Substance abuse or addiction refers to the habitual use or dependency on dangerous substances such as liquor/alcoholic beverages, tobacco, bidis/cigarettes, and medications (for purposes other than prescribed medical treatment). As the variety of addictive substances grows, more and more people, particularly those in their twenties, get addicted. There are numerous elements that contribute to young people and adults falling into the trap of substance misuse. Peer pressure, an unfavourable familial environment, and stress are among these variables.

Substance abuse is a medical and psychological condition that requires treatment. Parents must be considerate to their children, especially during the transition from infancy to adolescence and maturity, when significant physical changes occur. Adolescents are naturally inquisitive; they are constantly discovering new worlds, ideas, behaviours, and relationships. Some people get exposed to medicines as a result of the practise. They are likely to be trapped unless their environment, relatives, schools, and friends teach them about the negative impacts of drug use. The most prevalent and dangerous addictive behaviours are drinking and smoking.

Drinking or consuming liquor/alcohol is a severe social concern. The simplest hobby is to drink and temporarily forget about troubles and tensions. Its addiction has major ramifications. Even with meagre incomes, drunkards purchase liquor while putting the necessities of their families at risk. If they cannot afford the more expensive standard variety, they opt for the less expensive variant. They drink even deadly drinks at times. They lose their wits after drinking. It can result in death or severe disability. Most of the time, after drinking, they abuse their wives and children, resulting in domestic violence.

Smoking is a behaviour that is far more detrimental to one’s health than drinking. It not only harms the smokers, but also the people around them who are affected by the smoke in the air. If we respect the rights of others, we should refrain from smoking in public venues such as buses, trains, marketplaces, and offices. Smoking is a major source of pollution and contributes to the development of dangerous diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and breathing problems, among others. Tobacco use, particularly smoking, is the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Smoking in public places has been prohibited by the Union Cabinet. It has prohibited the selling of tobacco products near schools and universities. Manufacturers of these products are required to provide a warning to consumers about the negative consequences of their products in the form of a caption on the product itself.

PREVENTION– Drug and alcohol abuse prevention might begin at home. Parents can communicate to their children about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Talking to children when they are young, in particular, can lay a solid foundation for drug awareness. This allows parents to favourably impact their children while also teaching them about boundaries. When it comes to teaching boundaries, parents assist their children understand when to say no to something that could injure them while also controlling the dynamic of an inappropriate request. Prevention discussions also foster stronger ties and guidance between children and parents. Parents can build consistency in communication as well as long-term advice for their children. Preventative talks can help an adolescent build trust with their parent and make good judgments about their habits, friends, interests, and influences. There are governmental agencies, community leaders, and school personnel that attempt to teach children about living a drug-free life. Much of this is to prevent teen drug abuse before they reach adulthood or go into the real world. As a result of these educational tools, teen drug abuse has significantly decreased from previous decades.

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