Make the Most of Protective Factors

Protective factors are elements in a person’s life that help reduce the risk of having problems with alcohol or drugs. These can be elements that allow an individual to:

  • Develop personal and social skills
  • Increase self-esteem

Someone with greater personal and social skills and positive self-esteem can make better decisions for himself or herself. These decisions can affect drinking, drug use and gambling habits, as well as other aspects of his or her life.

Here are examples of protective factors:

  • Having a quality social network that, among other things, allows you to:
    • Share your experiences
    • Help and be helped
    • Offer and receive affection, etc.
  • Being committed to organized activities in different areas, such as:
    • Playing a sport or an instrument on a regular basis
    • Being in a choir or on a sports team
    • Being involved in your neighbourhood or with family activities
    • Volunteering

Protective factors allow you to acquire or develop various social and personal skills, including:

  • Interacting well with others: assertiveness, respect for others, good communication, etc.
  • Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
  • Believing in your future and setting goals
  • Having a circle of friends who share your interests
  • Having better lifestyle habits regarding physical activity, diet and sleep

Other factors can help reduce the risk of developing disorders associated with drinking, drug use and gambling. To learn more, read Maintaining Good Mental Health.