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How Are Teens and Adolescents Treated for Addiction?

Addiction is a serious issue for people of any age. But, teens suffering from addiction are often worse off than adults with addiction problems, because their brains and bodies are still growing, changing, and developing. This can make it a struggle to deal with addiction issues, and it takes a special type of treatment to help teens get through addiction, not just the typical adult treatment methods.

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The Needs of Young Adults Versus Adults

Teens and adolescents will not respond as well to adult addiction treatment methods. They need a focus on their struggles and the potential for underlying issues leading to addictions. Behavioral therapy helps teens address other problems that may be effecting their addiction, such as depression or anxiety, that they may not have known about beforehand.

In addition, teens need to get environmental treatment for addiction. It’s not enough to help the teen themselves, but the family must also be brought through therapy and hands-on treatment, so that the teen has a safe place to return home to after treatment. Without family therapy and counseling, addiction can easily begin again once the teen leaves a safe environment like the treatment facility.

Stressful triggers can be powerful stimulants for addiction. Teens dealing with stress may not have developed the necessary means of coping yet, while many adults can avoid triggers or deal with stress more easily. Teens can benefit from a focus on building their support system, teaching ways to cope without their addictive substance, family-based therapy, and other behavioral therapies.

How Addiction Affects Development

If teenagers or pre-teens are abusing drugs or alcohol, they run the risk of interfering with their emotional and intellectual development. Many addictions or substance abuse problems can re-wire the brain and affect its growth, leading to a potentially irreversible condition in some addiction cases. The direct effects of addiction on the brain can be reversed most times, but if the addiction hinders development, that may not be fixable.

Even when teens are only abusing a substance and are not addicted, it’s a good idea to seek help for them if possible. Many of those who are abusing substances before the age of 13 or 14 will develop a full addiction, and they may have difficulty treating it if their addiction starts so early. The rate of recovery for teens who receive proper treatment is excellent, but current statistics show that only 10% of teenagers with a substance abuse problem actually get the help they need.

Getting Treatment for Your Teen

Since substance abuse in teens is not the same as adults, it needs to be handled through a separate program. Many teens with substance abuse problems that are not full addictions can receive out-patient treatments that help them continue going to school during the year. If your teen has a more serious addiction, residential treatment may be a better option for them, so they can temporarily escape the circumstances in their life that are helping fuel the addiction.

Make sure you are working with a treatment facility that has a good reputation. A program that’s not run well might not do enough to help your teen get the care they need at this critical time in their life. Choose a trusted source, like The Recovery Village Columbus or a similar branch for peace of mind that your teen is getting the best treatment possible for their needs.

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