Peer pressure and teenagers often result in some of the most difficult issues parents have to face raising their children. Out of control behavior, sex, smoking, and drugs are the most common issues in the adolescent years. If you have a teen that seems to have a drug addiction problem, and you live in Florida, you might be wondering if there is a drug rehab center focused on adolescents that can help.
The good news is yes, there are treatment facilities focused on helping teens with a drug and/or alcohol problem. To best understand what you, the parents, have ahead of you, you will need to understand more about why drugs and alcohol are so much more devastating to this age group than any other, and the treatment process necessary to help them. Here’s an in-depth and informative look.
The Formative Adolescent Brain and Drugs and Alcohol
The brains in teenagers are still growing, forming and developing. They do not have the full-sized brains or all of the brain cells that adults are supposed to have.
Drugs and alcohol impact their brains by:
- destroying the cells they do have
- halting the development of the size of the brain
- shrinking the size of the brain (common with alcohol addiction)
- deterring normal brain chemistry and functioning
- preventing new brain cells from being developed
Alcohol destroys brain cells; that is even obvious in adult brains but more so in brains that are still growing. Drugs like cocaine and meth bond to dopamine receptors or block dopamine receptors in the brain such that the teenager’s brain is unable to produce the right balance of mood-stabilizing agents within his/her own body. The result is that the teen needs to continue the chosen drug in order to continue feeling “normal” and often has to increase the drug amount when he/she becomes resistant to the current dosage he/she is consuming.
It is much harder for a teenager to kick the habit because his/her brain has quickly adapted to this new drug (or alcohol) and subsequently feels intense physical and emotional discomfort when quitting. There is no way your teenager can “just quit” and be alright. He/she is going to need the professional intervention of a more intensive nature.
Treatment for Teens
Treatment for teens always involves in-patient services in an approved facility. The facility helps your teen detox in a safer, less painful manner. It is also important that your teen be isolated in a facility where he/she cannot leave and does not have access to their drug of choice. A full sweep of his/her suitcase and person is conducted upon admissions to remove any possible substances and/or detect hidden substances in everyday objects.
As a parent of a minor seeking drug treatment for your teen, you will need to sign him/her into the program. He/she will not be signed out of the program until a release date has been set. At that time, usually only the parent who signed the teen into the program is allowed to sign the teen out. If both parents are present at sign-in and sign the admittance papers, then either one of you may come to collect your teen on the release date.
Drug and alcohol addiction relapse when someone does not follow the post-inpatient treatment program or does not have adequate support. If your teen’s treatment facility has a plan in place, it is best to follow it to avoid a relapse. It is vitally important that your teen make all Ala-Teen or Narconon meetings to get the continued emotional support he/she needs to succeed at being clean and sober. It is also advisable that other family members attend similar meetings and counseling sessions to help the teen with the substance addiction problem.
Ready to Help
It is a big decision, and a weighty one, to choose to take your teen to a treatment facility. It might be very difficult to do on your own and you might need physical or legal help to make it happen. If your teen willingly goes to the facility, the program may prove to be more successful because it proves that your teen is willing to make lifesaving changes. If you are ready and committed to this process, contact our counselors today at our Florida treatment facility via 833-846-5669 to start the pre-admittance process.