Childhood exposure to traumatic experiences, such as accidents, abuse, neglect, or illness, has been associated with an increased risk of developing mental health issues, including addiction, later in life. This is why considering a trauma treatment program for your teen is essential if you believe that they’ve experienced trauma. They need professional help to process how they feel about it.
Research has shown that the association between trauma and substance abuse is particularly strong for teens with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many adolescents with PTSD go on to develop substance use disorders. If you’re looking for a teen trauma treatment program for boys in North Carolina, contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today. Call 866.300.5275 or reach out to our team online.
The Link Between Trauma and Addiction
The connection between trauma and addiction in teens has been well-documented and researched extensively. Some people attempt to manage how trauma impacts their lives by self-medicating or self-sedating. PTSD symptoms, such as social withdrawal or problems with sleep health, may appear to be more manageable when depending on addictive substances. However, doing so just adds addiction to the list of the issues in a trauma survivor’s life.
Other people develop their addictions and then experience trauma, the symptoms of which affect them more because their addictive behaviors make them more at risk. Substance abusers are more likely to be traumatized by wrongdoing, mishaps, brutality, and abuse.
Trauma and Addiction in Teens
Trauma and addiction in teens often occur together because of the reasons discussed above. Childhood trauma can be the reason your teen gravitates to substance abuse.
Adolescents may start to use alcohol and drugs to cope with the effect of trauma in their lives. Some adolescents may not know how to cope with traumatic experiences properly and seek to numb themselves emotionally. They may feel numbing themselves using addictive substances can result in them blocking out painful reminders of their childhood trauma.
Teens may develop addictions as they continue to use addictive substances to avoid negative emotions. Using addictive substances can become a coping mechanism for teenage anxiety and depression, as well. However, these mental issues could be the result of them not dealing with the effects of the trauma they’ve previously experienced. When under the influence of addictive substances, teens may feel calm and happy, which they might have difficulty attaining while sober.
What to Expect from a Teen Trauma Treatment Program
First, your teen needs to be examined and assessed by professionals. They need to diagnose the concerns that need professional treatment. If your teen has a dual diagnosis, such as a substance use disorder and PTSD, they need treatment for both. They may need a program that has an integrated and comprehensive approach. If your teen is dealing with trauma, specialists may recommend undergoing a trauma treatment program.
The main objective of teen trauma treatment is to educate and provide effective coping strategies. Various interventions can be part of teen trauma treatment programs, such as the following:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Trauma-focused CBT is typically used in treatment programs focusing on childhood trauma. It seeks to help someone process trauma while coping with upsetting thoughts and feelings.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: Trauma-focused EDMR therapy can alleviate psychological distress. EMDR is an effective treatment for PTSD. It can help someone relive traumatic experiences in short bursts while a mental health practitioner directs eye movements. EMDR relies on the premise that emotional distress becomes less upsetting when attention is being diverted elsewhere.
- Family therapy: Trauma-focused family therapy helps all members of a family process and recover from a traumatic event affecting all of them.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): Trauma-focused DBT entails that someone learns skills that center on developing mindfulness, improving emotional regulation, enhancing distress tolerance, and improving interpersonal effectiveness.
Learn More About Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
Are you searching for a teen boy trauma treatment program in North Carolina? Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery by calling 866.300.5275 or reaching out to our team online.