The teenage years are incredibly difficult for both parents and teens. Some troubled teens turn to substance abuse to assist them in dealing with their circumstances and parents need more help freeing their teens from the influence of these substances as teenagers are more prone to be addicted than adults.
Teens Are More Prone To Substance Abuse
There are several factors in play that make teens more vulnerable to abusing substances than adults.
- Teens’ brains are less developed – It can be tough as parents to understand the actions of their teenagers, but in some cases, it comes down to the fact that the human brain isn’t fully developed until a person is 25 years old. Also, the area that is underdeveloped in teens is the part of the brain which controls things like empathy, critical thinking, and planning. This lack of development can leave teenagers more likely to take risks such as using prescription drugs or illegal substances.
- Their brains receive a higher reward for substance abuse – Drawing conclusions from a study which examined the brains of teenage rats, researchers saw that teenage subjects had a much higher reward response to substance abuse than adult subjects. While this higher reward did not always result in a higher addiction rate, it did make the teenage subjects more prone to trying to seek the drugs.
- Teens have fewer coping skills – To adults, the statement “worse day of their life” from a teen may sound humorous, but for a teen, many tough circumstances can really result in the worse day of their lives. As teens don’t have the life experience adults have to give context to their hardships, some teens turn to substance abuse to blunt those feelings of frustration, awkwardness, sorrow, and other negative emotions they don’t know how to cope with in the right ways.
- Peer pressure can play a huge role – Who your teen surrounds themselves with will play a large part of if they come into contact with illegal substances in their teen years. Not all teens will be offered opportunities to abuse substances with the right peers, but those teens who have friends already abusing substances, it is far more likely that your teen will be pressured to partake.
For teens who do give into these factors and turn to substance abuse, immediate attention and care are required to help the teen escape from the insidious influence of drugs.
Residential Treatment Is A Critical Step For Substance Abusing Teens
To help your teen detox from the substances they have abused, inpatient treatment should be your first step. The inpatient environment is usually a heavily-monitored medical facility so the troubled teen can be safely weaned off the drugs they have been abusing. However, inpatient treatment is a short-term option and teens will require more help after they are released from being treated.
To fill the treatment gap between inpatient and living at home, you can send your troubled teen to a residential treatment center. At this type of treatment center, your teen will learn a number of skills and receive other benefits which can help them kick a substance abuse addiction forever.
How Troubled Teens Are Helped By A Residential Treatment Center
Teens that go home right after inpatient rehabilitation can often fall right back into the destructive cycle which led to the original substance abuse. This is due to the fact that nothing has really changed for the teen, except they were caught and medically treated for substance abuse. To help troubled teens make permanent positive changes, a residential treatment center for teens can help enormously.
- Therapy helps teens reach the source – While the drugs may have been cleaned out of your teen’s body by in-patient treatment, the reasons which drove your teenagers to use illegal substances are still there. With the help of a dedicated therapist, daily group therapy, and other therapeutic activities built-in the program, a residential treatment center can provide a safe place for your teenager to work through the issues which drove them to abuse substances.
- Teens are removed from negative peers – Rather than returning to the peers and environment which led to your teen abusing drugs, a residential treatment center allows your teen to fully recover and rebuild away from the things that drove them to drugs.
- Life skills are emphasized – Important life skills such as leadership abilities, personal hygiene importance, responsibility, and other key life skills are taught to teens in residential treatment. Also, new skill development is provided to allow teens to grow in self-worth and self-confidence.
- Teens are taught new ways to cope – To help teens avoid relapsing in the future, a residential treatment center will teach new coping skills to teens. With these tools, teens will be able to make better choices and alleviate negative emotions in positive ways.
- Academic support is provided – Most teens who fall into abusing substances have as had their grades suffer. With the academic support provided by residential treatment centers and the certified educational program, your teen will be able to catch up with their peers and become college ready.
Sundance Canyon Academy Can Help Your Teenage Son
Here at Sundance Canyon Academy, we are committed to helping troubled teenage boys ages 13-17 years old. We provide the services of a private boarding school as well as immersive therapy to help your son overcome his struggle with substance abuse.
To learn more about our program and to see if your son is a good fit, contact Sundance Canyon Academy.