Tag Archive: teen substance abuse

  1. How Teens Can Admit Substance Abuse is a Problem

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    There is no age restriction on when an individual might get addicted to drugs. It can happen later in life too. However, the likelihood of an individual getting addicted at a younger age is much higher.

    The Signs of Drug Abuse

    It may seem hard to believe, but teens may not always realise that they have an addiction problem. They might think that they are merely using drugs and can stop at any time. Their family may also not realise that their teen is addicted, attributing any signs to normal, if extreme, teenage behavior. So how can a teen know whether or not they have an addiction problem? The following are some signs to watch out for:

    • Spending time with different friends
    • Not caring about appearance
    • Slipping grades
    • Skipping school or missing classes
    • Losing interest in activities
    • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
    • Problems with family members or friends

    If the teen suspects that they are developing an addiction, then they should ask for help immediately.

    Where to Find Help

    It is recommended that most teens approach their parents for help. If the teen has a good relationship with their parents, then they should definitely be their first point of contact. If it is not possible for the teen to ask their parents for help, for whatever reason, then they should find another adult they trust to talk to. This could be a close family friend, a teacher or coach.

    Going to their doctor should be the next step. It is important for the teen to check with their parents whether their doctor is comfortable with discussing or treating drug abuse. Not all doctors have the required experience and the teen should find a medical professional who does.

    Some teens may want to approach their doctor without talking to their parents, because they are concerned about their parents’ reaction. But they may also be afraid that the doctor will tell their parents, and this may be a barrier to the teen approaching their doctor for help in the first place.

    If a teen is thinking of approaching their doctor to talk about drug abuse, then they can rest assured that privacy laws prevent the doctor from telling the teen’s parents what was discussed between them, unless the teen signs a permission form.. In fact, doctors cannot even tell law enforcement about the teen’s drug use. The exception here is if the doctor believes that the teen is in danger of hurting themselves or others.

    Seeking Treatment

    The teen should seek advice from their parents and doctor about whether or not to enter a treatment program. It is not recommended that the teen try to quit drugs on their own. Stopping drug use is a difficult thing to do, and takes a lot of hard work and commitment. There is also the danger of relapse, without medical guidance. However, treatment works, and the teen can definitely recover.

    What kind of treatment can the teen expect? Most treatment programs can be tailored to the individual teen’s needs. There are treatment centers which offer outpatient treatment programs, which means the teen can still attend school part time. Or the teen may require residential treatment. Along with treatment, support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can go a long way towards getting the teen back to normal life.

    Sustain Recovery provides a safe, structured environment for adolescents to learn about living substance free. To learn more about the elements of transitioning to sober living, contact us about our programs and how it can help you.

  2. Success Factors in Teen Substance Abuse Recovery

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    Most parents will agree that nurturing a teen who is not plagued by drug or alcohol addiction is a challenge in and of itself. When addiction is added to the mix, raising a teen can be a trial that taxes even the most committed parent. Fortunately for those parents, counselors and therapists have identified several factors that will contribute to the success of a teen’s recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism. Applying and relying on these factors and techniques can help parents and teens through the inevitable struggles of addiction recovery.

    “Teen Addiction Sources”
    The first factor is to diagnose and understand the forces that led to a teen’s addiction problems in the first instance. Adolescents and teens wrestle with social and identity issues that would floor many adults, and those issues can lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues. When left untreated, those issues can drive a teen to seek temporary solace from drugs or alcohol. A teen’s defenses and resistance to counseling and therapy will be strong, but parents need to remain equally strong to encourage their teenaged children to stay with individual therapy in order to get a comprehensive diagnosis of any underlying problems. This may require a parent to cast aside judgments and beliefs if, for example, a teen’s psychological struggles are tied to gender or identity issues or if a teen is using abused substances to erase memories of abuse or bullying.

    “Initial Rehab Program”
    Adults who are motivated to defeat their addictions will generally complete an initial rehab program in 28 days. Because of the unique issues they face and the differences in the developments of their brains and personalities, teens and adolescents may require lengthier programs or more than one stay in a treatment program during the initial portions of their recoveries. Many adolescent-specific addiction programs offer 60- and 90-day treatments that have been shown to be more effective at contributing to the success of a teen’s long-term recovery. These programs are also geared toward beginning the treatment of a teen addict’s underlying psychological issues.

    “Aftercare Treatment”
    Perhaps the most significant factor that will contribute to a teen’s recovery from substance abuse is the aftercare treatment that he or she receives after completing rehab. Aftercare often involves the participation of a teen’s entire family to provide the support structure and monitoring needed to repel the temptations that a teen will feel to relapse into drug and alcohol use. Family members will have access to their own support groups to share ideas and encouragement, while a recovering teen participates in separate group and individual therapy, including 12-step programs that are geared toward teens. A well-structured aftercare program will also help a recovering teen to develop new interests and outlets to relieve the inevitable boredom that is experienced in recovery.

    “Outside Factors”
    The ultimate success of a teen’s recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism may depend on other factors that may not be controlled, including his or her race, ethnic, and social background, and financial resources to pay for different programs. Social services and insurance programs are becoming increasingly cognizant of the need to meld these factors with teen addiction recovery programs. Parents who are committed to helping their teens to achieve lifelong sobriety will want to do extensive research to uncover the best rehab programs and aftercare therapy that will assure the success of their teen’s recovery.

    Sustain Recovery Services in southern California has multiple resources to help teens and their parents with individualized programs that will increase their chances of a successful recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information about our services or to arrange a confidential consultation with one of our counselors.

  3. Examining Teen Attitudes Toward Drugs

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    Examining Teen Attitudes Toward DrugsIn a study conducted by New York University for the journal Prevention Science, it was found that high school seniors who frown upon the use of drugs are most likely to be female, non-smoking, and highly religious. The study was conducted in response to the growing cultural and legal tolerance of marijuana throughout the nation. Young people in particular are using marijuana more than ever.


    Teen Attitudes Toward Drugs

    Survey data among 29 thousand high schools, both public and private, revealed what most people already assume: teens who have used drugs themselves are consistently less critical of others’ drug use. However, that may be an oversimplification. For example, marijuana users were open to LSD and ecstasy but had less desirable attitudes toward, or even qualms against, cocaine and heroin use.  The socio-economics are even more surprising. Turns out, privileged students are no less tolerant of drug use than their lower-class peers.


    The Race Factor

    Some of the data appears to reflect racial factors as well. Black students were more open to powder cocaine and ecstasy, which are known to be abused primarily by whites. It has also been suggested that the music industry, which tends to glorify these two drugs in particular, has something to do with this cultural attitude. 

    It may be difficult to prevent use of substances like alcohol or marijuana among young people, but at the end of the day, prevention efforts should be directed towards young people becoming users of multiple substances. To achieve this, changes in public health spheres, as well as policy, will be necessary.


    The Stigma Factor

    One of the greatest challenges youth face in seeking recovery isn’t availability, but the stigma against them. Many adolescents are embarrassed about what their peers might think or how their futures may be effected. In reality, when it comes to life successes–both career and relationship–it’s clear that active addiction is far more damaging than whatever stereotypes an addict may face for attending treatment.


    There is nothing weak about seeking help when you need it. Here at Sustain, we provide young addicts with the tools and guidance they need to put the brakes on the addiction cycle. To learn about addiction treatment and adolescent aftercare programs, give us a call at 949-637-5499.

Sustain Recovery changed my life in a way I never considered remotely possible. I arrived in a place where I knew nobody. Sustain Recovery gave me tools so that I never had to be alone again. I learned how to live like an adult and have genuine relationships with other human beings. I gained a sense of self respect, love, and pride from the challenges I was given by staff. I was able to work through the recent loss of my father and I achieved my goal of not taking any psychiatric medication.
I learned that life is an endless balancing act. I have to continually work on myself and my relationships with the people in my life. The staff at Sustain Recovery are all incredibly experienced and spiritual. They were available to me whether I wanted their help or not. Through their efforts and experience, I experienced the inner workings of having an intimate, loving relationship with a loving creator.
Sustain Recovery is “home” for me. I discovered a loving, caring family that helped launch me to a place I would have never dreamed and, if I would have dreamed it, I would never have believed I would be able to accomplish it.

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