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Is my teen's BEHAVIOR just normal teenage rebellion?
What are the WARNING SIGNS
Where can I find a reliable ALCOHOL & DRUG TESTING KIT?
What are the signs of STEROID ABUSE?
What is SUDDEN SNIFFING DEATH?
We live in the suburbs. Why should I be concerned about HEROIN?
How can I help my ADDICTED TEEN?
Substance Abuse Treatment & Recovery
Parents can help through early education about drugs, open communication, good role modeling, and early recognition if problems are developing. If there is any suspicion that there is a problem, parents must find the most appropriate intervention for their child.
The decision to get treatment for a child or adolescent is serious. Parents are encouraged to seek consultation from a mental health professional when making decisions about substance abuse treatment for children or adolescents.
Parents and families must be informed consumers and should be involved in their child's recovery. Here are some important things to consider:
No single treatment is appropriate for all teens.
It is important to match treatment settings, interventions, and services to each individual's particular problems and needs. This is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to healthy functioning in the family, school, and society.
Effective treatment must attend to the multiple needs of the individual -- not just the drug use.
Any associated medical, psychological, social, and cognitive problem must be be addressed.
Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness and positive change.
Each person is different and the amount of time in treatment will depend on his or her problems and needs. Research shows that for most individuals, the beginning of improvement begins at about 3 months into treatment. After this time, there is usually further progress toward recovery. Length of stay in a residential program can range from 8 to 18 months, depending upon the individual's willingness and commitment.
Counseling (individual and/or group) and other behavioral therapies are critical components of effective treatment.
In therapy, teens look at issues of motivation, build skills to resist drug use, replace drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding behaviors, and improve problem-solving skills. Behavioral therapy also facilitates interpersonal relationships and the teen's ability to function in the home and community.
Addicted or drug-abusing individuals with co-existing mental disorders should have both disorders treated in an integrated way.
Because addictive disorders and mental disorders often occur in the same individual, individuals should be assessed and treated for the co-occurrence of the other type of disorder.
Medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use.
Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use. While detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.
Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
Strong motivation can facilitate the treatment process. Sanctions or enticements in the family, school setting, or juvenile justice system can increase significantly both treatment entry and retention rates and the success of drug treatment interventions.
Recovery from addiction can be a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment.
As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug use can occur during or after successful treatment episodes. Addicted individuals may require prolonged treatment and multiple episodes of treatment to achieve long-term abstinence and fully restored functioning. Participation in support groups during and following treatment often is helpful in maintaining abstinence. Parents should ask what aftercare treatment services are available for continued or future treatment.
Information provided by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
BACK TO: Drugs & Teen Substance Abuse
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Australian Drug Information Network ~ Comprehensive Australian and international alcohol and drug information.
Join Together Online ~ National resource for communities working to reduce substance abuse by supporting efforts that advance effective alcohol and drug policy, prevention, and treatment.
National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse ~ Addresses substance abuse issues of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) populations.
National Association for Christian Recovery ~ Resources for Christians recovering from addiction, abuse, and trauma.
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University ~ CASA brings together all the professional disciplines to combat abuse of all substances in all sectors of society through education, research, and advocacy.
National Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information ~ For drug information and treatment, call 1-800-729-6686.
National Institute on Drug Abuse ~ NIDA, part of the National Institutes of Health, supports over 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction.
National Inhalants Prevention Coalition ~ Inhalant referral and information clearinghouse, provides information and training, and offers toll-free helpline, 1-800-269-4237.
Scott Newman Center ~ Drug abuse prevention through education. Offers the Rowdy Ridge Gang Camp, which treats mothers and children whose lives are troubled by drug abuse and domestic violence to a safe, fun-filled week in the wilderness.
An Addict's Story: What's at the Root of Addictions? ~ The factors that lead a person into addiction are rooted in childhood. They are: feelings of unworthiness and shame, anticipation of being rejected, the belief that no one will come through for them so they must rely on themselves, and the addictive agent is their greatest need for pleasure, relief, and/or distraction from pain. These factors feed off each other.
The Basic Nature of Substance Dependency ~ An understanding of narcissism is crucial to a good understanding of any type of addiction.
Drug use "sensitizes" the brain, making recovering addicts vulnerable to relapse ~ For recovering alcoholics and ex-smokers, as well as former users of illicit drugs, the mundane trappings of their addictions — ice cubes, ashtrays, straws, needles — exert a strong, long-lasting power to trigger relapse.
Learning To Tell The Truth ~ Learning to tell the truth is not an optional part of the recovery process. We must learn to tell the truth or we will be washed downstream, falling deeper and deeper into the dysfunction. So although "taking inventory," as described in Step 4 of the Twelve Steps, is not easy, it is a lifeline. It is a connection to solid ground. Learning to tell the truth gives us a place of stability, a kind of solid spiritual ground into which God can help us sink our roots.
What I Learned While Our Son Was Still Using Drugs ~ "The year our oldest son dropped out of high school and became an addict was a very dark and difficult year for us. It was also a time of deeper exposure to life's most important lessons. I didn't fully realize it until much later, but it was during that anguished time that our son taught me a greater understanding of humility, honesty, courage, trust and grace."
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