Updated: Aug 31
You have just experienced that moment that every parent dreads – your once-loving child seems to have transformed overnight into a nearly unrecognizable and hostile young person. The change is so drastic that you recognize that this is more than just teen hormones, and you realize that you might be dealing with substance abuse or addiction. In addition to his anger, other signs could include physical changes, such as weight gain, over-tiredness or red eyes. Mood swings, theft and a change of friends could also mean possible drug use. You know parents who have sent their children away to school, and you wonder if a boarding school for troubled boys can help teens fight daily addictions.
Statistics on Teen Drug Use
The federal government compiles statistics on teen drug use, and the numbers are alarming. For example, in 2014, more than 37 percent of high school seniors admitted alcohol use during the prior month, and more than 19 percent admitted binge drinking during the previous two weeks. More than 21 percent of high school seniors admitted past marijuana use during the prior month, and illegal drug use in all grades was around 27 percent. For the most part, these numbers have dropped over the past several years, but they still show that a significant percentage of teens are involved with drugs.
Risk Factors For Troubled Teens
Several risk factors might contribute to a teen developing a drug addiction. These include:
A poor self-image
Lonely or having few friends or
A parent, relative or family history of alcoholism or substance abuse.
The Benefits of Early Intervention
Substance abuse addiction is a medical term for a problem that is now considered a disease. Addiction includes physical tolerance and withdrawal symptoms upon stopping. As such, the medical community has established specific protocols for treatment as sudden stopping of use could result in serious physical issues. The sooner you get help for your child, the more favorable the results are likely to be. Your child’s life is at risk, and you need to take aggressive measures to intervene.
Advantages of Boarding School to Fight Addictions
Although teens will usually resist treatment, parents need to be prepared for this. A boarding school for troubled boys can help teens fight daily addictions by taking him out of his environment and away from his former connections so that he can start fresh without the temptations of his old life. The new setting will make it easier to start over with new behaviors.
A residential facility provides a long-term and intense therapy coupled with strategic behaviors to address his addictions. As to academics, he will now be in classes with fewer students and receive individual attention. In addition, as he eliminates old behaviors, he can focus on new interests, such as the creative arts, sports, woodworking or agriculture. Therapists will work with him to understand what triggers cravings so that he knows how to avoid a relapse.
As a precaution, parents need to ensure that the facility can detox the teen or else prepare to send him to a hospital. They should also make sure that the program has licensed counselors and medical professionals and that it offers follow up through an aftercare program. Many teens with substance abuse problems also deal with related issues, such as depression, eating disorders, anger control or learning disabilities, which the facility should be prepared to address as well.