Teenagers are a weird sort, languishing in a gray area that’s not quite childhood but not yet adulthood. They start to experience new emotions and changes that can be frightening and confusing, to say the least. Unfortunately, many start to experiment with drugs and alcohol and more than 23 million a year in the United States get addicted. A substance abuse problem can derail a teen’s future, so the key is to get help for your teen before the situation gets out of control.
How Teens Get Addicted
Teens get hooked on drugs and alcohol in the same way that adults do. They may start taking drugs for fun, to look cool in front of friends or to cope with life problems. The drugs activate the pleasure sensors in the brain which causes a high that is rewarding to the user. Over time, the teen becomes used to this “high” and needs more of the drug to get the same rewards. This leads to addiction. If left untreated, this addiction can last a lifetime and cause major problems for the teen.
Signs of Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Teens
It is often hard to notice the signs of drug and alcohol addiction in teens. At this stage, moodiness and outrageous behavior is to be expected. It is imperative that parents are able to separate normal teen angst from more serious signs of drug abuse. Common signs of drug addiction include:
-Drastic changes in behavior
A once outgoing and fun loving teen may become sullen, moody or withdrawn.
-Drastic changes in grooming or hygiene
While many teens will experiment with hair and clothing, neglecting personal grooming or hygiene is a sign of a bigger problem. Your teen might stop showering, wear dirty clothes or neglect their hair care routine.
If your teen was once an honor student but is now getting failing grades, it could be a sign that he is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
There are some items that appear harmless but are signs that your teen is using drugs. Some teens use lollipops and hard candies to increase the effects of certain club drugs. You may find excess bottles of cough syrup, inhalants like paint thinner or aerosol cans. Still other teens use pacifiers when taking certain drugs to ensure that they don’t accidentally bite their tongue while high.
-Hanging with a bad crowd
If your teen has a brand new set of friends that seem like trouble, he may be getting involved in drugs or alcohol. Pay attention to who he is hanging out with and what they are doing with their free time.
Treatment for Substance Abuse in Teens
There are many options when it comes to treating drug abuse in teens. You can choose from either an inpatient rehab rehab Ohio or an outpatient clinic. For serious addictions, many suggest inpatient treatment. This treatment style will take your teen out of the drug environment and protect him from friends who may entice him to continue using drugs or alcohol.
In a drug treatment program, there is a three-pronged approach to curing the addiction. The first is therapeutic. Trained practitioners will work with your teen to get to the root of the drug problem. He may be dealing with family conflict, pressure from peers or body image issues. A team of counselors will work with him to uncover the problems and find constructive solutions to them.
A medical team will help to clear the drugs from your teen’s system using a variety of techniques. They will also be on hand to lessen the effects of withdrawal that often accompany detox. Finally, they will help your teen to move on past the drug use and recommend long term therapy.
The final step in the process may include group or one on one therapy. These therapy sessions will help your teen to develop effective coping strategies to deal with their problems without the use of drugs or alcohol. They will also help your teen deal with peer pressure and deal with the host of changes they may be going through at this stage of life.
Holistic addiction treatment is another of the most effective ways to treat drug abuse in teens. These programs combine natural methods to help your teen rid his body of the drugs and start fresh. Holistic treatment does not use medical drugs to treat the problem of substance abuse. This type of treatment works wonders because it can be easily replicated at home.
When it comes to treating teen drug use, don’t delay. Find the right treatment plan today.