Between the ages of 12 and 17, many teens experiment with drugs of all kinds. Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, and others.
This is 30 percent of teens in this age group experimenting with illicit drugs. According to the Monitoring the Future Study published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teen addiction is a serious problem.
A number of teens who experiment with drugs and alcohol will develop a drug abuse issue. This will not only cause problems at home but at school as well. Furthermore, this can limit their chances and opportunities for the future. This includes college admissions and employment. For some, drug addiction will become a problem as well. It can create chronic health problems and increases the chance of overdose and death due to accident.
When in crisis due to their teen’s drug abuse and addiction issues, it can be difficult for parents to know what to do. You wade through copious amount of information on prevention and treatment. You try to determine the right course of action for their child. The best choice is always to be proactive. There are a number of Addiction Treatment Services at Newport Academy that may be appropriate. Each teen has unique needs. It depends upon his or her specific experience with drugs and other mental health and trauma issues.
What Parents Should Know About Drug Addiction
Regardless of gender, economic class, and age, no one is immune to addiction. According to Medline Plus, there are different causes of a teenager’s risk for the development of drug addiction. These include:
- Genetics. Parental genetics can influence mental health.
- Environment. Teens who spend a lot of time around those who abuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to develop a habit themselves.
- Self-esteem. Self-consciousness and self-esteem issues are common. Teens try to escape those feelings through drug abuse and addiction.
- Co–occurring disorders. Eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and more can become evident during the teen years. These too can push teens to self-medicate their symptoms with drugs and alcohol.
Parents may feel helpless in the face of these issues. It’s impossible to change some of them and if they are having an effect on the teenager, parents feel powerless. The fact is that teens in recovery report that their parents’ thoughts and opinions on drug abuse and addiction do factor into their process. Speaking up about your teen’s issues can be an effective first step in helping him or her to fight off abuse of drugs and alcohol. However, if dependence becomes a problem, enrolling the addicted teen in a comprehensive rehab is the best choice.
Statistics on Teen Drug Use
The National Institutes of Health keep close track of drug use in teens, including number of teens abusing drugs and which drugs they use at different ages. Some of the numbers add up to high percentages of teens using drugs of all kinds and opening themselves up to the development of drug addiction. By the time teens reach the 12th grade, many have abused drugs and alcohol and some have gone on to develop drug and alcohol addiction:
- Approximately 48.2 percent of high school seniors reported abusing drugs of some kind.
- About 43.8 percent of high school seniors used marijuana.
- Nine percent of high school seniors report abusing inhalants but 14.5 percent of 8th graders report abusing inhalants as well
- Among 12th graders, 8.6 percent have abused hallucinogens
- Four percent report abusing LSD
- About 5.5 percent of high school seniors have abused cocaine and 2.4 percent have abused crack
- Approximately 1.6 percent of seniors have used heroin
- Seventy-one percent of seniors, 58.2 percent of sophomores, and 35.8 percent of 8th graders report alcohol use
- Eight percent of high school seniors and 7.7 percent of sophomores have abused Vicodin. 5.1 percent of seniors and 4.6 percent of sophomores have abused OxyContin.
Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction in Teens
Unusual mood swings and behavior are often normal for teenagers. But if your teen begins exhibiting some of the following symptoms it may be an issue, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center:
- Hostility or irritability
- Breaks household rules and curfews
- School attendance becomes irregular or grades slip
- Relationships with family and friends deteriorate
- A new circle of friends
- Money disappears from the house
- Interest in hobbies or sports stops
- Sleeping patterns change
Confronting Addictive Behavior
Parents who see signs of addiction need to confront the situation. Remaining calm and waiting for the teenager to sober up is important. Setting clear boundaries and expectations going forward is key. Many teens like to test these limitations. It is important for parents to create consequences for broken rules and enforce them if and when the time comes.
Am emotional response is normal and expected. It’s important that parents use those feelings to propel them forward in helping their teen fight addiction. Allow the conversation or atmosphere in the home to stay calm and compassionate. This can be hard, but you can do it.
This means that it is not an issue of willpower or a choice on the part of the teen to break the rules or rebel. Addiction must be treated medically. This often means medical supervision in addition to psychiatric treatment and counseling. If your teen is unable to stop abusing drugs and alcohol, a comprehensive drug rehab designed to meet their medical needs is necessary.
Conducting an Intervention
For teens under the age of 18, an intervention is not necessary nor is the teenager’s agreement to enter rehab. Parents and legal guardians have the right to enroll their child in treatment when it is medically necessary. However, many parents opt to hold an intervention. There are a number of benefits for the patient when their treatment experience starts out in this way. Some benefits include:
- Identification of addiction. Many teens do not believe that they have a problem with drug addiction. Hearing specific examples of the consequences of their drug abuse can help to see they require treatment.
- Non-judgment. Teenagers struggling with drug addiction often feel guilt or shame. Having a nonjudgmental intervention can help them to understand the medical nature of the disorder. Also it can help kids see that they can make positive changes in their life.
- Encouragement and support. It is valuable for kids to hear that their family members care about them. They care enough to confront them in this way can give the support they need to make the difficult changes ahead.
- Education. Learning what to expect when they go to drug rehab can increase their willingness to get help and their openness to what lies ahead.
- Preparation. Parents are encouraged to enroll their teen in a drug rehab prior to the intervention. They pack a bag so that their child can leave immediately to begin their new life in recovery.
Finding the Right Drug Addiction Treatment Program for Your Teen
No one knows a teenager better than his or her parents or guardians. And no one else is better qualified to make the best decision regarding their health and medical care. Parents can decide which drug rehab is right for their teen based on their teen’s personal experience. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some factors to consider include:
- Drug history. Different types of treatment may be more or less appropriate
- Medical history. For teens with underlying medical conditions and those who experience withdrawal symptoms will need inpatient care
- Mental health. Teens diagnosed with a mental health disorder in addition to drug addiction will need a dual diagnosis rehab. They need a center with programs designed to provide treatment for both the addiction and the mental health issue.
- Trauma. Teens who experienced trauma during their childhood or adolescence may be abusing drugs as a result. Psychological treatment can help kids process trauma. They begin healing, making drugs less desirable as they learn healthier coping skills.
- Academics. Teens living with drug addiction can’t wait for summer to go to treatment. Many require a teen rehab that can provide them with educational support in addition to medical and psychological care.
Teen Drug Addiction Treatment at Newport Academy
Newport Academy offers a comprehensive residential teen drug rehab program for adolescents. Our tailored treatment includes family therapy and academics. We offer gender-specific residences. Teens participate in experiential therapy, personal therapy, art therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, and more. We offer long-term treatment that can help teens get back on track through a step-by-step process of recovery.
Call now to find out more and talk to our admissions team for assistance in choosing the best program for your son or daughter.