People of all walks of life can be affected by addiction. Many parents around the country know too well the painful truth about teen drug and alcohol abuse when they realize their child has a problem. Unfortunately, addiction among adolescents is on the rise more than in any other age group. If you are worried about a young person’s drug or alcohol use, an adolescent substance abuse treatment program is the absolute best way to access help. The importance of intervention for adolescent addiction is irrefutable. Managing withdrawal and recovery without professional help results in relapse at much higher rates than when a teen receives evidence-based treatment for addiction.
Signs of Adolescent Addiction
Families and teenagers alike will tell you that these years can be challenging, even when there are no concerns about substance misuse. Teens are in a stage of life when they develop independence, learn how to show up in the world apart from their families, and forge their identities, which is important and necessary. But it can be tough because they have little life experience to draw from to help them navigate this process.
How do you know if your teen is just going through those necessary growing pains or something else is at work, like substance misuse and addiction? Is their rebellion, aloofness, and disrespect part of the process or a warning sign?
Our team has composed a checklist you can refer to that offers more context than just a rebellious phase, and it may help you narrow down your thoughts about whether your teen is showing signs of adolescent addiction. Some of these signs include:
- Do you notice your teen is extremely pale or overly flushed?
- Is your teen wakeful and suffering from insomnia or, conversely, falling asleep at random or napping a lot?
- Does your child no longer make eye contact?
- Has there been a significant change in school performance, including truancy?
- Do you notice unexpectedly locked doors?
- Is there an entirely new friend group, and the old friends don’t come around anymore?
- Has your teen’s appearance changed dramatically, including tattoos, piercings, new hairstyle, or noticeably poor hygiene?
- Are there scars or wounds that cannot be explained?
- Do you notice your teen wearing long sleeves even in the summer?
- Do you notice pinpoint or dilated pupils or bloodshot eyes?
- Have things, such as liquor bottles, prescription drugs, or cash out of your wallet, gone missing?
- Have you noticed strange items you don’t recognize, or items like butane lighters, spoons taken from the kitchen, pieces of foil in the trash?
- Do you frequently realize you do not know where your teenager is?
- Is your child lying about these and other behaviors?
No single “yes” to any of the above is cause for alarm, but if a number of these possible warning signs sound familiar, it’s time to take the next step and check out substance abuse resources for teens.
The Importance of Intervention for Adolescent Addiction
When your child is enrolled in a rehab program for teens, recovery outcomes are improved, and the whole family can heal. These factors demonstrate the importance of intervention for adolescent addiction. There are many benefits of addiction treatment for adolescents, such as:
- Medically supervised detox-A safe withdrawal is vital for protecting your teen’s wellbeing and sobriety. A medical team manages every step of this challenging but short-lived process. The psychological and physical side effects of withdrawal are handled with professionalism and compassion, and any underlying health issues are caught immediately.
- Evidence-based therapies-White-knuckling addiction recovery is a challenge most adults cannot face. A teenager suffering from a substance use disorder is even more vulnerable and at risk for poor outcomes on their own. Therapists experienced at working with adolescents can help your teen cope with the wide range of challenges and roadblocks, shift thinking to make recovery feel like a safe option, and develop new skills that will help with re-entry back to school, friends, and other possible relapse triggers.
- Family healing-It has often been said that addiction is a family disease because it affects everyone who loves the substance abuser in one way or another. Family therapy in a teen recovery program will help your family reconnect in healthy ways by improving relationships and encouraging honest communication. Family members will learn more about addiction and how it works so they can offer meaningful support, and their addicted teen will understand how their behavior impacted everyone.
Help is out there. You do not have to navigate this difficult journey alone. Find an adolescent addiction treatment center near you to talk about what you can do to help your teen leave substance abuse behind and begin their recovery journey.