The teenage years are supposed to be a carefree period, where young people dream big and enjoy friends and family. Sadly, it doesn’t always work out that way. Some teens fall into the trap of substance abuse and spend time coping with drug dependence. Teen drug dependence requires action. The longer it goes unaddressed, the greater the risk that the problem will persist into adulthood, and that’s when the stakes get much higher for everyone involved.
Getting a young person into treatment for drug dependence requires vigilance and understanding. Every parent needs to be on the lookout for the signs of drug dependence to be able to steer their child toward the right resources for treatment and long-term recovery. If you’re seeking drug addiction treatment for a teen in your life, please contact our North Carolina treatment center at 866.300.5275 today.
What Is Drug Dependency?
Drug dependence is a state in which someone feels an uncontrollable urge to use a substance, despite the negative consequences. The individual might keep using the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms, which can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. Drug dependence often leads to addiction, which is when the person experiences compulsive drug-seeking behavior and is unable to control their use, even when it’s causing significant problems in their life.
For teens, drug dependence can quickly turn into addiction, as the teenage brain is still developing. This makes teens more likely to develop addictive behaviors and less able to control their impulses. As a result, it’s important to be on the lookout for the signs of drug dependence in teens and to get them help as soon as possible.
Five Signs of Drug Dependence in Teens
Knowing the signs of drug dependence is crucial. Here are five of the most common warning signs of drug dependence in teens:
- Outward physical changes: Look for changes in your teen’s appearance, including weight loss or gain, change in eating habits, red or glazed eyes, poor hygiene, and slurred speech.
- Isolation: If your teen is withdrawing from friends and family, it may be a sign that they’re using drugs. Drug dependence can lead to social isolation as the person becomes more focused on using and obtaining drugs.
- Extreme mood swings: If you notice your teen’s mood changing rapidly or they seem to be on an emotional rollercoaster, it may be a sign of drug dependence.
- Sleep issues: Trouble sleeping or drastic changes in sleep patterns can be a sign that your teen is using drugs.
- Disobedience: If your teen is acting out or rebelling more than usual, it may be a sign that they’re using drugs.
You know your child the best. Trust your instincts. If something strikes you as just not right, it may be time to get help.
The Most Effective Approach to Drug Dependence
Unwinding the painful impacts of drug dependence requires professional support because addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. In other words, it’s not something that can be cured, but it is something that can be managed with the right treatment.
Ultimately, the experience is different for everyone. But the stages are universal, and they include:
- Intake: Doctors will do a full medical and psychological assessment to establish how healthy your teen is.
- Planning: Information from the assessment flows into a comprehensive treatment plan that serves as your teen’s guide through rehab.
- Detox: Most often, the first step in addressing drug dependence is a period in detox, where your teen steps down from their addiction under the supervision of doctors who address withdrawal symptoms.
- Counseling: Teen drug dependence requires time one-on-one with a therapist who specializes in addiction medicine. Your teen will also use group therapy and other treatment options.
- Aftercare: A high percentage of graduates from treatment relapse in their first year; the resources of aftercare, such as ongoing counseling, to reduce the risk of a relapse.
Treating drug dependence requires strength and commitment. However, it’s worth it for your teen to get their life back on track. If you think your teenager may be showing signs of drug dependence, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Find a New Way Forward at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
Teenage drug dependence threatens promising young lives. If a close friend or someone in your family shows signs of teen drug dependence, consider encouraging them to seek treatment. The staff at Foothills at Red Oak focuses on compassionate treatment for teen boys between the ages of 14 and 17.
Our services are geared toward helping teens through treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. Our treatment programs include:
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Cocaine addiction treatment
- Opioid addiction treatment
- Benzo addiction treatment