Long Beach is a hub of business and commerce in Los Angeles County. But because of its port access, Long Beach has also become a center of international drug trafficking.
How Do I Know if a Teen Is in Trouble?
Adolescence is a challenging time. The physical changes of puberty and the demands of parents and teachers can take a toll on a teenager’s emotional health. Many of today’s teens in Long Beach are under a lot of stress, and in stressful conditions, it’s not always easy to say “no” to drugs and alcohol. Meanwhile, parents are so busy keeping up with a competitive economy that they may not notice the signs that a teen is in danger.
Addiction doesn’t usually happen after one or two experiments with drugs or alcohol. It’s a disease that develops in stages. It is key to know how to recognize the early warning signs of chemical dependence. Informed parents may prevent some of the devastating effects of drug abuse.
According to the University of Rochester, the stages of drug abuse follow a typical pattern:
- Experimentation/recreational use. Use of the substance is voluntary, and the teen still has the power to quit.
- Regular use. A teen uses the drug on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, either with friends or alone. He or she may not yet be dependent on the drug, but usage is more predictable.
- Problem use. The teen starts to experience negative consequences of drug use, such as getting arrested for drunk driving, failing a class at school or getting fired from a part-time job. However, these consequences aren’t enough to stop the teen from using
- Dependence/addiction. Giving up the drug has become impossible without detox and professional treatment. The teen may want to quit, but withdrawal symptoms and cravings drive him to relapse. Without the drug, normal physical and psychological functions have become impossible.
When Is It Time to Seek Treatment?
You don’t have to wait until drug use has turned into addiction to get help for a troubled teenager. In fact, the sooner you intervene in the addiction process, the greater the chances that your child will achieve a full recovery.
Here are a few signs that it’s time to reach out for help:
- Talking with your teen no longer seems to be enough to change her destructive behavior.
- Financial problems, emotional conflicts and legal difficulties.
- Academic performance is suffering, and he’s given up his favorite activities to spend more time with kids who use drugs.
- Behavioral problems, such as violent outbursts, difficulty concentrating or poor impulse control.
Families in Long Beach have choices when it’s time to seek treatment for a teen who’s abusing drugs. Nonprofit organizations like the Substance Abuse Foundation of Long Beach (SAFL) offer free or affordable services. They cater to teens in crisis.
Newport Academy is one of the top-rated private teen rehab centers. We give your teen access to a broad array of resources.
Our curriculum includes individual counseling, group and family therapy, and dual diagnosis treatment. We provide on-site educational programs to help our teens keep up with their studies. If you’re ready to seek professional guidance, call our intake team for confidential counseling.