It’s not uncommon for teens to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Our culture is steeped in the ideas of cultural rebellion and substance-infused parties. When casual use turns to abuse, that’s a problem. It’s far too easy for young bodies to develop dependencies and addictions to drugs and alcohol. Teenage addiction is widespread and affects whole families. Help is available for any young person who needs it.
The following are some key components of a typical teenage addiction treatment program:
- Behavior therapy
- Family involvement
- Healthcare services
- Home visits
- Peer-to-peer support
- Psychiatric assessments
- Positive reinforcement (rewards/incentives)
- Recreational activities
- Social interaction (volunteering, after school programs)
Teenage Drug Addiction Treatment
Although teenage addiction treatment programs differ from those geared toward adults, the same basic steps apply: assessment, detox, treatment, and aftercare.
Before a teen can enter treatment, he or she must undergo professional evaluation by an addiction specialist. Once a diagnosis is decided, the teen is placed under medical supervision until all traces of drugs and alcohol have exited their system. (If needed, medication is administered to alleviate cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.) Then comes the extended psychological and pharmacological treatment process.
Using a combination of therapy and the right medication, recovering adolescents learn to change their thought processes and behavioral tendencies in positive ways that will help steer them away from substance abuse. They experience the benefits of the change as it occurs, bit by bit, step by step, day after day.
After rehab, to ensure that the teen does not return to old ways, he or she is expected to participate in some form of continued treatment—usually group therapy sessions—for the foreseeable future. Several aftercare solutions are available through Sustain Recovery Services that encourage positive growth and development in addition to relapse prevention in addiction aftercare.
Teenage Addiction Treatment Barriers
Before being able to enroll in a treatment program, teenagers may have to overcome a number of obstacles. Some of these obstacles reflect the stigma against addiction and rehabilitation, while others reflect the pressure to use drugs and alcohol in the first place. These include:
- Availability of drugs or alcohol in or near the home
- Peer pressure
- Shame and embarrassment
- Unhealthy family situations
- Unwillingness to admit to having a problem
Teen addiction should be treated as early as possible. If left untreated, it leads to much more serious problems down the road. Addiction weighs heavy on the minds and spirits of friends and family as well, and teenagers must deal with the added stress of being in a confusing, and often scary, transitional period in their lives.
Signs of adolescent substance abuse are often mistaken for mere experimentation–something most teens do, like it or not–or missed completely because the teen hides them so well. If your teenager is already caught up in the addiction cycle, call us to discuss treatment options: (949) 407-9052.