The tumultuous group of adolescents consists of twenty percent of the population. These adolescents come from family backgrounds that are not stable. There is often a history of mental illness in the family; the parents have marital conflicts, and the families have more economic difficulties. The moods of these adolescents are not stable, and they are more prone to depression. They have significantly more psychiatric disturbances, and they only do well with the aid of intense psychotherapy. They do not grow out of it. It is in the tumultuous growth group that chemical dependency often develops.
Adolescents almost always use alcohol or drugs the first time under peer pressure. They want to be accepted and be a part of the group. Children are likely to model after the chemical use of their parents. Children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk of becoming chemically dependent. Practitioners seeking to develop effective treatment strategies for chemically dependent adolescents confront literature which is overwhelming in volume and confusing and contradictory in content.
Chemically dependent adolescents gradually change their peer group to include drinking and drug using friends. Chemical dependency halts emotional development. To develop normally, a person must learn to use their feelings to give them energy and direction for problem solving.
Ironically, chemically dependent people commonly see themselves only as regular users. Then, when they misuse and experience some consequences, they attempt to control their intake for a time. Then they misuse again. This back and forth pattern is a common symptom of the last stage. All the while, each symptom found in misuses becomes more serious.
It is tough, if not impossible, to arrest chemical dependency without such a crisis. But knowing the warning signs can make it possible for users and the people who care about them to take action — before addiction destroys their lives.
The Center for Behavioral Medicine’s Adolescent Recovery Services reflects a unique understanding of the varied and complicated problems facing chemically dependent and dually diagnosed teenagers and their families.
What happens to teens when their drug use becomes progressively more frequent and addictive? This list of behaviors, which are typically seen in a teen who is becoming addicted to drugs, can help parents discover if their teen has a true addiction to one or more substances.
They help adolescents (ages 13-18) recognize their addiction to alcohol and drugs as a disease that requires lifestyle changes for recovery. Dual-diagnosed teens, who struggle with the accompanying mental health problems, receive specialized, integrated care to overcome both challenges.
A free assessment can be scheduled to determine the service best suited to the patients’ needs. Available programs for chemical dependency include:
INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT THERAPY, which allows students to continue in their home school and attends therapeutic activities, individual, group and family therapy during the evening.
PARTIAL HOSPITALIZATION allows patients to be at home during the evening to work on what they learn during the day in the therapeutic environment, which includes school, individual, group and family therapy and therapeutic activities.
Adolescent Recovery Services is our most intensive intervention for inpatients. If an assessment indicates that a patient needs to be in Adolescent Recovery Services, once admitted, our priority is to determine if detoxification is necessary. Also during this evaluation period, we gather information allowing us to pinpoint the progression of the addiction on the continuum of chemical dependency. The next step is to identify the teen’s patterns of alcohol and other drug use and determine contributing factors, such as emotional, behavioral and physical problems, as well as family concerns.