When your teen struggles with alcohol abuse, binge drinking, and/or alcohol addiction, a number of serious problems can develop both for your addicted child and for other members of the family. Teen alcohol rehab programs offer medical detox, personal counseling, group counseling, family therapy, and aftercare services designed to address the needs of your teen and the interpersonal relationships of the family that will support and sustain that teen as he or she progresses past alcohol abuse.
Teen Alcohol Rehab
Are you concerned that your teen is abusing alcohol or developing an alcohol addiction? There are a number of options in alcohol rehab and treatment that can help you provide the right level of treatment to your child. These options can also help him or her begin the process of moving past alcohol and other substances of abuse.
Teen Alcohol Abuse Statistics
Teen alcohol abuse and addiction is a serious and ongoing problem in the United States. Far from ‘a phase’ or ‘normal experimentation,’ the statistics published in the Monitoring the Future study each year show that more and more teenagers are choosing to indulge in drinking and will, as a result, be involved in an accident or develop a lifelong addiction to drugs and alcohol.
- 11 percent of 8th graders, 22 percent of 10th graders and 27 percent of high school seniors in the United States reported binge drinking in the past year.
- 50 percent of all high school seniors reported that they drank alcohol in the 30 days prior to being surveyed.
- In 2002, the US Government reported that 2.8 million binge drinkers were between the ages of 13 and 18.
Does Someone Needs Alcohol Treatment
Teen alcohol rehab help is not at all uncommon and though many parents are embarrassed by the idea that their teen could require addiction treatment, it’s a fact of life for more and more American families every year. Because drinking is so prevalent in American teen culture, many teens are diagnosed with alcoholism each year, and alcohol abuse including binge drinking is not only the precursor to that but comes with a host of problems all their own. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), almost 200,000 teens receive treatment for alcohol or other substance abuse issues each year. Unfortunately, it is estimated that there are just as many teens or more who would benefit from alcohol rehab but do not enroll and get the help they need.
If you are unsure if your teen needs alcohol rehab, consider the following signs of alcohol abuse, binge drinking and alcohol addiction:
- Personality changes. If your teen was once happy and outgoing or, conversely, depressed and withdrawn and that changes suddenly, it may be because your teen is drinking to alter his or her mood.
- Loss of interest in school or activities. If your teen is drinking, he or she is likely less interested in other hobbies and schoolwork. Their focus may shift to new friends who drink.
- Negative attitude. Alcohol is a depressant and binge drinking can cause physical illness, both of which can translate into a negative attitude when your teen is not actively drinking.
- Irresponsible behavior. Teenage drinkers will behave recklessly and without thought for the safety of others. The most notable example of this is driving while under the influence of alcohol.
- New friends. If your teen’s old friends do not start drinking, he or she will likely start spending more time with kids who do drink. The shift in peer groups may indicate that there is an issue with alcohol and drug abuse.
- Issues at school. Skipping class or full days at school, drinking on campus, and declining grades are all problems for teens who have a problem with alcohol.
- Secretive. If your teen becomes overly secretive about his or her whereabouts, activities, possessions and conversations, and routinely uses mouthwash, breath mints or showers to cover up the smell of alcohol, then alcohol abuse is likely an issue.
- Money problems. Teens who drink often have to pay a premium for alcohol since they can’t obtain it legally. They may often be out of money even when they’ve recently been paid allowance or for working, or they may ask to borrow money without paying it back.
- Reckless behavior. Driving under the influence, unprotected sex, vandalism and other poor choices are common among teens who drink.
Teen Binge Drinking
Teen binge drinking is far more prevalent and just as dangerous as regular daily drinking, characterized by five drinks or more in less than two hours. It is estimated that about 5.1 million of the 10 million kids and young adults between the ages of 12 and 20 who drink regularly are binge drinkers.
Most teen alcohol addictions start with binge drinking. On the weekends, at friends’ houses, at parties – teens will imbibe heavily when they have the opportunity, often blacking out or making themselves sick in addition to making poor choices while under the influence. In the short term, risks of binge drinking include alcohol poisoning, drunk driving accidents, violence and overdose when combined with the use of other drugs.
Teen alcohol rehab can address the issue of binge drinking as well as its effects; it is not just for teens who are struggling with a daily alcohol addiction. A number of treatment services are dedicated to helping your teen stop drinking before it reaches the critical point of stealing their health, their opportunities at school, and their relationships with positive friends and family.
Why Teens Abuse Alcohol
How one teen can drink a single beer or have one or two drinking episodes during high school without developing a problem while other teens will almost immediately go from experimentation to regular alcohol abuse or binge drinking is unknown. There are a number of different factors, however, that are believed to contribute to the development of alcohol abuse and addiction, including:
- An inability to deal with pressure of school, family, friends, sports and other teen-specific issues.
- An inability to cope with guilt or shame related to peer problems or self-esteem.
- Growing up in a home with one or more family members who drink regularly or have an alcohol abuse or drug addiction problem.
- Growing up as a witness to or victim of domestic violence.
- Diagnosis of mental health issues like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other issues.
- Environmental influences including neighborhood and friends when alcohol abuse is prevalent and drugs and alcohol are easily accessible.
- Overly permissive or overly restrictive rules at home in which parents are not actively involved in the day-to-day life of their child.
It’s important to note that the presence of all or some of these potential causes does not mean that your teen will end up with an alcohol abuse or addiction issue. Some teens whose lives are not defined by any of the above characteristics can still end up needing treatment at an alcohol rehab. These causative factors may contribute to the development of teen alcohol abuse and addiction in some cases; they do not guarantee them.
Why Teen Alcohol Rehab is Different?
Teen alcohol rehab and teen addiction treatment services are different from adult addiction treatment in that they speak specifically to those issues that are relevant to young people. A standard addiction treatment program may provide some of the help teenagers need to overcome alcoholism, but may be ill-equipped to address other issues, such as peer pressure, issues of self-image, academics and college pressure, family and sibling relationships, first-time love affairs, and the unique brain chemistry and development of the growing teen. A teen alcohol rehab provides therapies and treatments run by therapists and medical professionals trained specifically in teenage substance abuse treatment. The exclusivity of the program to those under the age of 18 means that your child is not exposed to issues that are too much for him or her to handle.
The Role of the Family in Teen Rehabilitation
When a teenager suffers from alcoholism, it has a profound impact on the entire family. Alcohol addiction causes relationships to suffer and trust to be broken. In fact, the addiction of one can put the entire family at risk. Teen alcohol rehab centers are designed to help young people break the cycle of addiction effectively but they work best when the family plays an active role before, during and after treatment. According to the Education Resources Information Center, family therapy can play a key role in the rehabilitative progress of your child. Some options include:
- Family counseling. Counseling that includes significant family members can play a key role in the recovery of your teen. In personal sessions with a family therapist and group sessions that include other addicted teens and their family members, both you and your child can learn how to better communicate with one another and deal with the stressors that come with fighting an ongoing alcohol abuse or addiction problem.
- Family educational workshops. Educational classes and workshops provide parents and guardians with the opportunity to learn more about the mechanisms of addiction and the structure of recovery. Learning how best to assist your teen in fighting teen alcohol abuse and addiction will help you to avoid inadvertently enabling that addiction despite your best intentions.
- Staying involved when teen alcohol rehab is over. Once the teen rehab process is complete, your teen will still face a number of daily challenges. Ongoing sobriety means coping with stress and temptation on a daily basis. By providing love and support, and encouraging attendance at aftercare programs, family members are helping ensure that the teen is able to maintain their sobriety long after rehab has concluded. Overcoming alcoholism is a lifelong process and one in which family members must play an active role.
- Healing the family. There’s a good chance that the bonds between you and your child were severely tested during active alcohol abuse. Family counseling can address the issues of broken trust and past pain caused by addiction both during and after rehab. This forum allows you to discuss your feelings and experiences with your child and to improve communication in order to better help them avoid relapse.
- Al-Anon for family members. Al-Anon is a free support group program offered in communities around the United States. Al-Anon membership shows upwards of 31 percent of attendees as parents of children with a drinking problem. It is free of cost, and most meetings are “open” which means that anyone can try it out. Al-Anon is highly recommended for parents who even suspect their teen has a drinking problem. The program is designed to help family members exist in differentiated but loving, communicative patterns based on healthy boundaries and individuality, in the presence of alcoholism.
See Additional Resources: Teen Therapy and Counseling
The Tremendous Importance of Alcohol Rehab
The earlier your teen starts drinking, the more likely he or she will be to develop addiction issues that will plague him or her for life. At Newport Academy, we offer different types of alcohol rehab programs designed exclusively for teenagers and adolescents to make sure that your teen gets what he or she needs in terms of treatment and care.
Contact us today to learn more about our treatment modalities and evidence-based services here in Southern California.