Addiction often starts and continues because people don’t have drug refusal skills that are strong enough. You can master these essential skills to refuse drugs at Bayview Recovery’s medication-assisted treatment center in Washington. Call 855.478.3650 to start on the road to overcoming substance abuse and addiction for good.
What Are Drug Refusal Skills?
Drug refusal skills refer to a person’s ability to say “no” to substance abuse. Two of the most critical drug refusal skills are:
- How to avoid taking substances when offered
- How to stay away from situations in which someone may abuse drugs
Often, these skills are taught to children and teens in programs such as D.A.R.E. in school. This is an important skill set to develop to prevent drug abuse. It is one thing to say “no” when forced into a situation. However, it is another thing to know how to avoid taking drugs when they are available and offered by peers or adults. If your child knows that they can refuse to accept drugs when offered, it is less likely they will end up in situations where they might be pressured or forced into trying drugs.
How Social Pressure Influences These Skills
Drug refusal skills help people 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 or use other drugs even if they don’t want to do it. 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 Drug 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 drug 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 essential to maintain a respectful, non-judgmental tone. The idea is to make it OK to refuse drugs without feeling like you’ve let others 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 don’t understand your case, 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.
Find Addiction Treatment and Related Services in Washington at Bayview Recovery
Please contact Bayview Recovery today if you need help mastering your drug refusal skills in Washington. Call 855.478.3650 to set up an appointment with one of our caring counselors and to learn more about our treatment options. It may not always be easy to refuse drugs in Washington, but we can provide you with professional help to master saying “no” to drugs.
Dave Cundiff, MD, MPH is an experienced leader in the field of Substance Use Disorder treatment. He works with patients suffering from Substance Use Disorder to evaluate their medication needs and prescribe treatments accordingly. In addition, he regularly participates in all-staff debriefing sessions involving peers, nurses, and other prescribers. He also reviews and advises on policies, procedures, and techniques for treating substance use disorder.