Preventing Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Drug abuse costs US taxpayers billions of dollars in preventable health care, law enforcement, crime, and other costs, not to mention the emotional costs to the abusers and their families. But, as the sentence states, it is preventable. Addiction is a developmental disease, usually starting during adolescence when the brain is still going through critical developmental phases. Studies have shown that prevention and early intervention work best. Early intervention programs such as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and The Courage to Speak Foundation, which is “saving lives by empowering youth to be drug-free and encouraging parents to communicate effectively with their children about the dangers of drugs” are best at preventing future alcohol and drug abuse.