Substance Abuse Prevention Program

The daily objective reality cannot be entirely controlled, and such unpleasant factors as the lack of parental supervision, poor social skills, availability of drugs at school, and the other socially provoked factors will continue influencing each person. Substance abuse prevention program implies minimalizing the risks of addiction deceases suggesting the number of methods and practices focused on the inner power of each personality. The methods are supposed to improve self-esteem, the spirit, and thoughts in order to overcome the negative pressure from the environment. During this term, there was an opportunity to experience some practices, which are fundamental in the substance abuse prevention program. This essay will explore how practices of music, laughter and humor, color, guided imagery, forgiveness, and gratitude aid in substance abuse prevention program. 


Music Therapy

Substance use and music therapy share one similarity   they both alter or provoke an emotion or mood (Doak, 2002), so everyone can easily apply this method and trace all possible changes in the mood immediately. If an experienced music therapist is not a family member or, for some reasons, is not available 24/7, people should consider the music quality that they are going to use in daily practice. A psychological survey in a private hospital in Brisbane, Australia, demonstrated that all participants of music therapy experiment felt better if they listen to the music they like (Baker et al.). 

On the other hand, it is a generally known fact that music can darken one’s mood. For those who have already had negative experience of substance addiction, the second important aspect of music healing affect is its newness. A person can randomly try new sounds never listened before and especially avoid compositions preferred during hard addiction time. Old favorite songs may be associated with taking substances and arouse memories enhancing the relapse risk. 

However, all classical music is known for health benefit on physical body, mind, and soul. Meditation music creates a perfect atmosphere for inner self-contact and personal fundamental nature investigation. Fortunately, there is a variety of records such as sea bubbles sound, singing of birds, and numerous instrumental relaxing compositions for meditation. Nevertheless, people should be aware and take portions of meditation music carefully as it is only an instrument to recognize oneself better and not the way to escape reality. 

Fast beat music may help to concentrate on thoughts or some activity, or even makes one want to dance. Music therapy cannot be restricted by pure listening. Playing an instrument and singing are helpful, when listening is not enough to cope with emotions. Thus, when playing a musical instrument, a person will express him’/herself. It can be concluded that one’s renewal method can be destructive for another person, and only thoughtful and individual approach to music therapy can be really healing and helpful. 

Humor and Laughter

One should not underestimate the role of humor and laughter in life. The dullest daily routine may be decorated with subtle touch of humor and become fascinating. One of the reasons for dour mood and heavy thoughts is the outstanding innate wish of being accepted and loved. Sometimes it seems as if one is not accepted anywhere, and if a person is an object of jokes and mockery, he/she will feel frustrated. It is natural to feel out of place when a person has just joined a new company or class. Some people can be afraid of being not ideal or being ridiculous. This fear can really be damaging for the mind and make a person think narrowly and focus on stereotypes. In such situations, only humor can eradicate this fear. The simplest means to develop the sense of humor is to watch comedies. Incredible vivid mimics of Jim Carrey seems to make everyone laugh out loud. If not, a person may “ask” any other talented stand-up specialist to “teach” hi/her laughing. Maybe someone’s sleeping sense of humor will be triggered by Aziz Ansari, George Carlin, Louis C. K., Eddie Izzard, Russell Peters, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Robin Williams or Dylan Moran. Being funny and ridiculous for one’s friends or peers is enjoyable and helpful for all. Jokes can be found in books, videos, films, own life experience, and absolutely everywhere around us. Our good-hearted joke or friendly smile may favorably change our own mood and mood of people surrounding us. Humor can ease any tension caused by mere misunderstanding, and any unpleasant idea can be successfully promoted if combined with good jokes. For instance, we can observe it in Bernie McGrenahan’s practice. He starts his public speeches with jokes, and after half an hour of relax he comes to uneasy substance abuse prevention topic, and people like it.


Colors influence peoples everywhere – it is only a matter of keeping their eyes open. The healing power of colors was first investigated in the 6th century BC by Orpheus, the founder of the first metaphysical school in Greece, who applied color as a method of healing and spiritual awareness. Nowadays, color matters for people’s homes and cloth design, and it is important to be aware of the positive and negative impact of different colors on people’s mind and feelings. Color therapists consider colors have energy vibrations assisting in body and mind treatment. There are seven basic colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet each vibrating at specific frequency. Red is known for its vitality, courage and self-confidence. However, continuous contact with red can not only make one energetic but also aggressive. Walls in bedroom should not be red as it will be impossible to sleep well. Orange is a mix of red and yellow thus comprising physical energy and mental activity. Orange brings happiness and optimism.   The best healing effect has green color. This is the color of nature and harmony; it balances physical and spiritual energies, and makes one feel calm and peaceful. Pink is also a quiet color, which gives one a feeling of comfort and shelter. Yellow can wake up mental activity, increases mindfulness, and strengthens nerves. Blue has a relaxing impact on the mind and especially helpful for sleep problems and calming down of hyper-active children. Indigo deals with our intuition, imagination and helps to improve our contact with sub-consciousness. Violet is devoted to spiritual life and brings us the inner power. White is color of divine, the highest perfection.  One should be accurate with grey and black and the other dull colors as they can cause depression. 

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery deals with specific problem a person has. The visual object is chosen personally in the presence of therapist, and afterwards the patient concentrates upon this image and goes deeper to get relaxation effect or to find some way to solve his/her problem. In practice, a therapist assists to manage the image. This method is a kind of soft hypnosis as it contacts whit subconscious mind. The visual object evokes some memories subconscious mind. These things can be obstacles in problem solving, which were not realized by consciousness. Visualization, or guided imagery, is also used to encounter the body’s inner power to regulate all processes and restore balance. Practically, there is more than one form of guided imagery. Positive imagery is the mostly spread technique, when some pleasurable event, scene or object enable person to feel calm, marked by peace and comfort. Any natural scene or object may be used for relaxation - sea nature, forest, flowers, sky, whatever environment where the person feels comfortable.  And the opposite of positive imagery is negative or aversive imagery. In this technique some nasty images are applied. For example people who want to leave off smoking may picture themselves having ugly, tobacco destroyed teeth and skin, stinking breath and fingers, smoker cough. Those who have bad eating habit could imagine themselves corpulent, fat and having problems with clothes. Coping imagery implies creating some problem solving image, for instance, you may visualize some smart replies for rude people, and use them in the situation when your peers or someone else behaves in offensive manner. Anti-future shock imagery helps to prepare oneself for some painful probation, as the illness or a death of parent. This method minimizes stress affection. 


Forgiveness is recommended for soul relief, when it is overloaded with unpleasant memories, grudges or pain. Sometimes, such luggage is enormous, and every next step in life is harder and harder. Person sinks into own glum reflections and gets the feeling of loneliness and desperation. This dangerous mood often makes people search some remedy to suppress painful feelings. In such situation, people begin to eat more sweets or go shopping, or dancing, or choose something else to avoid and escape bad feelings. This mood can serve as one of the basic reasons for taking drugs. As a result of such disability to forgive a person who hurt in the past, the victim becomes aggressive and angry with the other people. Self-forgiveness is not less important thing in the healthy lifestyle. If a person hates him-/herself for each mistake, each pimple or slow progress in studies, he/she destroys his/her life, self-esteem, and soul. Undoubtedly, one should not ignore mistakes but admit and say ‘thank you” to them. Afterwards, a person will steadily improve and become better and stronger than before. Forgiveness is an important part of spiritual life and in any religion it is a background to such virtues as prudence, fortitude, temperance, justice, and love. There is no love and friendship without forgiveness as one needs to keep the heart open for people he/she takes care of. If a person learns to forgive, he/she will never feel lonely. 


People with substance abuse aptitude may be characterized by pessimistic view at their lives in all manifestations. They are not satisfied with the present, are afraid of the future, and may concentrate on negative past events for a long period of time. In other words, they do not want to accept reality as it is. Their own self-made reality is full of illusions. The reality rejection may be a sustainable ground for any addiction as a person focuses on some idea and does not see an objective world picture. All chances, talents, events or any advantages in the daily life are devaluated and taken for granted. People are not grateful for living in affluent countries, for their good health, and the ability to walk without crutches. Besides, they are not grateful for the sun and warm parent embrace, and for so many little things. Gratitude gives value to each puzzle segment and the picture becomes brighter, vital, and full of joy. Gratitude will not leave any space for sadness, depression, loneliness, envy, cruelty, and obsession. It can open any toughest heart and give hope to everyone. Surely, not all people are taught to be grateful and not all are thankful for everything. Good news is that gratitude can be developed. Step by step it can be involved by conscious daily practice. The diversity of formats is recommended for daily recording of what people are thankful for. It can be a diary journal, a stream of consciousness diary, a spiritual diary or a health journal. Any recording of gratitude will help to keep high spirits, thus preventing life devaluation and bitter thoughts. Gratitude diaries are also important for those who are already on their way to recover from addiction. When the mood worsens, diary reading is a perfect medicine.


There is no universal method for everyone to cope with substance abuse as it is always an individual option depending on abilities, preferences, and values. People should be thankful for each small victory and even the slowest progress in problem-solving. All substance abuse prevention methods require our daily choice and daily conscious working on thinking, feeling, and taking care of ourselves. It is crucial to exclude blaming other people for our feelings or our bad mood. If parents are rude or indifferent, we should try to watch their lives from their perspective, because, maybe, in their childhood or adolescence, they did not have even 1% advantages of those you are owing to them.

May 15, 2019 in Communications
Psychology of Music
Wallace Stevens: Evening without Angels

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