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Drug and alcohol abuse is an epidemic affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans each day. With overdose now the leading cause of death for people under 50, it’s more important than ever to recognize when substance abuse has become a problem and seek help. Unfortunately, social stigmas, misinformation, and general distrust of the recovery industry leave many people vulnerable to the tragic and potentially fatal consequences of substance abuse.
Addiction changes the brain. That’s why substance use disorders are measured as a legitimate disease inducing both physical and psychological changes within those who remain untreated. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to developing substance use disorders.
Unfortunately, teens don’t consider the long-term detriments of experimenting with addictive substances. Once exposed to addictive substances over a long period of time, the brain under goes potentially permanent chemical changes.
Those chemical reactions are responsible for inhibiting the healthy production of natural chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
Specifically, alcohol retards the brain’s development in adolescents. Those who begin drinking early on in life are at an increased risk of developing full-blown alcohol dependence use disorders.
Adolescents begin abusing addictive substances for a variety of reasons. The following are just a few of the most common— not all are applicable to each case, and this is by no means an exhaustive list.However, the following reasons are a well-rounded representation of many high school students:
Depression: Mild to severe depression may encourage experimentation with addictive substances to help one feel better. Stimulants and marijuana are the most common candidates, but opiate and heroin use should not be excluded from consideration.
Those using addictive substances to self-medicate for depression are making an attempt to quell internal pain.Therapy or expression of said depression is healthy and will help remedy the underlying causes of self-medication.
Experimentation & Curiosity: Sometimes kids are curious. The legal and illicit use of addictive substances are made widely “popular” by common TV shows and music. The urge to experiment will always remain a participating factor in adolescent substance abuse. Many express the want of knowing what different substances “feel like.”
Education prevention is the most effective method in thwarting these urges. Teaching adolescents the hidden long-term effects of many addictive substances is all they need to make the right decisions.
Undiagnosed Mental Health Disorders: During the adolescent years differentiating hormonal behavior from that of mental health disorders delays the proper diagnosis of said diseases. Kids and teens struggling to cope with untreated mental health issues may self-medicate in an attempt to alleviate symptoms and feel normal.
The following symptoms and behavior problems may clue you in that your little one may benefit from seeing a mental health professional for a proper diagnosis:
Peer Pressure: One of the unavoidable facets of growing up is peer pressure, which may encourage your teen to experiment with addictive substances.
Traumatic Experiences: Traumatic experiences occurring from birth to the teen age years may very well impact one’s mental health and overall well being. Some traumas may be left unexpressed, such as unreported cases of child molestation, domestic abuse, and substance abuse at home.
Many drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers around the country aren’t well equipped to treat adolecents with substance use disorders.
Thankfully, our fully accredited treatment center, Safe Landing is here to fill in the gap!
Our programs include:
Treatment modalities include: