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Role Models and Addiction Treatment

Role Models and Addiction TreatmentMany factors influence each individual’s susceptibility to drug abuse and addiction, including genetics, exposure to drugs, mental health, and physical health. There is no arguing that the individuals we admire greatly impact our opinions on drug abuse and addiction.

How Can Others Positively and Negatively Influence Decisions to Use Drugs or Get Sober?

Almost every case of drug addiction is caused in part by relationship issues. Many people who develop addictions have suffered from physical or sexual abuse and try to use the temporary relief that drugs offer to run away from the pain. Others take drugs to fit in when they do not feel socially accepted for who they are or when they want to be noticed by other people. Others face neglect or abandonment. Some people have social anxieties that can only be alleviated through correcting chemical imbalances in their bodies, and they begin using the drugs irresponsibly and get addicted. So many issues that underlie drug addiction involve the addict’s relationships with other people. Whether they know it or not, there are always people in an addict’s life who influence the decision to either use or avoid drugs.

Who Can Act as a Role Model?

Beyond merely being an authority figure or an elder, a role model is someone whose opinion you highly value. You do not look up to this person or try to please him or her out of obligation, but out of admiration. Individuals who often fit the description of a role model, whether positive or negative, include the following:

  • Older siblings
  • Parents and other family members
  • Celebrities
  • Friends
  • Teachers

Environment, like genetics, is one of the major factors that influences drug abuse. Whether it is at home, school, or work, every person must at some point make a choice about drugs. Role models are pivotal in preparing the people they influence to say no when the time comes.

Unfortunately, negative role models abound. Parents and older siblings may set a bad example by using drugs themselves or not enacting consequences for drug use. Teachers can be negligent and fail to give students the drug education they might not be receiving at home. Celebrities often think more about themselves and maintaining their lifestyle than they do about the way that they impact their fans. Unfortunately, people in positions of power can fail, and the decision whether or not to use drugs is ultimately up to each person.

Role models also play a powerful role in addiction treatment. Many individuals struggle through addiction and recovery on a daily basis despite innumerable challenges. These people offer hope and encouragement to those who are not sure if they can take on the task of becoming and remaining sober. Sometimes a role model can mean the difference between continuing in a cycle of addiction and having a long-term recovery.

Help for Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call our toll-free helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about your professional treatment options. We are available 24 hours a day to help you find the treatment program that is right for you. Please call today.