Teen drug abuse and addiction has been a problem in the United States for decades. Each year, the focus is not on whether or not the issue is being overcome with preventative measures but which drugs are currently causing the most health concerns among teens in different regions of the country.
The National Drug Intelligence Center reports that the most popular drugs of abuse in the United States are prescription painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, marijuana and alcohol.
When dependence upon any of these drugs becomes an issue or when drug abuse becomes chronic and creates multiple problems for the teen, a drug rehab program designed to address the needs of teenagers specifically is the best possible choice for recovery.
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 15 percent of high school seniors report abusing prescription drugs and 32 percent say they have abused marijuana.
Teen Drug Rehab
Because teens are at a critical developmental stage mentally, physically and emotionally, it’s important that parents choose a rehab program designed specifically for the needs of teens.
The average drug rehab is designed to treat adults who are fully developed mentally, physically and emotionally, and dealing with adult issues. Teen drug rehab programs, on the other hand, are designed to include treatments and therapies that take into consideration the developmental stage of the teen and address teen-specific issues.
Call us at Newport Academy today.
We can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each kind of teen drug rehab program, answering your questions and providing you with personalized assistance. If financial issues are a consideration, we can connect you with our financing partner to discuss your option for paying for drug rehab for your teen.
Why Teenagers Abuse Drugs
There are a variety of reasons why teenagers abuse drugs, most of which are completely different than the root causes of adult drug abuse. In survey after survey, the following reasons continue to emerge as contributing causes of teenage drug abuse:
- Peer group influences. Peers play a huge role in whether or not teenagers abuse drugs, how often, in what combinations and in what situations. If the social unit is accepting of drug use, then the individual is that much more likely to engage in it themselves.
- Problems at home. Many teenagers use drugs as a means of escaping their problems at home. These problems can vary greatly according to the individual, but may include divorce, physical abuse or financial hardship.
- Sexual abuse. In a small number of cases, some teenagers use drugs to self-medicate the emotional trauma of sexual abuse by a friend or family member.
- Self-image issues. Many young people (especially teenage girls) suffer from considerable self-esteem and self-image issues during their teen years. This can lead to drug abuse for a variety of reasons, be it to fit in with a peer group, escape the emotional pain of poor self-image or (as with stimulant use) to help accelerate weight loss.
Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse in Teens
In order to raise a healthy, drug-free child, it is vital that parents understand the warning signs of drug abuse. Kids are experimenting with drugs at younger and younger ages with each generation, and in order to reach out and help these children, parents and educators must know the behaviors that represent warning signs of drug use.
According to Medline Plus, the most common warning signs include:
- Isolation from friends or family members
- Poor performance or poor attendance in school
- Confrontational behavior with parents
- Lying about one’s whereabouts
- Stealing money to fund drug use
- Secretive behavior
An Additional Topic of Interest: Teen Health and Well-Being
What Happens During Drug Rehab
According to Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment published by NIDAMED, there are a number of different characteristics that can add up to an effective treatment program for those struggling to fend off drug abuse and addiction.
Through a comprehensive step-by-step process, patients can leave drugs behind and move forward to a new life based on stability, confidence and independence.
When a teenager enters into an adolescent drug rehab program, they must first flush the drugs and related toxins from their systems. This process is known as drug detox, and the remainder of treatment cannot continue until it is complete. Detox takes several days, and during this time the teenager may experience a series of withdrawal symptoms, which vary according to the substance in question.
Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Chills and sweats
With few withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening per se, they can lead to relapse which is why it is crucial that the detox process take place while in the care of rehab professionals.
Next up is counseling. Individual and group counseling provide a variety of benefits to the recovering addict, including:
- A forum to discuss their feelings about their drug problem
- A discovery process to identify the root causes of the problem
- A safe place to share personal feelings about the teen’s home life and social life
- A support structure (in group counseling) that helps gain strength from the peer group enrolled in the program.
Finally, there is aftercare which features the lessons that must be learned in order to succeed outside of the drug rehab program. Aftercare for teens can be comprised of any number of programs including follow-up counseling, family counseling or 12-step recovery programs.The best type of teen drug rehab programs are those that:
- Treat both the physical (through detox) and psychological (through counseling) components of teen addiction
- Understand the root causes of addiction that are unique to teenagers (such as peer pressure, conflicts in the home and self-image issues)
- Offer teen drug treatment that in actuality includes the entire family, giving parents and siblings an opportunity to come in for counseling and discuss how the individual’s addiction has impacted them as well
NOTE: Teens who are diagnosed with a social, behavioral or psychological disorder will need a rehab program that can provide dual diagnosis treatment.
Rather than treating the issues with addiction first and then attempting to follow up with psychological care for the co-occurring disorder, dual diagnosis rehab provides the addicted teen with treatment for both issues at the same time. This increases their chances of a successful and sustained recovery long after rehab is over.
Parents are encouraged to take part in family therapy sessions so they can get back in touch with their teens on a personal level and see for themselves the progress made during treatment.
At Newport Academy, we also provide progress reports and welcome parent inquiries at every stage of the treatment process.
- Communication. During designated phone time and visitation, parents and family members are more than welcome to contact their teens. In most cases, for teens enrolled in the inpatient program, there will be little or no opportunities to return home. Too often, a trip home results in drug relapse and is best avoided in order to retain continuity of treatment. However, during outpatient rehab, patients return home each night, which increases the opportunities for parents to check in and hear about their teen’s treatment and progress.
- Family Therapy. Family therapy is encouraged for all teens enrolled in drug rehab because their home environment plays a large role in how well they will do in recovery. Issues between parents or legal guardians and drug addicted teens will not heal overnight or magically disappear with addiction treatment. Family therapy provides a safe and therapeutic forum for parents and teens to begin the process of working through their issues and learning how to communicate effectively. Getting a head start on family therapy – and continuing it after the teen returns home from drug rehab – will provide the patient with a more supportive and safe home life, one he or she will be less likely to try to escape from by abusing drugs and alcohol.
- Support Groups.Parents are encouraged to attend meetings just for them while their teen is enrolled in drug rehab. Here, they can meet with other parents who have teens who are either in drug addiction treatment or have already graduated from the program. Hearing each other’s stories and learning what other parents have done in similar situations will not only let parents know that they are not alone in this devastating process but might also provide some guidance on how to proceed in the future.
- Progress Reports. At Newport Academy, we welcome phone calls and inquiries from parents concerning their child’s progress in teen drug rehab. We offer reports on progress, new treatments and therapies, updates to treatment plans, and information on the next family visit days and communication times. Parents who would like more information about letters and/or packages that they can send to their teen while they are in treatment, would like to learn more about family therapy or adjust appointment times, and parents who would like to discuss whether or not their teen is getting what he or she needs from drug rehab are able to discuss these issue at any time with our staff members.
Choosing the Most Effective Rehabilitation Program
There are adult-focused drug rehab centers that allow teens to attend, and there are teen drug rehab centers that serve teens only. There are inpatient drug addiction treatment programs and outpatient options. There are dual diagnosis rehab options and teen drug rehabs that focus solely on the issue of addiction. For parents, it can be difficult to determine which will give their teen the best chances for success in recovery.
The best way for parents to choose the right program for their teen is to ask themselves a few questions that will narrow down the choices:
What Is Your Teen’s Drug of Choice?
Is your teen addicted to an opioid-based drug like heroin or prescription painkillers or is their drug of choice alcohol and/or marijuana? Each drug affects your teen differently, and each drug addiction will need a different style of treatment. For example, those struggling with an opiate addiction will require a drug rehab that begins with a medical detox that addresses the withdrawal symptoms that are symptomatic of the disease. If your teen is fighting an addiction to crystal meth, studies show that long-term inpatient care is the best option to help him or her avoid relapse. Talk to a counselor before choosing a drug rehab program for your teen.
Is Your Teen Diagnosed With a Co-Occurring Disorder?
Is Your Teen Diagnosed With a Co-Occurring Disorder?If your teen is living with depression, ADHD, an eating disorder, anger issues, anxiety or another social, behavioral or psychological disorder, a dual diagnosis teen rehab program is the best choice. Here your teen can receive treatment for both issues simultaneously. Because addiction worsens the characteristics of mental illness and mental illnesses increases cravings for drugs of addiction, it is essential that you choose a teen drug rehab that speaks to both issues when you choose treatment.
What’s Happening With Your Teen Academically?
What’s Happening With Your Teen Academically?Most teens will fall behind at school when drug addiction takes over. Some are even kicked out of school or drop out. Because one of the goals of treatment is to help your teen get back on track and headed toward a brighter future, a focus on education is important. Academic assistance, especially if you opt for inpatient teen drug rehab, is the best choice. Newport Academy offers a sober high school program that can work with your teens school to keep them on track.
Will Your Teen Be Able to Avoid Relapse Without Constant Supervision?
One of the biggest choices that parents have to make is whether an inpatient or outpatient teen drug rehab program is most appropriate. This decision should not be based on financial considerations alone. If your teen is resistant to treatment and unlikely to avoid relapse when you are unable to watch them, an inpatient program is the only way to give your teen a solid start in recovery.
Contact Newport Academy for Help
The National Drug Intelligence Center reports that adults who use drugs for the first time at an early age are more likely to develop a lifelong struggle with addiction. Among those over the age of 18 who first used marijuana at or before the age of 14, 13 percent developed a drug dependence as compared to 2.8 percent of adults who didn’t use marijuana until after they were 18.
Newport Academy has created both outpatient and inpatient teen treatment programs for those under the age of 20. The residential treatment program at Newport Academy provides round-the-clock care for young people and their families who have seen their lives damaged by substance use.