Teen Rehab for Under 18
The teen years are especially vulnerable to the danger of developing a substance use disorder. This particular phase of life often features a wildly unrealistic sense of immortality—a sort of deluded sense of immunity from harm and injury. Most adults can recall risky behaviors taken during their high school era, impervious to the actual risk to life and limb at the time.
Added to the tendency for risky behavior, the teen brain responds differently to drugs and alcohol compared to an adult brain. In adolescence, the brain is still evolving, making the chemical response to a substance abuse more intense. Because of the specific differences between the adult addicted brain and a teen’s, it is important to seek rehab for under 18 youth where treatment is tailored for the needs of this age group.
How Teen Brains React to Drugs and Alcohol
A recent article published in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health entitled The Impact of Substance Use on the Developing Brain focuses squarely on how the developing brain during the teen years affects risky behavior and the effect of drugs on brain development. The research notes the heightened dopamine activity during the teen years, making this age group more sensitive to rewards and more willing to engage in activities that result in pleasurable outcomes, such as using drugs and alcohol.
The articles goes on to state, “It stands to reason that as the brain is undergoing significant maturation during adolescence, the introduction of substances of abuse during this process can lead to disruptions in its pattern of normal development.” Further, it cites evidence that shows early use of drugs and alcohol greatly increases the chances for the development of an adult substance use disorder later.
Effective Rehab for Under 18 Group is Unique to Their Needs
If a young person has developed a substance use disorder, the sooner he or she receives treatment the better the outcome. When seeking help for a teen struggling with substance abuse it is important to recognize the need for a program that is designed to meet the unique needs of this age group. Treating teens with the same program as adults will not be effective.
Here are 5 factors that are unique to teenage drug and alcohol abuse or addiction:
- It is important to include the family in the treatment process. Not only is the teen dependent on the family to meet basic living needs, but the family dynamic itself can be a factor in the substance use disorder.
- A teen recovery program should include sufficient external controls and clearly defined boundaries.
- Peer pressure should be addressed, teaching the teen how to recognize when someone is pressuring them to use drugs or drink, and how to distance themselves from this influence.
- Because the teen brain processes information differently than an adult brain, it is important for the teen to connect not only logically, but emotionally with addiction treatment and education.
- Delving into the childhood experiences of the teen may yield important causal clues, such as a history of childhood sexual or physical abuse, neglect, trauma, divorce, heavy use of drugs and/or alcohol within the family, or family dysfunction.
The Treatment Specialist offers Resources for Rehab for Under 18
The Treatment Specialist offers resources for addiction treatment programs for your teen. Dual diagnosis treatment programs are also offered that treat co-occurring depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, and other mental health conditions. Because of this vulnerable age, finding a high quality and safe treatment environment, either inpatient or outpatient, for an adolescent is imperative for parents. Call for a free assessment and insurance check, call to connect with a teen treatment program at (866) 644-7911.