3 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS

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3 3 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS Discovering that a teen is taking drugs or alcohol is worrisome. Parents not only worry about the impact on a child s health, but also the possible impact on their future. Substance abuse by teenagers is particularly alarming when parents discover the risks associated with common drugs that are abused.

4 Substance abuse is always a complicated situation because the causes that make drugs seem appealing can vary between individuals and their personal situations. Even though teenagers can have a wide variety of reasons that they try drugs and continue to use them in the future, certain reasons are more common than others. A key reason that some teenagers use drugs is the availability that increases when they obtain a vehicle or are able to start driving a parent s car. According to DrugFree.org, teenagers who may not have tried drugs in the past can get tempted once they have a car or a friend has a car due to the ability to move around easily and find locations that have a lower level of adult supervision. The availability is a key reason that some teenagers are willing to try certain substances. When drugs are easy to obtain, teenagers might not think about the potential consequences of substance abuse. Their friends might talk about the good feelings or they might simply develop curiosity due to the constant message that drugs are bad for them. 4 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS

5 It is not an uncommon concern for parents to worry about peer pressure. Teenagers have a desire to fit in with certain friends or the group of teens that are popular in their school. The effort to fit in with a certain group or clique can cause them to give in when they are offered a substance. Overcoming peer pressure is challenging for teenagers. DrugFree. org suggests that it is the desire to be included with peers that tempts teens to try the substances. It is particularly true of teens who have moved to a new school or who are struggling to make friends in school for any reason. Certain substances, such as alcohol, are primarily used to help improve teen socialization skills. DrugFree.org states that teens may feel uncomfortable in certain social settings, so they are tempted to drink alcohol or use another substance to help calm down and lose some of the insecurities that make them uncomfortable. Developing a teen s self-esteem and confidence from a young age might help reduce the risk, but socializing is a stressful situation, particularly for teens who are naturally introverted or may be new to the area. The effort to get along with others in a social setting can trigger the temptation to abuse drugs. 5 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS

6 Emotional pain or psychological conditions are a common cause of substance abuse in teens and adults. Running from an emotionally painful situation, trauma or attempting to self-medicate with a drug when mental health conditions develop can result in taking substances that are ultimately causing more harm. Emotional pain can stem from several different sources. Teenagers who were abused in their childhood or who experienced some form of trauma when they were young have a higher risk of abusing drugs than those who grew up in a happy home. Mental health conditions can develop in any teenager, so the risk associated with psychological conditions can apply to any teen. Watching for signs of a mental health condition may help reduce the risk, but only if measures are taken to get the appropriate help for the situation before it can get out of control. 6 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS

7 DrugFree.org states that transitions in a teen s life can cause emotional upheaval that makes substance abuse seem tempting. Transitions can take many different forms. Common transitions that impact a teenager s life include: Parents who are getting divorced Moving to a new town or state Starting puberty Transferring to a new school the end of puberty The transitions that impact a teenager the most will vary. For example, some teens may struggle with a change in schools while others will adjust easily. In cases of divorce, a teen may not be impacted dramatically if the parents were already separated or the problem was developing over years and they already expected the change. Dealing with transitions is challenging for some teenagers and can make it tempting to try alcohol, drugs or other substances as a method of dealing with concerns, anxieties, fears or even excitement about the changes. Although the reasons that teenagers use substances will often fall into a specific category, recognize that each teenager is different and their specific reasons for trying a substance will vary. The common causes may not always apply to every teenager who chooses to try an illicit drug or alcohol. 7 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS

8 The common substances that teenagers abuse will vary based on location, but certain drugs are more popular than others. By recognizing the common substances, it is possible to identify the signs that a teen is using a drug inappropriately or illicitly. MARIJUANA According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 36.4 percent of illicit drug use by teenagers is marijuana abuse. The rate of marijuana abuse has increased over the past year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The increased rate of abuse is primarily related to the perception of the drug. Since marijuana has been legalized for medical use in certain states, teenagers have a lower perceived risk when they think about the drug. Teens do not necessarily see the substance as dangerous, so they are more willing to try it when it is offered. SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA Although the name suggests that the drug has the same level of risk as marijuana, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that the risking rate of synthetic marijuana abuse is a large concern because it is laced with harmful chemicals. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 11.3 percent of teenagers in 12th grade admit to trying synthetic marijuana. The problem with the drug is that it is very dangerous and the health risks are not fully understood. Teenagers assume that the substance is not dangerous because it is called synthetic marijuana, but the fact is that the substances are extremely dangerous as a result of the inconsistent chemicals that are used to create the substance. 8 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS

9 VICODIN Vicodin abuse closely follows Adderall with 7.5 percent of teenagers in 12th grade trying the drug for recreational purposes, states the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The opiate drug is commonly prescribed for pain, so it is readily available and many teenagers may find the drug in their parent s medicine cabinet or might be prescribed the drug for injuries or accidents that cause pain. The most commonly abused drugs are constantly changing, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that cocaine abuse, inhalant abuse and ecstasy abuse has dropped significantly over the past year. ADDERALL Adderall is a prescription medication. According to Drugs.com, Adderall was developed to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder. Since it is a prescription drug, some cases of Adderall abuse may be related to a legitimate medical condition. The problem is that the drug is not always used appropriately or according to the suggestions of a doctor. Adderall abuse accounts for roughly 7.6 percent of teenager drug abuse, states the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Since it is prescribed for ADHD, it is a medication that teenagers can find easily. 9 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS

10 10 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS When a teenager is abusing drugs or alcohol, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Even if they have not yet developed a physical or emotional dependence on the substance, the risk of developing an addiction is high when teenagers are abusing illicit or prescription substances.

11 The days of treating a teenager like an adult have shifted as the medical community has recognized that teenagers have different reasons and complications impacting their decision to abuse drugs. Teenagers do not respond well to the approaches that work well with adults because they might not be in denial of their problems or be taking drugs for the same reasons. According to the US National Library of Medicine, parents can select options for their teen based on the intensity and duration of their substance abuse. The options available for teen treatments include: Medically managed inpatient treatment, which is designed for severe addictions or teenagers with medical risks Outpatient treatment, which allows a teen to attend school while meeting with professionals once or twice per week Intensive outpatient treatment, which has more weekly sessions, but still allows a teen to stay at home Residential treatment, which requires a teen to stay in the program for a set amount of time Early intervention services, which is most appropriate when a teen has tried a substance and is not yet addicted In most cases, parents can try an outpatient program to help a teen before turning to more intensive programs that take a child out of school and require him or her to stay in the treatment facility. 11 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS

12 The common treatment approaches for teenagers are similar to the approaches used by practitioners in adult treatment programs. Teens will still receive counseling services, but the topics discussed during the treatment and the method of handling problems is not the same. Services that are usually offered by the treatment program include: Family therapy helps teens by giving them the home environment they need to feel supported when they are trying to overcome substance abuse. Depending on the reasons for the drug use, the goal of family counseling will vary. Individual counseling is designed to help identify the causes of addiction. The teen talks to a counselor on an individual basis and discusses different topics. It allows a counselor to identifying the root cause of addiction so that they can arrange an appropriate treatment program. Family Counseling Group Therapy Individual Counceling Cognitive therapy and alternative therapy may or may not be used, depending on the situation. The cause of the substance abuse and the individual teenager will determine the appropriate way to handle the treatment process after providing initial counseling services. Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy Alternative Treatments Counseling is the common ground between all of the programs because it helps medical professionals determine the appropriate way to manage a teen s addiction or substance abuse. Treating a teenager is not the same as an adult because they have different reasons for abusing drugs and they are still in the middle of mental and physical development. Providing the appropriate treatment for their substance abuse is only possible when the right approach to treating the root cause of the problem is identified and applied to the situation. 12 DRUG REHAB FOR TEENAGERS

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