It is an unfortunate fact of life that, just like adults, adolescents can become addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, adolescents need special treatment methods because their needs are unique. Many parents of adolescents would probably rather believe that their child does not need professional help, but the truth is that adolescents who have become addicted to drugs or alcohol are especially vulnerable and in need of treatment. A teen addiction treatment program is specially designed to take the developmental, behavioral, social, and neurological needs of adolescents into account. If your teen is in need of professional treatment, then it can be reassuring and helpful to learn about the need for teen drug rehab. Learn more about the need for adolescent drug addiction treatment and prescription drug abuse among teens today.
How Do Adolescents Differ from Adults?
For many centuries, our societies treated adolescents like little adults. This reflected a lack of understanding about the developmental stages that mark the transition from childhood to adulthood. Adolescents, even though they may be physically mature in some ways, are neurologically not yet developed. This means that an adolescent’s thinking, logic, impulse control, and decision-making processes are not quite to the level of an adult. Since they are still developing, this puts adolescents at high risk of permanently damaging these processes through drug use.
Additionally, adolescents have differing sociocultural perspectives than adults. Whereas an adult has the benefit of experience and perspective, adolescents have not yet gained the understanding they need to help them make decisions that will serve them well in the future. Lack of perspective and future thinking is one of the factors in how teens become addicted to alcohol and drugs. Also, our society has many expectations about teenagers. Some teens do well managing these expectations, but others have trouble adjusting to the pressure, leading to anxiety or depression.
How Does Adolescent Drug Addiction Treatment Differ from Adult Treatment?
There are many ways that drug treatment programs for adolescents are different from programs designed for adults. Some of these are:
- Often, adults come to treatment because they recognize their addiction as a problem. Adolescents are less likely to recognize their addiction as a problem and are often sent to treatment by parents or the court system.
- Adults frequently manage their addictions over time as functioning members of society, whereas adolescents are more prone to binge behavior.
- Adolescents must be approached differently because of their lessened ability to think beyond immediate situations. Adults may have a better concept of how their addiction will impact their lives going forward.
- Adolescents are very focused on peers, so in order to accept and progress with treatment, it is better for them to be among people of their own age group. That’s why there’s the need for adolescent drug addiction treatment.
What To Look for in an Adolescent Drug Rehab Program
Parents rarely have experience in how to select the right addiction treatment program for their teen. However, there are some criteria that can provide guidance for parents in this situation:
- The facility should be licensed and accredited, and all its staff members should have appropriate certifications and licensing.
- Individualized treatment programs that take a family-centered, whole-life approach should be developed for every child.
- Staff should be gender- and culture-competent, understanding of your child’s identity and the unique needs of your family’s culture.
- A continuum of care should be in place, ensuring that the entire recovery journey, from detox to home discharge, is available and ready for your teen.
If you are the parent or caregiver of an adolescent who is struggling with addiction, reach out to a treatment program near you today to learn more about the need for adolescent drug addiction treatment. Even though there will be challenges and difficulties, with the right help and support, your child and family can heal from the trauma of addiction and rediscover a joyful life. Don’t wait; the best time to get help is right away.