Adolescent Addiction Programs
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the most abused substance in the world today is alcohol. This is swiftly followed by marijuana, which is the most abused illegal drug particularly among young people. The number of adolescents addicted to alcohol or drugs in the United States has risen sharply. However, despite their young age it is still possible for a teenager to receive professional help. There are a number of adolescent addiction programs available to those young people who need it.
The Causes of Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Young people make the decision to abuse alcohol and drugs for a range of varied reasons. It can be something as simple as trying to keep in with the cool kids at school, to trying to block out past physical abuse. Some teenagers are more at risk of abusing a substance than others. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, teenagers are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol if they are from a family with a substance abuse history, suffer from low self-esteem or if they are suffering from depression or any other mood disorder.
The Risks of Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Young people who abuse alcohol, drugs or both, are increasing their chances of experiencing serious physical and mental health problems. Physical side-effects of addiction include weight loss, tremors and stomach cramps. Adolescents who use drugs or alcohol also stand a greater chance of being depressed, of dropping out of school or receiving poor grades and short or long-term memory loss. Young people who have an addiction are also more likely to engage in risky sexual encounters. This then opens them up to the risk of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The longer a person abuses drugs or alcohol, the more likely they are to become intolerant to it. This means the person needs to take more drugs or alcohol to achieve the same effects. This increases the chances of an overdose or alcohol poisoning, both of which can be fatal. While it is possible to give up a substance addiction with no help at all, attending a rehabilitation program will ensure the teen gets the medical and psychological support they need. This will give them the very best chance at a successful recovery.
Choosing a Treatment Program
Young people have very different needs to those of older substance addicts, which means not all rehabilitation centers will offer programs that are suitable for adolescents. The thought of their teenager mixing with older addicts is often what delays a parent taking the action needed. However, there are specific adolescent addiction programs available, including special academic programs. This works with the youngster both in a center, while also encouraging them to continue with their school work. Another program is the AA 12-step program, which works in much the same way as the adult version except it has been tailored to meet the needs of the younger addict. Many rehabilitation centers run activity courses, these are often completed in conjunction with behavioral therapy and are designed to show youngsters what else they can be doing with their lives.
A standard part of any adolescent addiction program is relapse prevention, this is where high-risk youngsters are given extra therapy in an attempt to prevent a relapse. Rehab will also work with the youngster to break old habits. Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is understanding the triggers that make them abuse in the first place. By teaching them how to avoid triggers, as well as coping strategies the teenager stands a better chance of making a successful recovery. Just as with adult rehabilitation, adolescent programs can be completed either by staying in the rehab center or visiting on scheduled days.