Drug and Alcohol Rehab for Adolescents

Being a teenager has always been hard, but in today’s world, it’s even harder. The presence of social media has made some of the major issues that teens face – like peer pressure and bullying – even more severe. Add to that the challenges of trying to navigate life with two working parents or in a single-parent home, keeping up with school, attempting to perform well in sports and other extracurricular activities, the mounting responsibilities (many teens have to work in order to help support their families), and tragedies like school shootings, which seem to be occurring on a daily basis… All of these pressures are very difficult for adolescents to manage.

Given all of the trials and tribulations that teens are going through, it’s no wonder why so many young adults are turning to drugs and alcohol. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 70 percent of adolescents have used alcohol by the time they are seniors in high school, 50 percent have teens have used or abused illicit drugs, and 20 percent have reported that they have used prescription medications (painkillers, benzodiazepines, etc) for recreational purposes. These statistics are starling, and they really call attention to the fact that substance abuse and addiction among adolescents has become a widespread problem throughout the United States.

Signs of Substance Abuse and Addiction Among Teens

When teenagers begin using drugs or alcohol, they are at an increased risk of developing an addiction disorder by the time they reach adulthood. Therefore, it is important for parents, caregivers, teachers, and other important individuals in a teen’s life to be aware of the signs that can indicate drug or alcohol abuse and addiction.

It is important to note that while many teens do experiment with drugs and alcohol, not all of they are abusing these substances or dependent on them. With that said, if you notice any of the following signs in a teen in your life, there is a chance that he or she may have a problem:

  • Reduced academic performance
  • Disinterest; many teens who abuse and are addicted to substances and were once social active become disinterested in their friends and extracurricular activities.
  • Diminishing pride in appearance; poor hygiene, wearing dirty clothing, etc
  • Dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes
  • Avoidance; teens who are abusing and addicted to drugs or alcohol often avoid making contact with parents and other adults.
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in behavior; wild mood swings, irritability, uncontrollable laughter for no reason, etc
  • Lethargy
  • Acting secretive
  • Lashing out

If you spot any of these issues in a teen in your life, it’s important to take proper action. Parents, caregivers, older siblings, teachers, and other trusted adults should attempt to communicate with teens about important issues; including substance abuse and addiction. With proper intervention, it is possible to get your teen the help that he or she needs to prevent further problems, such as serious health issues and a lifetime of addiction. Speaking to a teen in a friendly, approachable, yet matter-of-fact way is recommended. Avoid blaming or criticizing, as your loved one will likely deny any claims and can ultimately lead to increased drug or alcohol abuse.

What Type of Substances do Teens Abuse?

Like adults, teens can abuse any type of substance; however, the cause of abuse amongst teens may be much different than the cause of abuse amongst adults. For example, teens often turn to substances as a result of peer pressure or as a way to escape mounting problems, such as bullying or serious responsibilities.

Some of the most common drugs that adolescents abuse include:

  • Alcohol, which is the most commonly abused substance amongst teens
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription medications, such as painkillers (OxyContin) and benzodiazepines (Xanax)
  • Over-the-counter medications, such as cold and flu medicines that contain DXM, a substance that suppresses coughs and can cause intoxicating effects.

Getting Help

If you suspect that your teen has a problem with drugs or alcohol, or he or she has admitted that a problem does exist, it’s important to get the right help. There are several rehab centers available that cater to adolescents; inpatient rehabs, intensive outpatient treatment programs, short-term rehabs, and 12-step programs are just some of the options available.

Whichever type of program you choose, it’s important to ensure that it caters to the unique needs of teenagers and that your loved one feels comfortable. With the right help, it is possible to treat adolescent substance abuse and addiction.

Help Is Available

For help finding a rehab center for adolescents, contact us today. We’ll connect you to a program that can provide your teen with the treatment that he or she needs.