Addiction truly knows no age boundaries when it comes to its hold and damage. While current statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show some areas of drug use decreasing among middle school and high school students, past-year use of illicit drugs numbers still landed at around 27.2 percent. Many treatments work well for both adults and teenagers, but teens come with unique problems and issues that often require more specialized programs. While they’re used to be a lack of resources for teenage addicts, an increased awareness of adolescent drug abuse has led to a greater variety of options available for treatment.
Therapy often plays an essential role in addiction recovery for teens. For example, cognitive therapy helps teens discover the thoughts and feelings that lead to their drug abuse in order to develop healthier coping mechanisms. Behavioral therapy can be used to find ways to replace negative behaviors associated with drug use with positive ones. Even options like art and recreational therapy can help teenagers find more positive ways to spend their time a and to express their feelings positively rather than using drugs.
Teenagers thrive in peer groups, and introducing addict support groups can help them feel less alone in their struggle. Many treatment programs provide support groups specifically for teenagers that encourage them to continue on the path to sobriety. If you’re a parent seeking out options for your child, you may also want to consider parental support groups, which provide a network of other parents struggling with the same issues to help you through the process.
With the increase of drug use among increasingly younger age groups, new facilities continue to either create teen-specific programs, or in many cases, may focus solely on treating those under the age of 18. Not only does this isolate them from adult addicts, but it also creates programs that were designed specifically for the unique problems found with young addicts. Facility programs provide either residential or out-patient programs. Adolescent residential programs require the teen to live on-site, providing 24-hour care. Out-patient programs allow teens to remain in their home, but travel to centers to take part in specialized programs. Deciding which type of program to consider varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity of addiction and the support network around the individual.
In many cases, a combination of treatments is best when trying to combat teen addiction. It’s no secret that each teenager is unique and will respond differently to various options. Utilizing multiple methods can help ensure a higher success rate by creating an individualized plan that works for each person’s unique personality and learning styles. That’s why it’s important that you work with a professional today to find the best program for your teenager in need.
National Institute on Drug Abuse: DrugFacts: High School and Youth Trends