How to Help a Teen Suffering from Drug Addiction
The number of teenagers experimenting with drugs has been on a steady high over the last decade and was even more fueled during the pandemic. It has been proven in multiple scientific studies that teens are much more likely to develop addictive habits because their nervous systems are not completely developed. Apart from biological reasons, peer pressure and a steep rise in mental health issues are common reasons teens fall prey to adolescent drug addiction and need teen drug treatment. Given these circumstances, it becomes imperative for parents to have the knowledge and resources required to help teenagers tackle their teenager’s substance abuse. Below is a comprehensive list of steps that parents can take before sending their adolescent to a Los Angeles teen drug rehab.
Identify the signs
Teenagers dealing with substance abuse exhibit certain common behavioral patterns. Parents must know what they are so they can catch it early on. Some common signs include a decline in grades, lack of interest or enthusiasm in activities they previously enjoyed, unusually excessive fatigue or wanting to “just chill” all the time, secretive behavior, diminished personal appearance, poor personal hygiene, and so forth. Some commonly observed physical signs include bloodshot eyes, excessive laughter, excessive hunger, frequent bouts of tiredness, lack of eye contact, the smell of smoke from their bodies or belongings, etc. If you notice any of these signs, it might be time to think about contacting a professional for teen drug addiction help.
Confirm The Drug Use
This step is crucial since it will determine the future course of action the parents must take. To confirm whether your teen is using drugs, the most effective approach is to sit down with them, create a safe, non-judgmental space for them to share their experiences, and ask them about your concerns directly. “Have you been using alcohol or drugs?” or “I’ve noticed a change in your behavior. Have you used drugs recently?”– These phrases may be a good place to start. Be straightforward, disarming, and treat them with respect. Communicate to them you are not angry, just concerned about their physical and mental wellbeing. To eventually get the proper teen drug addiction help, try to gauge whether their drug use was a one-time occurrence or has progressed into a regular habit.
What to do if they admit to using drugs?
It is of immense importance that parents remain calm if their teens admit to using drugs. Do not overreact or lash out at them, since this will certainly alienate them and prevent them from sharing their experiences with you. It would be best if you had their trust to gauge what substances they have used, how often they use them, and the motives or triggers that fuel their addiction. Tell them you love and support them. Experts have proven that teenagers are more likely to make a full recovery and stay clean if they have parental support.
They Might Deny It
Your teenager might deny using drugs. This usually happens due to fear of repercussion, which is understandable. Parents must refrain from losing their temper if their teen answers dishonestly. It is important to give them the benefit of the doubt and not accuse them of lying, since this will only further antagonize them. In case this transpires, an at-home drug test or other forms of professional help like contacting us for a free and confidential consultation can help uncover the truth.
Gather relevant information
Once it has been confirmed that your teenager does indeed suffer from a substance addiction issue, it becomes essential to gather the relevant information which will help you as a parent choose the right course of action to assist them on their recovery journey. Leaving all accusatory tones aside, gently inquire about the type of drugs they have been using, the frequency of use, when it began, and what prompted them down this path. Equipped with this information, you will be able to choose the right teen recovery program for them. There are many options to choose from, depending on the severity of the situation. We offer an industry-leading Teen Treatment Program that provides structure, and a disarming environment with individual and group therapy to help your struggling teen. Contact us or read more below to learn more about our other teen treatment programs.
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Seek professional help
Recovering from addiction will probably be one of the most challenging experiences your teenager will ever undergo. It is of utmost importance that you cushion them with all the support and resources they need as they recover. One of the fundamental ways to accomplish this is to choose the correct recovery program.
Why Key Transitions?
Our Key Transitions team has had the privilege of working with countless young adults, assisting them in their rehabilitation journeys, and is committed to creating recovery programs that suit teenagers’ needs at all stages of their journey. We use a unique approach, where the solution offered to our clients covers every aspect of their recovery, making it seamless and comfortable.
Illustrated below are some comprehensive treatment plans offered by Key Transitions and an overview of which program may be most suitable to which kind of client.
- Teenage Intensive Outpatient Program: The Teen IOP is ideal for adolescents between the ages of 14-17 years who have faced physical, mental, emotional, and social struggles because of substance abuse. Candidates can take part in treatment from the comfort of their own homes and benefit from community support. It aims to restore physical wellbeing by reversing the bodily damage caused by the drugs while imparting essential information, skills, and resources required by neural pathways in the brain, and emphasizing remaining on the path to sobriety.
- Partial Hospitalization Program: This is a structured treatment program that runs for 8 hours a day for 4 days each week. This option is ideal for candidates capable of minimal functioning without risking their wellbeing or the wellbeing of those around them. Unlike hospital residents, PHP candidates are free to return to their own homes at the end of each treatment session, benefitting from family time, home comfort, and community support.
- Key Housing: Our Los Angeles Teen Sober Living is a structured, transitional aftercare program for teen boys, ages 14-17, who have completed wilderness or primary treatment. The program allows for the freedom and warmth of their home environment while providing accountability and support for teens to implement the skills they’ve learned into their daily lives.
- Residential Treatment Program: This is ideal for candidates who require around the clock support on their drug addiction recovery journey. Adolescents who may pose a threat to themselves or those around them are recommended to opt for this program. It is clinically intensive and focuses on restoring physical wellbeing and functioning, first and foremost.
Addiction is difficult not just for the teenager but also their loved ones since they must witness addiction hurting the person they care about. However, armed with the right skills, information, and resources, it becomes possible to navigate this journey, eventually pulling your teenager out of the darkness and back on the right track in life.