Can I prevent substance use disorder?

Yes. Preventing drug addiction starts with education. Education in schools, communities and families helps prevent misusing a substance for the first time. Other ways to prevent substance use disorder:

  • Don’t try illegal drugs, even one time.
  • Follow instructions for prescription medications. Don't ever take more than instructed. Opioid addiction, for instance, can start after just five days.
  • Dispose of unused prescriptions promptly to reduce risks of misuse by others.

Are there conditions that raise the risk for substance use disorder?

Many people have both a mental health condition and a substance use disorder. Sometimes, mental illness is there before the addiction happens. Other times, the addiction triggers or worsens a mental health disorder. When both conditions are treated properly, the chances for recovery improve.

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