Many people think that alcohol and drug abuse is only affecting adults, but teens as young as 12 years old are starting to experiment. This is due to the higher level of availability, both from their friends and at schools or parties. All types of substances are causing teens to become abused or addicted including alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, Meth, Heroin and Prescription Drugs. They are all serious and can all lead to severe addiction and physical dependence without proper treatment. You should become familiar with the signs of alcohol and drug abuse and continue with getting them the best recovery treatment possible.
Alcohol abuse in teens means that they are drinking excessively. It can occur in young teens and be from a variety of causes. If you think your teen might be abusing alcohol, there are some things to look for. First, there are physical signs of alcohol abuse in teens such as:
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Red and bloodshot eyes, persistent cough, increased fatigue, changes in their weight, unexplained injuries, hangover signs like headaches and nausea, smoking cigarettes, having lack of concentration or focus, short attention span, being very defensive and angry, irritability and mood swings and being slurred speech. Emotional signs of alcohol abuse include withdrawing from family and friends and preferring alone time, showing signs of depression, having a lack of interest in hobbies, problems in school like bad grades or skipping class, having new friends, lying, running away, manipulating, stealing money, people secretive and suspicious and getting into legal trouble.[/box]
Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is the result of continued use of alcohol. Alcohol abuse often leads to addiction in teens. Even with teenagers, alcoholism is possible and very dangerous for their health and life. If you think your teen might be struggling with addiction, look for these signs:
- Understanding the dangers of alcohol, but continuing to drink
- Ignoring parents, friends and other parental figures in their warnings of alcohol
- Being overly defensive, angry and even violent when confronted about their alcohol use
- Neglecting activities or hobbies they used to enjoy
- Spending all their money on alcohol and stealing money from others to feed their addiction
Causes of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
There are a variety of things in a teen’s life and family history that can lead to their alcohol drinking and abuse. This includes dealing with a traumatic event or abuse as a child, coming from a family of alcohol drinkers (especially parents), having a mental disorder like depression or anxiety, wanting to fit in and being pressured by their peers, having low self-esteem, or hanging out with other teens who also abuse alcohol and drugs.
The signs and symptoms and causes of drug abuse are very similar to that of alcohol abuse. You may start to notice your teen withdrawing, hanging out with a new group of people or seeming to have frequent mood swings. The sooner you get your teen treatment for suspected drug abuse, the more of a chance they will recover and avoid addiction.
Like alcohol addiction, drug addiction tends to show the same signs of drug abuse but elevated. The word “need” is often used for teens addicted to drugs – they need to use drugs, they need them to function throughout the day, they need them to be happy, they need them to deal with everything. Teens will show other signs of addiction as well, which may include trying to quit but failing, having intense withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit which leads to relapse and being overly violent or aggressive with others, especially if you bring up drug abuse or addiction to them.
Detox is the main treatment method offered to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. With alcohol and drug abuse or addiction, withdrawal symptoms are often very severe. They include nausea and vomiting, headaches, dizziness, body tremors or spasms, irregular heartbeat, sweating and chills and many other side effects. These can be miserable and often painful.
[box type=”success” ]Due to the severity of some withdrawal symptoms, you can request detox a part of your teen’s recovery program. Detox will use medication and monitoring to be sure your teen remains safe during this difficult time and that as many symptoms are alleviated as possible.[/box]
Studies have shown that detox therapy can not only reduce symptom experienced during withdrawal, but significantly reduce the risk of relapse after treatment.
Recovery from alcohol and drug abuse is the same for each type of abuse or addiction. It will start with the detox program to get n program to guide them through different aspects of recovery. This may include cognitive behavior therapy, group therapy, family therapy, private counseling, and addressing any physical or mental issues they might have. Identifying the root of their alcohol or drug abuse is generally part of the overall recovery program.
Now that you know what to expect from treatment and withdrawal, you have enough information to start looking for good treatment facilities. Look for one that offers the types of treatment you and your teens want to start off with.
For outpatient care, location is probably going to be an issue since you will be driving them back and forth on a daily basis. The after-care and continued care is also important as it shows the rehab center truly cares that your teen is completely recovered and staying that way.
Look up reviews online, but take them with a grain of salt and remember only a very small amount of people take the time to review, good or bad.
Get your teen the help they need by locating a rehab center near you and getting them started with recovery and treatment. Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction can be hard on them and you, but with the right treatment, they will make a full recovery and avoid what might have been a lifetime of struggle with substance abuse.