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Rehab for Teens: The Need for Age Centered Treatment

Medically Reviewed by David Szarka, MA, LCADC

Our staff at Footprints to Recovery recognizes that addiction disorders at any age are a grave, life-threatening matter. They do not discriminate against who they are going to affect and can happen at any time. But they do have a higher chance of affecting some more than others.  

Among the highest at risk are children and teens because they are much more susceptible to addiction than adults are. The younger someone begins using an illicit drug or abuses alcohol, the more likely they are to develop a substance abuse addiction. This is why rehabilitation for teens is so essential.

At Footprints to Recovery, we have dedicated an entire program specifically for teen addiction rehab. In this article, you will find more information on the types of programs we offer, as well as what to expect should your teen need treatment for their addiction. 

Rehab for Teens: The Need for Age Centered Treatment

What Factors Influence Teen Addiction?

  • Age: The younger they start abusing substances, the more likely they are to become addicted to them.
  • Genetics: If there are family members who have struggled with addiction, the chances of a teen becoming addicted are higher.
  • Peer Pressure: The people they surround themselves with play a large role in the decisions they make. If the family and friends around them are using and abusing substances, they are more likely to as well.
  • Gender: Although both males and females are at risk of addiction, young men are more likely to try substances at a young and age and become addicted to them.
  • Mental Health DisordersDisorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. can influence the development of an addiction disorder because of the way they make teens feel about themselves
  • Loneliness: A very important deciding factor on a teen developing a substance addiction is feeling lonely or like no one is there for them. This could be in any area of their life from their family to their friendships to how they’re performing in school.

Growing up is difficult. It comes with a lot of uncertainty, hormones, and decision making that a lot of young people struggle with. In order to cope with the difficulties of getting older, some teens turn to drugs and alcohol.

How to Recognize Signs of Addiction

There will be physical signs such as change of appearance or lack of sleep and behavioral signs such as mood swings and avoidance behaviors. 

Physical Signs of Addiction

Some physical signs to look out for will be blatant changes in their appearance. They may start to have large bags under their eyes from lack of sleep. They can also start to have unusual body odor and a disheveled appearance on a day-to-day basis. Another good indication of whether they have developed an addiction disorder is sudden weight loss or weight gain in large amounts.

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

Behavioral signs are also very important to look out for, but these can be harder to spot because teens often go through mood swings and constant changes with puberty. With addiction, these factors will be even more heightened though. Some noticeable signs can be the denial of events occurring, offering excuses, and even stealing from family and friends. Addiction can turn even the most well-behaved teens into a completely different person.

Getting your teen to open up about how they’re feeling and what they’re going through physically is already hard enough. When you throw addiction into the mix, it may become even more difficult to get to the root of the problem. 

At Footprints to Recovery, we understand that signs of addiction may not always be easy to spot. This is especially true in teenagers because they become a lot more private the older they get. If you believe your teen has developed a substance abuse disorder, there are both physical and behavioral signs you can look out for.

Self-Assessment: Am I Addicted?

How to Encourage Your Teen to Receive Treatment

The first step towards their recovery is acknowledging that the addiction has occurred by encouraging your teen to receive help. If they are hesitant about rehab, an intervention may be necessary. In order to convince your teen that treatment is what is best for their future, it is important to follow our intervention guidelines when organizing the meeting.

If you believe you’ve recognized more than one sign of addiction on a regular basis, it may be time to start looking into substance rehab for your teen. Here at Footprints to Recovery, we want to give you the most information we can on what to expect in our teen-focused treatment programs.

Family and friends should be present during the majority of the intervention. They should share stories of how your teen’s addiction has affected their relationship but also be supportive of their possible stay in a treatment facility. Information should be collected beforehand to give to your teen to explain to them what could happen if they do not receive help for their disorder.

The Next Steps and What to Expect

After treatment has hopefully been agreed upon, and your teen has been enrolled in our facility, our licensed specialists will evaluate their current physical and mental state. Depending on the severity of their addiction, they may be placed into our medical detox program. This will slowly rid their body of the substance or substances they have developed a dependency on and decrease the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

After detox has been completed, they will most likely be admitted into either our partial hospitalization program or one of our outpatient programs. Here they will begin intensive therapy and treatments in order to hopefully reverse what the substance has done to their brain and body. Our therapists and medical staff will monitor their progress on a day-to-day basis, so they can keep track of what is helping them to recover the quickest.

At first, we cut off contact from anyone on the outside to try to prevent our teen patients from developing treatment anxiety and wanting to leave. After their first few days, you will be allowed to call and visit them during designated hours to check on their progress. By minimizing their communication, we are giving them the greatest chance to focus on the task ahead, which is recovering from their substance addiction.

Dual-Diagnosis for Co-Occurring Disorders

Our dual-diagnosis program was created to treat mental disorders and substance abuse disorders at the same time to minimize the length of treatment for our residents. Because mental disorders and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand in teens, this type of program is essential for our younger population. 

If your teen has been diagnosed with a co-occurring mental disorder alongside their substance disorder, they will receive dual-diagnosis treatment during their stay here with our staff. We have found that treating both disorders at the same time lowers the chance of relapsing once they enter back into the “real world.” It gives them valuable tools to avoid the temptation to use, as well as how to cope with the symptoms of their mental illness.

Therapeutic Approaches for Teens

Different therapies work for different teens. Some may respond really well to one-on-one therapy, while others may see more of difference when they participate in group therapy sessions. It all depends on what type of personality they have and what they feel comfortable doing.

Here at Footprints to Recovery, we offer many types of therapies for our teen patients. Some of these types of therapies include:

  • Individual Therapy: This therapy caters to the individual that is struggling with the addiction. Counselors work one-on-one with the patient to get to the root of why their addiction occurred.
  • Family Therapy: These sessions include family members and very close friends. Both parties are able to express how the addiction has affected them and how they can strengthen their relationship.
  • Group Therapy: Group therapy allows teens of all ages to come together and share their personal stories of addiction with each other. They are able to bond over similar situations they may have faced and develop lasting relationships with each other.
  • Recreational Programs: These programs include physical activities, as well as creative activities. Patients will be able to participate in whatever they like and hopefully develop new hobbies to take with them after rehab.
  • Nutrition and Wellness Education: Our specialists teach each patient how eating correctly and exercising on a daily basis will allow them to live a healthier lifestyle away from drugs and alcohol.
  • Skills Training: Our skills training includes everything from relapse prevention programs to relearning basic skills that recovering addicts may have forgotten. This program gives them the tools to succeed once they leave our facility.

How Footprints Can Help

Although the chances of relapse are a lot higher in recovery teen addicts, this does not mean therapy will not work. By providing teen rehab programs, our staff at Footprints caters to specific needs that only our younger population faces. We believe this gives them a higher chance of continuing to live a sober life long after they’ve left our facility. 

If you believe your teen has fallen victim to substance abuse addiction, please do not hesitate to contact our facility today. Our staff is standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your calls and messages regarding treatment.

Questions about treatment options?

Our admissions team is available 24/7 to listen to your story and help you get started with the next steps.

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