Protective Factors

Protective factors are characteristics, skills, conditions, or circumstances that reduce the likelihood of a negative outcome, such as substance abuse or addiction. Protective factors can act as buffers or safeguards, making it less likely for an individual to engage in substance use or to experience negative consequences if they do use substances.

Protective factors can operate at various levels, including the individual, family, community, and societal levels. Examples of protective factors include strong social connections, high self-esteem, effective coping skills, parental monitoring and involvement, access to treatment and support services, and supportive community environments.

In addiction prevention and treatment, protective factors are often used as a framework to identify and build strengths and promote resilience in individuals and communities. Enhancing protective factors and reducing risk factors makes it possible to reduce the prevalence of substance abuse and addiction and improve the overall health and well-being of communities.

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