Just like with any health condition, the key is prevention. With alcoholism, it is important that you know the things you can do to make sure that you or a person close to you do not succumb to this disease. Keep in mind that a lot of people who developed alcoholism started out with a few drinks. And once the dependence on alcohol set in, it would be more difficult to convince the person that they have a problem and should seek treatment.
Educate Your Children at Home
Health experts believe that alcoholism prevention should start at an early age. If you are a parent, you need to explain the dangers of alcohol to your children. You should also make an effort to listen to what your children are telling you since you can pick up important snippets of information that could indicate if they are at risk. Of course, setting an example is a better way especially since children are most likely to be influenced by their parents than any other person in their life.
Community Can Be Your Partner
In addition to strong parenting, you should recognize that schools, churches, and local organizations can help promote alcoholism prevention programs. Such programs aim to prevent alcohol abuse by targeting specific problems within the community that could trigger alcohol consumption. For example, sports activities can be launched by schools to distract teens from engaging in disruptive alcohol-related behavior.
Furthermore, a good idea is to conduct an open forum with children so that they can speak freely about alcohol, its impact on their family and personal lives as well as the consequences of abusing it. Assertiveness training and enhancing refusal skills are also good activities that could address alcoholism prevention.
Members of the community can also work with each other to establish healthy lifestyles. In cases where the incidence of alcohol consumption is high, the community can begin counseling programs in order to screen those who have high tendencies to develop alcoholism and refer them to the proper health experts for treatment.
The government actually plays a significant role in alcoholism prevention. At present, there are numerous laws that discourage the abuse of alcohol. For instance, teens are not allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages under the MLDA/Minimum Legal Drinking Age legislation. Warning labels on alcoholic drinks are also mandated by law to remind drinkers about the effects of drinking alcohol and the dangers of abusing it.
In addition, there is the 'Zero Tolerance Law' under the National Highway Systems Act that prohibits individuals from driving under the influence of alcohol and is also being implemented nationwide. Violation of these laws can lead to hefty fines and even imprisonment. Such policies certainly create an environment that reduces the risk of alcoholism.
Efforts to prevent alcoholism can begin even if the person already has started using alcohol. The sooner the person recognizes the alcohol problem, the better the chances that he will be able to cope with his addiction. Often with the help of a good treatment for alcoholism.