.S., abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol contributes to the death of more than 100,000 persons every year. Tobacco is linked to an estimated 440,000 deaths every year.
Scientists study the effects that drugs have on the brain and on people’s behavior. They use this information to develop programs for preventing drug abuse and for helping people recover from addiction. Research helps transfer these ideas into practice in our communities. Drug addiction is a mental disease. As with any other disease, vulnerability to addiction differs from person to person. Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, when drug abuse takes over, a person’s ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired.
Why do People Take Drugs and What Happens When They Abuse Drugs?
People take drugs to feel good, to feel better, and to do better, or out of curiosity or peer pressure to experiment. At first, people may perceive what seem to be positive effects with drug use. They may believe they can control their use; but drugs can quickly take over their lives.
Over time, if drug use continues, pleasurable activities become less pleasurable, and drug use becomes necessary for abusers to simply feel “normal.” This seems to explain why drug abusers continue to use drugs despite the harmful consequences—this is what’s referred to as addiction. Some individuals may feel the need to take higher doses, even in early stages of drug use— this is what’s referred to as tolerance.
Early use, among other factors, increases a person’s chances of more serious drug abuse and addiction. National drug use surveys indicate some children are already abusing drugs by age 12 or 13. Youth education programs are critical in preventing drug abuse and addiction.
Does Substance Abuse Prevention Education Work?
Yes. Research studies show that prevention is the best strategy. Drug use decreases when drugs are perceived as harmful. Science validated programs—programs that have been rationally designed based on current knowledge, rigorously tested, and shown to produce positive results—significantly reduce early use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.
Our Program and Services.
Substance abuse prevention programs (SAP) provide unique, science-based, interactive, bilingual and multicultural substance abuse prevention education for youth and adults. These programs are scientifically proven to boost positive attitudes, values, behaviors, and skills, and eliminate or reduce risk factors for drug use.
We offer four main services:
1. Presentations and public speaking
2. Substance abuse prevention information and resources
3. Mindfulness & Meditation for Prevention (parent and youth groups)
4. Life skills: prevention for teens curriculum education
Upon completion of SAP programs, stakeholders should see improved general knowledge and behavior towards the dangers of drugs and addiction; healthier attitudes; improved student academic success; increased personal grounding and achievements; improved coping skills to reject alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; dramatic reductions in problem behaviors; increased positive peer bonding; and increased positive family bonding and functioning.
Presentations & Public Speaking
We provide education and information on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; drug trends; drug use-abuse-addiction continuum; psychology of addictions (the brain on drugs); how to talk to children about the dangers of drugs; among other important topics.
Our services target the general population, adult or youth audiences, in Dallas County. We provide services in English and Spanish.
Our presentations are research-based and age-appropriate for either adults or youth. They can include speaker presentations, group discussions, community talk, and hands-on activities with comprehensive audience interaction.
Substance Abuse & Addiction Information/Resources
We have literature in both English and Spanish on the drugs that affect your community. We also have information on addiction and the brain, how to talk to youth about substance use and abuse, and where to seek treatment. We provide referral services to treatment clinics, counseling, and other resources.
Mindfulness & Meditation for Prevention
Mindfulness-based practices, meditation, breathing techniques, yoga classes, and group meeting discussions can provide people with the skills to cope with life stressors and challenges in a healthy manner.
-National Institute on Drug Abuse (2010). The Science of Addiction. National Institutes of Health