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The earlier any intervention or treatment ensues, the better the eventual prognosis, and the less intensive the intervention needs to be. It's always better to act sooner rather than later, and drug and alcohol abuse prevention works very well when specific brief intervention strategies are used on people at risk to progress from risky use behaviors to addiction.

Drug abuse prevention…a few words from a trusted authority figure can go a long way

Once heavy or binge drug or alcohol use becomes dependency, the intensity of therapy needed increases exponentially, and some people can never seem to overcome addiction. It's far better to prevent the occurrence of an addiction, and research has shown that a brief intervention with a trusted authority figure before addiction has emerged can be a very effective way to encourage a reduction in risky use behaviors.

The intervention can be very brief and casual, and may occur only once, with a possible follow up phone call or email…basically, a very minimally disruptive treatment to drug or alcohol abuse.

A brief preventative intervention is simply a conversation with a position in authority, ideally known and trusted, about the dangers of abuse and the benefits of reducing consumption. Often resource and reading materials are given, and there should ideally be some follow up to check on progress in the weeks and months after the intervention.

Physicians, counselors, human resource personnel and others are in a unique position as known and trusted authority figures to enact behavioral change, at minimal cost and with minimal disruption.

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Page last updated Aug 05, 2010

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