PREVENTION IS KEY
Prevention is one part of the continuum of behavioral health. The other parts are promotion, treatment, and recovery. All are critical elements of a robust behavioral healthcare system, but each one has its own unique role.
Promotion supports positive behaviors.
Prevention reduces the risk of behavioral health issues.
Treatment cares for someone with a diagnosed substance use disorder or mental health illness.
And recovery helps people live productive lives after treatment.
It’s important to know that prevention is different from harm reduction. Harm reduction seeks to minimize or remove the consequences of drug misuse while prevention aims to stop drug misuse from occurring. Harm reduction is not prevention.
Like many diseases, no two addictions are alike. While everyone is susceptible to addiction, there are certain risk and protective factors that influence a person’s likelihood of becoming addicted.
Individual factors include whether a parent misused drugs, a history of trauma, and a lack of social attachment.
Environmental factors include the availability of drugs in the area, exposure to violence, and community poverty.
Genetic factors include a family history of substance use disorder and can account for about half of a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction.