Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment
Addiction can wreak outright havoc in most anyone’s daily life. This is especially the case when addition takes hold in an adolescent’s life.
As many as 1.5 million teenagers struggled with substance abuse problems in 2011, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine. With addiction rates steadily rising, the number of teens struggling with addiction problems increases with each passing year.
Adolescent substance abuse can have adverse effects on a teen’s physical development and psychological stability. Without needed treatment help, the likelihood an addicted teen will grow into an adult with addiction problems increases considerably.
Adolescent substance abuse treatment offers the type of structure and guidance needed to help a teen get back on the right track in his or her life. Talk therapies, medication therapies and support group work all play a role in helping an adolescent take steps towards a drug-free lifestyle.
The Effects of Substance Abuse
Addictive substances target certain vital brain chemical processes. Both drugs and alcohol have a chemical make-up that easily integrates within the brain’s chemical system. For this reason, adolescents who engage in substance abuse practices on a frequent basis have difficulty controlling or stopping an addiction habit.
During the teenage years, the body undergoes a range of developmental changes that, for the most part have a tremendous impact on an adolescent’s future health and overall potential. Development changes include –
- Hormonal shifts
- Metabolism processes
- Brain development
- Psychological development
Since the brain regulates how these changes unfold, any interference can have negative repercussions for years to come. Ultimately, substance abuse damages vital brain structures and impairs the brain’s ability to regulate normal developmental processes. Without needed treatment help, a teen’s quality of life will see continued decline much like what takes place in the life of an adult addict.
Substance Abuse Treatment Benefits
Addiction, in and of itself, takes on a lifestyle of its own where getting and using addictive substances becomes the primary motivation in a person’s life. The physical and psychological effects of addiction not only impair a teen’s physical development, but can also have grave implications on his or her sense of identity and ability to form meaningful relationships with others.
Adolescent substance abuse treatment works to break the mental hold of addiction while at the same time helping teens develop the types of coping skills that make it possible to live a drug-free lifestyle.
Adolescent substance abuse treatment may take the form of –
- Detox treatment
- Residential treatment
- Outpatient treatment
Ultimately, the severity of a teen’s addiction determines which type of treatment program will best meet his or her needs.
When to Consider Substance Abuse Treatment for Your Teen
While substance abuse problems can take any number of forms, certain definite signs indicate when it’s time to consider adolescent substance abuse treatment for your teen. Signs to watch out for include –
- Noticeable decline in personal hygiene and grooming habits
- Decline in school performance
- Missing days at school
- Engaging in criminal-type behaviors (stealing, vandalism)
- Isolative behaviors
- Loss of interest in recreational pursuits
- Frequent illness (colds, flu, headaches, stomachaches)
- Ongoing conflicts with family members
When left unattended, these signs only get worse with time. In effect, the sooner your teen gets needed treatment help the better chance he or she has of walking away from drugs and alcohol for good.