In many ways, it’s an invisible problem. More and more adolescents are turning to unhealthy, dangerous coping mechanisms, yet so many of us are in denial, leaving us unable to help them escape. Whether we like to believe them or not, the statistics are clear. Substance abuse, drug addiction, self harm, and eating disorders are on the rise, affecting a startling percentage of American teens.
- Surveys have shown that more than half of all American children and teens have consumed alcohol before the age of 20, putting them at higher risk for academic, legal, and sexual development issues as well as homicide and suicide. Eight percent have driven after consuming alcohol.
- About 36% of American high school seniors have used marijuana, and 7.5% have used Vicodin for non-medical purposes before their senior years of high school.
- One out of every 200 American girls between the ages of 13 and 19 cuts herself as a coping mechanism.
- About 24 million Americans suffer from eating disorders like anorexia, the mental illness yielding the highest mortality rate. Ten percent of those diagnosed with anorexia die within ten years of diagnosis.
Parents who have seen signs of drug addiction, teen alcohol abuse, self mutilation, or eating disorders in their children are often at a loss for effective coping strategies. What they don’t realize is that teen treatment programs are widely available to provide support to their children and help them overcome their challenges. Here, we’ll look at a few important factors for choosing the right teen treatment program for your troubled teen.
How Is Your Teen Struggling?
Is your teen addicted to opiates like heroin or prescription painkillers, or are they abusing alcohol or marijuana? Each drug affects the body differently, and each addiction has different implications for treatment. Opiate addictions, for example, require a drug rehab that begins with a medical detox that addresses withdrawal symptoms. Crystal meth addictions, on the other hand, need long-term inpatient care to help patients avoid relapse. Talk to your child’s counselor about the best teen treatment program for his or her specific problem.
Does Your Teen Have a Co-Occurring Disorder?
Depression, ADHD, eating disorders, anger issues, anxiety or another social, and other behavioral or psychological disorders are best addressed in dual diagnosis teen treatment programs, since many teens suffer from more than one at a time. In these programs, teens can be treated for multiple issues simultaneously. Because addiction worsens the characteristics of mental illness, and mental illnesses increases cravings for addictive drugs, it is essential for your teen’s health that you choose a teen drug rehab that speaks to both issues.
Is Your Teen Falling Behind at School?
The goal of teen treatment programs is to help adolescents get back on track, so students who are already struggling with school might benefit from a program that offers academic assistance.
Can Your Teen Avoid Relapse Without Constant Supervision?
This is the most important factor for parents choosing between inpatient and outpatient programs. This decision should not be based on financial considerations alone. If your teen is resistant to treatment and unlikely to avoid relapse when unsupervised, an inpatient program is the best way to help him or her recover.
The challenges that plague many American teens should be addressed in facilities specially equipped to provide help. Make sure you consult your child’s counselor and choose a program wisely. The road to recovery begins in the right teen treatment center.