Like most things, addictions is often the culmination of a number of other issues that have been around for much longer than the drug abuse has. While researchers have worked for decades on a way to determine the definitive cause of addiction, the simple fact of the matter is that there is relatively little that we know about what causes the disease outright. There are, however, many ways to ensure that your chances of becoming addicted remain slim. While the solutions below are in no way comprehensive, they are a great place to start. Studies indicate that one of the best ways to prevent an over-reliance on anything (including drugs) is to deal with the demons of your past first and foremost. Regret and anxiety from the past can push an individual to pursue a number of dangerous and unhealthy activities in an attempt to drown away unpleasant thoughts and feelings. If it is too painful for you to go down that path alone, try seeking out a therapist or even a trusted family friend, mentor, or advisor to help you go back and address these issues. Another way to drastically decrease chances of addiction is to surround yourself with individuals that both support you as a friend and allow you to be yourself. Acceptance is a huge issue for many people, and, particularly if you are a member of a minority group, it can be hard to find people that will champion the person you are and support you in your decision to be that person. A sense of belonging also helps to boost self esteem and minimize the effects of social discrimination or traumas faced because you are who you are. With many addictions linked to a minimal sense of self-worth or isolation, it pays to open yourself up to a group that gets you. Additionally, a group of similarly minded people can help you face issues that you may not otherwise have been able to face. Finally, developing close ties with programs and activities that stimulate your mind and encourage you to be healthy and happy is a huge way to avoid things that commonly trigger addiction. Whether it is a sport that you participate in recreationally, a church choir, or a hobby that you are passionate about, research indicates that doing things that encourage healthy interaction and surround you with positive stimuli can often occupy your mind and mitigate the dangers of triggers, certain environments, and poisonous people!
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