Rehab: What Works Best for Teens?
You may have discovered your child has an addiction to drugs or alcohol or they may have come to you with that information. No matter how you discovered the truth, you are probably still reeling from it and trying as quickly as possible to find a way for your child to get sober. Of course you are; who wouldn’t?
What you should be considering are age appropriate treatment facilities. It may sound sill, like sending your child to kiddie rehab, but there are a number of very logical reasons why their development may be crucial to receiving care that will truly work for them.
There is no single cause of addiction that all experts agree upon. Some people look to genetics, others to brain make-up, others to family dynamic, and still others to socioeconomic concerns. In each case of addiction, there are a number of factors all working together to create the situation.
But, because no one can concretely point to a single, universal cause, there also cannot be a single, universal fix. That makes it important to do the best that you can with the information that you have about your child and their addiction and their age plays a definite role.
If you are interested in researching age-appropriate rehab centers that could make the difference in your child’s recovery, call Our helpline 800-481-6320. We can connect you to information, resources, and rehab centers.
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The Danger of the Adolescent Brain
Research indicates that the human brain does not mirror an adult brain until a person reaches their early 20s. It is a mistake to assume that young people are fully developed just because they are close to their physical peak. In fact, data shows almost the exact opposite.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports between early and late adolescence death rates jump. The likelihood of death by injury is six times greater in 15 to 19 year olds than in 10 to 14 year olds. Crime rates are at their highest for young males. Plus, rates of alcohol abuse are high when compared to other ages. Adolescence marks a legitimately hazardous time in young lives.
The Emotions of the Adolescent
Some attribute this to the processing of emotions. In teen brains, the parts of the brain involved in emotional responses functions even more highly than that of adults. So teens feel emotions greatly. The problem is that the parts of the brain that regulate emotion and keep it in check aren’t fully formed. This imbalance leads to a lot of impulsive dangerous behaviors, like using drugs and alcohol.
Comorbidity is just a big word used for concurrent disorders, that is two disorders that a patient deals with at the same time. For example, a teen may struggle with a both a dependence on marijuana and ADD. IN this instance, it would be beneficial for the teen to attend age-appropriate rehab with a staff trained in treating both ADD and drug dependence in adolescents.
Comorbidity is of particular concern in the teen population because so many comorbid disorders are mental ones. With a brain that has not fully developed, the treatment of mental illness needs to meet patients at their level of development.
Many mental disorders begin to set in in the teen years. For example,:
- OCD begins in childhood or adolescence with most people diagnosed by age 19
- Schizophrenia symptoms typically manifest between ages 16 and 30.
- Conduct disorders (persistent patterns of disruptive and violent behavior) are present in roughly 8.5 percent of children and youth.
- Major depressive episodes among youths aged 12 to 17 was 11.4 percent in 2014, and females are three times more likely to have one.
- ADHD is prevalent in 9 percent of teens aged 13 to 18.
- Phobias and generalized anxiety disorders are the most prevalent among adolescents aged 13 to 18.
Because of the likelihood that a teen with an addiction also suffers from a comorbidity issue, it is extra important that their rehab center be accustomed to treating teens, as these disorders function differently in adolescents than they do in adults.