Drug and alcohol addiction is a plague in many families today. The damage in relationships and self-destruction seems beyond repair in some cases and at least hinders potential as a subsidiary. I want to address teenagers in this article since generally, this is where it begins in adults. What options do teenagers have for drug and alcohol rehabilitation? As parents, we first have to distinguish between a problem and normal teenage moodiness. If you do hold your kid suspect to drug or alcohol abuse, there are some possible signs:
- Bloodshot eyes
Around half of new drug users begin before the age of 18, according to some statistics and alcohol is prevalent mainly in high school seniors. Forty percent have been shown to use alcohol within the past month with as much as twenty percent binge drinking. Drug and alcohol abuse harms developing teenagers.
Social development is hindered by repelling those who are turned off by altered behavior as well as attracting those participating in drug and alcohol use. As parents, we take personal responsibility for the well-being of our child and addressing an unfortunate problem such as drugs and alcohol fits into that category. Professionals use a system of measurements when diagnosing alcoholism. Observing several of these in your loved ones may warrant further steps.
- Using large amounts of alcohol or continuing to drink longer than planned
- Wanting to cut back on your consumption or stopping all together without success
- Contributing a lot of time to obtain or recover from alcohol
- Having cravings related to using alcohol
- Failing to uphold your home, work or school responsibilities
- Continuing alcohol use after pertinent relationship problems
- Sacrificing activities that may prevent you from drinking
- After you are put in danger due to alcohol, you continue to drink
- Continuing to drink when it can worsen an existing physical or psychological problem
- Tolerance build-up causing the need for more to receive the same effect
Teenagers Need Special Treatment
Adolescents shouldn’t be treated for addiction in the same method as an adult would. Many other factors need to be considered and addressed in the recovery process. Education is a crucial factor in young adults who may not even be aware of the complication. To them, they are merely dealing with things such as anxiety, anger depression or boredom. In reality, they are attempting to avoid life lessons that should build their character and prepare them for adulthood.
Many teenagers suffering from drug and alcohol addiction have at least one co-occurring disorder that should be addressed in treatment. Mood disorders, such as bipolar, dysthymia, and depression, are not uncommon. Anxiety and attention deficit disorders are also of concern. Schizophrenia is more severe but is a concern that is more prevalent among teenage substance abusers. With co-occurring disorders, the treatment may last longer since it is necessary to medicate the adolescent properly. The patient, in this case, will need careful monitoring while undergoing treatment for the substance abuse and simultaneously addressing a disorder.
Methods that are used during treatment for juvenile rehabilitation can vary from that of adults. One practice involves five principles referred to as motivational interviewing. These principles are:
- Reflective listening through empathy
- Comparing the patient’s goals and values to their current behavior
- Avoiding confrontations
- Adjusting to the resistance rather than opposing it directly
- Instilling confidence in the patient’s ability for self-motivation, expression, and controlling their social environment
Multidimensional family therapy may also be put into practice. This technique involves addressing behavioral problems such as substance abuse, delinquency, antisocial behavior, family and school strain, as well as emotional difficulties. Its design is to enhance family functioning and decision-making skills. MDFT can be integrated at any level of required treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy may also be employed for teenage drug and alcohol addiction. The focus of CBT is towards patterns of thinking, leading the patient into difficulties. Motivational incentives also address patterns of thinking through a reward-based program.
An intervention is often required with young drug abusers. In their eyes, there is no problem nor a need for treatment. Picking out a plan beforehand is highly recommended allowing for an immediate response following the meeting. Dealing with teenage drug and alcohol abuse is an unpleasant experience, but the hope is on the horizon if you are only willing to face it. Take hold of this impasse with courage, knowing the road ahead can only get better. Call one of our counselors at 800-411-8019.