The disease of addiction has affected virtually every inch of the demographic spectrum. Men and women of all ages, from all regions and any socioeconomic backgrounds, have fallen under the terrible influence of alcohol, drugs, and even a number of destructive behaviors. However, an addiction doesn’t develop overnight. It requires the perfect confluence of factors, which can be genetic, social, environmental, and developmental. As such, each individual who becomes an addict develops his or her addiction due to their own particular circumstances. Moreover, everyone who becomes addicted experiences the disease differently, especially when it comes to the very diverse range of effects that result from the disease.
Although addiction is an indiscriminate disease, there are those who are more at risk than others. For instance, many people associate binge drinking with college-aged individuals as it’s a common occurrence in our culture for young adults to experiment with alcohol. Unfortunately, substance abuse can begin much younger than during college. In fact, it was very recently that the teenage substance abuse was on the rise. While the spike has leveled off, there are still way too many adolescent and teenage substance abusers. For the parents of teens experimenting or even addicted to alcohol or drugs, determining the best course of action to help the teenage substance user can be exceedingly difficult and emotional. As such, the following are four types of treatment that have shown to be particularly helpful in the treatment of teenage substance abuse and addiction.
Inpatient & Residential Programs for Teens
After discovering that one’s teenage son or daughter is a frequent substance user, the last thing that any parent would want to do is send him or her away and out of sight. The instinct of most protective parents is to pull children close when danger lurks near in order to protect them. Unfortunately, the development of an addiction is an instance in which parents are largely ill-equipped to handle the situation effectively. While they’re much less common than facilities for adults, there are a number of alcohol and drug rehab centers specifically for adolescents and teens located across the country. These inpatient or residential centers provide a safe, drug-free environment in which teens can focus on overcoming their addictions.
There are many benefits of inpatient treatment, which is widely considered to be the most effective form of treatment with those completing inpatient programming having the greatest chances of lasting success in recovery. While, in an inpatient program, teen addicts will be able to socialize and bond with peers who are experiencing many of the same things, helping them to feel less alone during this very turbulent time in their lives. Moreover, this offers them a period of separation from home, which is where their addictions began and would likely hinder their ability to overcome addiction. Inpatient programs also typically offer a wide variety of treatments and therapies, many of which will help them to mature while preparing them for lasting sobriety in adulthood.
Wilderness Substance Abuse Therapy
Some might consider it an unconventional form of treatment, but there’s increasing evidence for the effectiveness of wilderness therapy for substance abuse, especially for adolescents and teens. Wilderness therapy is a form of experiential therapy, which involves having a patient participate in activities while a professional makes inferences based on the individual’s behavior and demeanor as he or she is engaged in the activity. Another common form of experiential therapy is equine therapy, which involves the care of and interaction with horses. However, as its name would suggest, wilderness therapy involves individuals taking a short wilderness sabbatical. Lasting for a period of a few days up to a couple weeks, teens are guided by a professional as they become closer with nature on a journey of self-discovery.
Wilderness therapy for teens has been used for a variety of purposes, including helping teens to overcome anxiety and depression, deal with stress and loneliness, and learn a variety of healthy and useful coping skills. In fact, wilderness therapy has been especially effective in helping teen substance abusers develop better coping strategies, particularly when it comes to emotional triggers such as stress and hardship. Many wilderness programs also include meditation and yoga while virtually all of them still include the counseling and psychotherapy one would expect in a substance abuse treatment program. Additionally, teens who are chemically dependent will be able to address their dependencies during detoxification, which would preclude the wilderness treatment.
There’s been increasing interest in holistic therapies lately, especially when it comes to substance abuse treatments. The idea is that a holistic approach is more comprehensive, addressing one’s mind, body, and spirit in order to offer a total recovery. As such, there are a variety of holistic therapies that can be highly beneficial substance abuse treatments for adolescents and teens. Meditation is a common holistic practice because it teaches teens how to clear their minds in order to overcome stress and negative emotions, which are frequently relapse triggers. There are also a variety of holistic-style experiential therapies such as art or music therapy, which both encourage teens to express their thoughts and emotions either by creating art or with music. These forms of therapy can be particularly enlightening as many individuals will find that they can express thoughts and feelings they didn’t realize they had or which would be difficult to put into words. Other popular holistic treatments include neurofeedback, acupuncture, and even gardening therapy.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Teens
Although they’re somewhat controversial, there’s increased evidence in favor of medication-assisted treatment options, particularly for opioid addiction. Moreover, there’s even been some sources that have recommended that medication-assisted treatments be offered to adolescents and teens as it would be more accessible to them while they’re still in school or otherwise not yet self-sufficient. The use of medications — such as methadone and buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) — has been controversial due to the belief of some that replacement doesn’t mean recovery as individuals are still dependent on a medication; however, the available evidence suggests that replacement is more accessible and less intimidating than most other forms of treatment. Additionally, it keeps individuals from having to experience withdrawals during early recovery and is especially effective for harm reduction.
Let the Palm Beach Institute Match You to the Right Treatment Program
Everyone is different with different preferences and needs. As such, it’s essential for each individual to find an addiction treatment program that effectively addresses his or her specific recovery needs, and that’s exactly what we do. If you or someone you love would benefit from speaking with one of our experienced recovery specialists about addiction treatment and recovery, call the Palm Beach Institute today at 855-960-5456. A happier, healthier life is just one phone call away.