Addiction often starts and continues because people don’t have strong enough drug refusal skills. These critical abilities can be mastered at the best Medication-Assisted treatment center Tacoma, WA has to offer, which helps to improve a person’s ability to overcome substance abuse for good.
What are Drug Refusal Skills?
Drug refusal skills refer to a person’s ability to say “no” to substance abuse. These skills include knowing how to avoid taking substances when offered and how to stay away from situations in which drugs may be abused. Often, these skills are taught to children and teens in programs such as D.A.R.E.
This is an important skill set to develop in order to prevent drug abuse. It is one thing to say “no” when you are forced into a situation. However, it is another thing entirely to know how to avoid taking drugs when they are available and being offered by peers or adults. If your child knows that he or she can refuse to take drugs when offered, it is less likely he or she will end up in situations where they might be pressured or forced into trying drugs.
However, people with an addiction may struggle to refuse drugs when offered. Even after going through rehabilitation treatment, some people may struggle to say no due to various types of social pressure. Understanding these elements helps a person improve their ability to refuse drugs and to stay clean for years to come.
How Social Pressure Influences These Skills
Drug refusal skills help people—both addicted individuals and those who haven’t tried substances—to manage social pressure more easily. Social pressure comes in at least two different forms and is often a challenging situation for many to handle. As a result, it is critical to understand these concepts and how they can influence a person’s drug abuse.
First of all, direct social pressure—such as somebody directly pressuring a friend to drink—is often hard to overcome. People inherently want to fit in with and please their friends and social connections. As a result, they may drink—even if they are trying to quit—or use other drugs. This problem is often how many people start abusing substances in the first place.
However, indirect social pressure is often more challenging to handle than direct pleas for drug use. For example, hanging out with people abusing cocaine—when trying to quit—often puts pressure on a person to abuse, even if their friends don’t ask them to use it. These behavioral and mental health situations are often very challenging and require specific treatment to manage.
Improving Refusal Skills
The importance of drug refusal makes it necessary to know smart coping methods and techniques that enhance this process. Thankfully, there are many different methods available for this purpose. And while these refusal skills techniques are suggested for teens, they can be adapted to adult situations and provide individuals with the best chance of avoiding relapses and drug abuse:
Explain Your Refusal
Often, people will accept good reasons for refusing drugs, such as “I need to be sober tomorrow for work.” It’s important to maintain a respectful, non-judgmental tone. The idea is to make it OK to refuse drugs without either of you feeling like you’ve let the other down.
If people keep trying to push drugs, it is essential to remain persistent. Rudeness isn’t necessary, but persistence and confidence are critical. Be firm in your refusals and convey a sense of confidence when refusing drugs. You may have to repeat yourself more than once before they back off.
Use Proper Body Language
Don’t look away from somebody when refusing drugs. Instead, look them in the eye, use a firm voice, and appear as confident as possible. The more determined you are, the less likely someone will try to challenge you.
Try to Redirect the Situation
When possible, try to change the focus from drug use to something else. For example, you might say, “We could go get something to eat instead.” This change is often possible when the other party isn’t suffering from addiction and is more of a casual user.
Leave the Situation
When all else fails, leaving the situation sends a powerful message to those who push drugs on others. If these people just don’t understand your situation, it’s time to exit the situation. No amount of explaining will make a difference for some people. In the end, you’re better off removing yourself from this environment.
Get Help Today
If for whatever reason, you are struggling with drug refusal, it may be time to try out some new care options. For example, a medication-assisted treatment center helps by weaning you off of substances with helpful replacement medications. And a mindfulness meditation therapy program can teach you how to cope with abuse triggers and stay clean for more extended periods—hopefully, for the rest of your life.
We can help you take control of your substance abuse and provide you with partial hospitalization, outpatient, and aftercare options for your addiction treatment needs. Our unique amenities program is expanding to include adventure therapy, such as water rafting, skiing, and snowboarding.
If you need help mastering your drug refusal skills, please contact us at Bayview Recovery today. Call 855.478.3650 to set up an appointment with one of our caring counselors and to learn more about our treatment options.