Because teens are still maturing, peer pressure is extraordinarily powerful. Although not everybody who uses drugs and alcohol develops a dependency, experimenting with drugs at a young age can increase your risk of suffering from addiction in adulthood. To learn more about treatment for teenage addictions, contact our adolescent treatment center in NC today.
Addiction occurs when you compulsively abuse your substance of choice despite dealing with negative consequences and having a genuine desire to quit. Teenage addictions are a dangerous combination because substance abuse disorders alter brain chemistry. Drugs and alcohol are neurotransmitter inhibitors that force your brain to release more neurotransmitters than it should. The rush of neurotransmitters is what causes the effects of intoxication.
Once intoxication ends, you have a sudden depletion of neurotransmitters, which can lead to cravings, anxiety, and mood changes. As addiction progresses, your brain becomes incapable of independently releasing neurotransmitters. Your brain connects your substance of choice with happiness, which alters your pleasure and reward center. Your pleasure and reward center then releases neurotransmitters only when you use your substance of choice, which can cause intense cravings when you do not use drugs.
Teenage addictions can involve physically and psychologically addictive substances, including alcohol, marijuana, and prescription medication. Teens are more prone to making bad decisions, as the judgment centers in your brain do not fully develop until your mid to late 20s. As a result, experimenting with psychoactive substances is common.
Causes of Teenage Addiction
People, places, and things that your brain associates with your substance of choice cause cravings. Teenage addictions typically require substance abuse treatment because addiction is a chronic and incurable condition. Addiction can develop within weeks of your first use, which is why early treatment is essential to avoid severe symptoms.
Common signs of substance abuse disorders in teens include:
- Changes in appearance, such as weight loss or bloodshot eyes
- Declining grades
- Having friends that use drugs and/or alcohol
- Having drug paraphernalia
How Addiction is Treated
Teens and addiction are a common combination. As a result, substance abuse programs offer specialized programs for teens and young adults. Treatment can consist of inpatient and outpatient substance abuse programs. Inpatient programs offer the highest level of care and ensure that you have constant access to your treatment team. Inpatient programs are residential, meaning you will remain on campus 24 hours a day. The increased support, structure, and supervision are beneficial if you have a dual diagnosis or physical dependency, as many inpatient programs offer medically supervised detox services.
Most inpatient programs last for up to 28 days, although some substance abuse treatment centers offer long-term residential options. Outpatient programs are more flexible and meet for several days a week. Inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment programs use both evidence-based and holistic therapies to provide you with the support, guidance, and tools necessary to manage your sobriety. Evidence-based treatments are therapies that are proven to work following extensive studies and research.
Examples of evidence-based treatments include:
- Individual counseling
- Relapse prevention education
- Aftercare planning
- Cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
Holistic therapies treat your body, mind, and spirit in unison and can include therapies such as:
- Deep-breathing exercises
- Dietary changes
An indispensable part of substance abuse treatment is learning how to develop and implement healthy coping mechanisms. Many holistic therapies are effective healthy coping strategies.
Recovery is Possible
With teenage addictions common, it is essential to understand that treatment is the best way to ensure you recover from addiction. Addiction can cause mood changes and feelings of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. Addiction treatment provides a safe environment to address the underlying cause of your addiction and prepare you for a life of sobriety. Contact Foothills at Red Oak today at 866.300.5275 to discuss your treatment options.