Addiction Prevention - Can Addiction be Prevented? | CASAColumbia

Can you prevent addiction?

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One way that addiction and risky substance use can be prevented is through screening and early intervention. Prevention must begin during childhood and extend into adulthood. Despite the benefits and availability of screening and early intervention tools, too few physicians routinely screen for tobacco/nicotine, alcohol and other drug use.

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Addiction Prevention Strategies

Messages that parents, doctors, teachers, the media and others in the community send about addiction and substance use can be extremely influential in helping to prevent addiction and reduce substance use.

School and community-based addiction prevention programs can help children, teens and adolescents:
  • Resist social pressures to engage in substance use
  • Strenghten their self-esteem
  • Improve decision-making and communication skills
  • Manage stress and anxiety

Other prevention strategies include:

  • Increasing taxes on tobacco and alcohol products to reduce use, particularly among young people
  • Reducing the availability of excess prescription medications
  • Restricting advertising of addictive substances, particularly to young people
  • Restricting marketing of addictive substances in ways that appeal to youth


  • CASAColumbia. (2012). Addiction medicine: Closing the gap between science and practice.
  • CASAColumbia. (2011). Adolescent substance use: America's #1 public health problem.