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  • The Struggle Of Drinking To Not Feel

    The Struggle Of Drinking To Not Feel

    One of the main reason that people who are addicted to alcohol or any other drug use is that they are attempting to numb feelings of some kind. The degree to which a person is drinking to numb their feelings may vary, but must instances of alcoholism are due at least in part to a desire not to feel emotions that may be uncomfortable, such as anger, sadness, loneliness, or inadequacy, just to name a few.

  • 5 Facts About Opioid Dependence

    5 Facts About Opioid Dependence

    Opioid dependence is one of the fastest growing diseases in the United States today. Opioids, which are derived from the same chemicals as heroin, are highly addictive and can also be very deadly. It is very easy to overdose from opioids or to suffer from a lethal reaction to taking opioids with other types of drugs. Here are five facts about opioids and opioid addiction.

  • Why Addicts are Left with No Choice But to Use

    Why Addicts are Left with No Choice But to Use

    For those who have never experienced addiction or don't understand the disease, they might wonder why an addict continues to use drugs in spite of obvious consequences. To an outsider it may seem like a voluntary act when an addict continually engages in substance abuse. It can look like completely irrational behavior and they may believe the addict simply has poor self-control or a moral weakness. The reality is that addiction is a complex disease that beyond a certain point of chronic drug use eventually becomes involuntary. It can be hard to understand why a person continues to abuse drugs even while they are destroying their lives but there are significant changes that addiction can cause in the mind and body that make it nearly impossible for an addict to quit without professional help. Even after suffering a number of significantly negative consequences a person with an addiction will involuntarily keep using due to the nature of addiction.

  • Treatment Helps Cultivate Willingness to Stay Clean

    Treatment Helps Cultivate Willingness to Stay Clean

    Many addicts enter treatment with a little bit of doubt about their addiction or a thought in the back of their mind that they can still somehow moderate their behavior. They may be terrified at the thought of losing the lifestyle they had and the idea of quitting permanently seems impossible. However, as long as they have at least some willingness and motivation to stay clean they can begin to cultivate that feeling in treatment and get rid of any notion of ever using again. Everything about recovery rests on a person's willingness to get better and do the work that will change their life. Voluntarily entering treatment is the first step to being open and more willing to pursuing permanent sobriety.

  • Allowing an Addict to Find Their Bottom is the Best You Can Do for Them

    Allowing an Addict to Find Their Bottom is the Best You Can Do for Them

    There is a saying that recovery is only effective for those that want it not for those that need it. Forcing someone to quit their addiction or get help may not work for them because they must first understand that they have a problem and they need help. Denial can be very powerful for people suffering from addiction and telling them that they need to change may fall on deaf ears. They will most likely continue their behavior until they reach a point where they have a realization about the reality of their addiction. Unfortunately this realization can often only occur once they truly hit rock bottom.

  • 5 Tips Every College Freshman Needs to Know

    5 Tips Every College Freshman Needs to Know

    Making the transition from high school to college can be a difficult time for teens or young adults that are finally learning to live independently. The pressures of being an adult on your own and dealing with the stress of school work can be a lot to handle in the first year of attending college.

  • What Makes A Grateful Alcoholic?

    What Makes A Grateful Alcoholic?

    Recovering from alcohol addiction is by no means an easy process. Recovery is a life long process, and any recovering alcoholic knows that in order to stay healthy and sober it is necessary to constantly use the tools that they developed in treatment in order to fight the urges and triggers that are simply a reality in day to day life.

  • 4 Ways To Help The Most Desperate Addict

    4 Ways To Help The Most Desperate Addict

    Addiction is a disease that can be extremely difficult to recover from. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are very likely to also suffer from conditions like depression and low self esteem, which can make it even more difficult to make the decision to seek help because an addict may not recognize their own self worth or realize that they deserve the chance to be happy and healthy again.

  • 5 Truths Of Addiction Treatment

    5 Truths Of Addiction Treatment

    When it comes time for someone to get off of an addiction and end the vicious cycle that it brings on, the best way to get started with this is to first go into a detox facility. In detox, the physical addiction will be remedied through the help of medications and care from the individuals who work there.

  • Buprenorphine A New Option For Heroin Addiction Treatment

    Buprenorphine A New Option For Heroin Addiction Treatment

    Opiate withdrawal is usually so intense that addicts find it hard to quit heroin or pain killers without the help of some kind of medication. In many cases, methadone has proven to be problematic as a medication for heroin addiction because it can become addictive.

  • Military Vets Susceptible to Prescription Drug Addiction

    Military Vets Susceptible to Prescription Drug Addiction

    Soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have a high risk of facing issues with drug abuse when they return home. It is common for military veterans to experience symptoms of PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, along with chronic pain due to combat injuries.

  • NYPD Now Equipped With Naloxone to Help Fight Heroin Deaths

    NYPD Now Equipped With Naloxone to Help Fight Heroin Deaths

    A new program has provided the necessary funds for New York Police officers to be equipped with a heroin antidote known as Naloxone. Recent increases in heroin addiction and overdose in the area have made it necessary for the NYPD to be specially trained and equipped for this crisis.

  • 5 Things You Should Know about Xanax

    5 Things You Should Know about Xanax

    Physicians frequently prescribe drugs like Xanax for people with panic disorder or symptoms of anxiety. Although it can be an effective medication for those suffering from panic attacks and severe anxiety, Xanax is a drug that is commonly abused.

  • Chasing the Dream of Doing Cocaine Like A Gentleman

    Chasing the Dream of Doing Cocaine Like A Gentleman

    Drugs like cocaine are often considered to be a "gentleman's addiction". Cocaine is the type of drug that is expensive enough to be associated with high flying executives and high profile celebrities who can afford to make it a habit. Because of this image cocaine sometimes becomes glamorized by people who imagine that doing this drug makes you appear rich and powerful.

  • Is Treating Opioid Addiction With Suboxone A Safe Option?

    Is Treating Opioid Addiction With Suboxone A Safe Option?

    Physicians treating addiction to heroin or prescription opoids are usually able to see a better success rate when providing medication. Recovering from the abuse of a highly addictive drug like heroin can be too difficult for long time users who are attempting to quit "cold turkey".

  • Is Crack-Cocaine the Most Destructive Drug Ever?

    Is Crack-Cocaine the Most Destructive Drug Ever?

    Most illegal drugs can have devastating effects on individuals and communities that see a high rate of addiction, but crack-cocaine is a particularly destructive substance that is dangerously addictive. When crack was widespread in the 80s and early 1990s, it destroyed many inner city communities that are still recovering from its effects.

  • Teen Athletes More Predisposed To Prescription Drug Addiction

    Teen Athletes More Predisposed To Prescription Drug Addiction

    Recent studies have discovered that young teens participating in sports have a higher risk of developing an addiction to prescription drugs and especially opoid pain killers than those not involved in athletics. The issue is a much bigger problem for male teen athletes that are more likely to misuse prescription drugs than their female counterparts.

  • America’s Binge Drinking Problem

    America’s Binge Drinking Problem

    Excessive drinking is more common in the U.S. than we might realize as studies have shown a surprising amount of adults frequently binge on alcohol. As many as 38 million U.S. adults binge drink on a regular basis according to findings from a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Suburban Opoid Problem Contributing to Heroin Addiction

    Suburban Opoid Problem Contributing to Heroin Addiction

    Heroin abuse is no longer a problem reserved for the inner city or the poorest neighborhoods; now the typical heroin addicts are young white teens and adults living in the suburbs. Part of the reason for this shift is the rise in prescription pain killer abuse which can be a gateway to heroin addiction.

  • The Major Symptoms of Percoset Use and Abuse

    The Major Symptoms of Percoset Use and Abuse

    Prescription drug abuse has been a problem for the U.S. since the 1990s and has nearly reached the point of a national crisis. Currently, there are seven million Americans who take prescription drugs for non-medical reasons and the majority of those are abusing pain killers.

  • Breast Cancer Tied to Alcohol Consumption

    Breast Cancer Tied to Alcohol Consumption

    Alcohol and especially chronic alcohol abuse is known to cause a myriad of health problems including cirrhosis of the liver and heart disease but few people realize how much of a connection there is between alcohol and certain types of cancer. Alcoholism is not traditionally considered a major cause of cancer but studies actually show a clear link to the disease especially in the case of breast cancer.

  • 5 Tips To Help A Heroin Addict Get Into Treatment

    5 Tips To Help A Heroin Addict Get Into Treatment

    Few things are as frustrating and terrifying as having a loved one who is suffering from heroin addiction. Most people are aware that heroin is highly addictive and that using heroin presents a number of very serious health risks.

  •  Is Teen Culture Now A Drug Fueled Culture?

    Is Teen Culture Now A Drug Fueled Culture?

    Almost every parent of a teen worries about their child getting involved with drugs or alcohol use. Teens have always been the population most prone to peer pressure that may lead to experimentation, and teens are also the people that may be most at risk for some of the dangers associated with drug or alcohol use.

  • South Africa Looking to Cut Down on Alcohol Advertisements

    South Africa Looking to Cut Down on Alcohol Advertisements

    The government of South Africa has made efforts to combat the nation’s significant problem with alcohol abuse by proposing a ban on liquor advertisements. The Control of Marketing of Alcohol Beverages bill that would ban alcohol ads throughout the country still remains under consideration with much debate as to the impact it would have on the community and the economy.

     

  • U.S. Senate Proposing New Bills To Fight Heroin Addiction

    U.S. Senate Proposing New Bills To Fight Heroin Addiction

    As heroin addiction and abuse continues to devastate both individuals in small cities and those in large metropolitan areas, many doctors and teachers and therapists are turning to law enforcement and government officials for answers as to what may be an effective means of minimizing and ultimately eliminating the use and abuse of this deadly drug.

  • The 5 Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

    The 5 Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

    There is little question that prescription drug use is on the rise in the United States. The rapid increase in the number of hospitalizations and and deaths related to prescription drug use and abuse has led many parents, doctors, and law enforcement agents to search for possible ways in which the tide of prescription drug addiction can be stemmed.

  • The Glamorous Side Of Cocaine Hides The True Effects

    The Glamorous Side Of Cocaine Hides The True Effects

    Cocaine is a very dangerous and addictive drug that carries with it a number of quite troubling side effects. Although many people are aware of the fact that cocaine is a dangerous drug, the drug is somewhat unique in that it carries with it a somewhat glamorous image.

  • Alcohol Not Being Sold At University Of Georgia Football Games

    Alcohol Not Being Sold At University Of Georgia Football Games

    The University of Georgia has recently implemented a new plan for designed to manage alcohol consumption and reduce the number of injuries and incidents caused by alcohol consumption at its football games with a new plan that has been coined the “Gameday Gameplan.”

  • How To Show Gratitude In Sobriety

    How To Show Gratitude In Sobriety

    The life that one lives under the tyranny of an addiction is one filled with stress, pain and isolation. Addictions are in no way beneficial to those who are in their grip, and for someone to get out of them they seem to have to have no other option.

  • How To Spot Prescription Drug Addiction

    How To Spot Prescription Drug Addiction

    Prescription drug addiction is fast becoming one of the most rapidly growing diseases in the country. Prescription drugs are highly habit forming and there is no such thing as a “typical” prescription drug addict.

  • 5 Facts You Need To Know About Heroin Withdrawal

    5 Facts You Need To Know About Heroin Withdrawal

    Heroin is one of the most addictive and destructive drugs out in the world today. If someone does not overdose from it, then they are sure to catch some kind of disease such as AIDS, HIV, or Hepatitis C from the fact that it is common for heroin users to share needles without cleaning them or getting new ones.

  • 5 Consequences Of Binge Drinking

    5 Consequences Of Binge Drinking

    Binge drinking is defined as any time that an individual drinks to excess or consumes enough alcohol to make them seriously impaired. What constitutes binge drinking may vary quite a bit from person to person, but it is generally agreed that the average man is said to have engaged in binge drinking if he has consumed more than five drinks in two hours and the average woman if she has had four or more.

  • 5 Facts About America’s Problem With Prescription Drug Addiction

    5 Facts About America’s Problem With Prescription Drug Addiction

    The rate of addiction to prescription painkillers across the United States throughout the population is greater nowadays than all illegal drug addictions combined. More people than ever are getting hooked onto things like prescription painkillers such as Dilaudid, OxyContin, Methadone and morphine

  • 5 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Cocaine

    5 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Cocaine

    When chewed, the leaf of the coca plant gives you a high. This is what cocaine comes from. It is found in Central America, and thousands of years ago, the ancient Aztecs and Incas used it to get their hearts racing and blood flowing as they lived in high mountain regions where the air is thin.

  • Overall Health Risks Of Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

    Overall Health Risks Of Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

    The abuse of prescription drugs in today’s world has risen to the levels of an epidemic. All told, the amount of people who abuse prescription drugs surpasses that of people who use every type of illegal street drug like meth, cocaine and heroin combined.

  • Is Cocaine the Ultimate Party Drug?

    Is Cocaine the Ultimate Party Drug?

    A drug like cocaine is often viewed by users as a recreational or party drug that they would prefer to use only on certain occasions. People look for a drug like cocaine to enhance their party experience because it is a stimulant that offers a short burst of intense energy and a feeling of euphoria.

Addiction is a disease that can affect anyone, from any racial or socioeconomic background, male or female, at any age. Certain demographics of the population, who find themselves abusing drugs and alcohol, have a special set of needs in recovery.

One group is teenagers. When the still-developing brain is impacted by mind-altering substances, unique techniques, therapeutic approaches, and areas of focus have proven effective for a teenage addict’s recovery.

A teen program, that can successfully integrate the client’s family, is providing a vitally important piece of treatment. A safe place for families to honestly deal with problems, where the teen has a voice, is heard, and can also listen openly to family members, is priceless in the healing process.

Teenage Substance Abuse: A Growing Problem

Currently, alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, and psychedelics (ecstasy, salvia divinorum, and mushrooms) are the most commonly abused drugs among teenagers, despite the continuous publication of the dangers and potential consequences.

The age of first use of drugs and alcohol, is getting younger and younger. The use of mind-altering substances, like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogenic mushrooms, LSD, MDMA (or ecstasy), or anything else that alters brain chemistry, is prevalent among the youngest members of our population.

While smoking marijuana once may not seem like a big deal to a thirteen-year-old, the age of first substance use is the single best indicator of substance abuse and addiction later in that person’s life. When any substance is used, including nicotine and caffeine, before the age of 12, the chances of abuse and addiction to any substance is exponentially greater than when use happens after the age of 18. Further, since the brain is not fully developed until approximately age 25, those who do not drink or use any drug before then, rarely progress to any form of chemical dependency at any point in life.

To treat teenagers who have suffered from any of the disorders, issues, or combination of struggles on the list below, special care is important. A family program helps address each individual need, ideally with the inclusion of the most important and influential people in this young person’s life.

  • Alcohol abuse or addiction (alcoholism)
  • Drug addiction (to any mind-altering substance)
  • Depression
  • An eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder)
  • Mental illness (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.)
  • Isolation (social, relational, familial)
  • Legal troubles
  • School problems
  • Peer pressure
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Problems with authority
  • Manipulation and lying
  • Runaways, homeless, orphan

Rates of Teen Drug Use

According to the University of Michigan’s 2013 Monitoring the Future Study, conducted through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), each year, in the United States alone, the following percentages of high school seniors abuse each drug:

  • 36.4% abuse marijuana
  • 7.4% abuse Adderall
  • 5.3% abuse Vicodin
  • 5.0% abuse cough syrup
  • 4.6% abuse tranquilizers (mainly in the form of prescription drugs)
  • 4.5% abuse hallucinogens
  • 4.8% abuse sedatives (mainly in the form of prescription drugs)
  • 3.6% abuse OxyContin
  • 4.0% abuse MDMA or ecstasy
  • 2.5% abuse inhalants
  • 2.6% abuse cocaine
  • 2.3% abuse Ritalin

These percentages add up to millions of only high school seniors who are abusing highly-addictive and life-threatening substances. These statistics do not take into account all other people under the age of 18, or the abuse of alcohol, heroin, and several other prescription drugs.

To stop the use of any mind-altering substances in your teenager, call Recovery Now TV today at 800-281-4731. Life can change. Your teen can choose a substance-free life. Call now!

Adolescent & Teenage Development

The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain located directly behind the forehead, controls executive functioning and impulse control, and is the part most greatly impacted by drugs and alcohol.

As we all know, major physical, emotional, mental, and psychological changes happen between the ages of 10 and 18, depending upon the person. The process of maturing through puberty is not easy. Hormones are all over the place, new desires and sensations are confusing and awkward, and often times young people feel isolated or separated from society, and from their families.

Through these years of change, the brain is developing and the body is maturing. As the brain slowly develops, from back to front, important parts of the reward/reinforcement pathway are the last to form. The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain located directly behind the forehead, controls executive functioning and impulse control, and is the part most greatly impacted by drugs and alcohol. When a drug affects this developing area of the brain, telling it that substances are the way to feel pleasure, the still growing brain stores that information as knowledge.

A major consequence of an altered prefrontal cortex is a young person’s inability to control compulsive drug use. Without an established sense of healthy reward/reinforcement, functioning, and impulse control, the choice to continuing abusing substances is much easier than the choice to stop. Anyone with prefrontal cortex impairment is unable to delay gratification, to make and carry out long-term plans, to recognize potential consequences of choices and actions (example: smoking marijuana at a young age could cause permanent and irreversible damage to the developing brain), or to recognize a problem with substances, therefore, living with a strong sense of denial.

Drug and alcohol abuse in adolescent and teenage years is beyond dangerous. If you see a young person in your life using any substance, contact the team at Recovery Now TV to find out how you can intervene to stop the progression.

Call now! 800-281-4731.

Identifying a Problem

A list of signs and symptoms to look for in a teenager can help you identify a problem with substance abuse.

How can a parent, teacher, or other adult recognize a problem with drugs and/or alcohol?

These signs and symptoms of use, abuse, and addiction indicate a problem that needs to be addressed:

  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Missing school
  • Grades dropping
  • Constant runny nose and watery eyes
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain (indicates the abuse of different substances)
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Consistent coughing
  • Changes in clothing choices
  • No longer caring about appearance
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing (offensive images or phrases, wearing long-sleeved shirts when it is hot out, etc.)
  • Changes in friends and social groups
  • Stealing
  • Lying or secretive behavior
  • Loss of appetite or excessive hunger
  • Forgetfulness
  • Disrespectful demeanor and dialogue
  • Money or valuables missing from your home
  • Hostile, aggressive outbursts that are out of character
  • Unusual sleeping habits
  • Visible anxiety or depression
  • Something seeming “off”

If you see any combination of these symptoms, contact Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731. Intervention and treatment can stop recreational drug and alcohol use from progressing to problematic substance abuse and addiction.

Intervention: Stopping Substance Use & Offering Treatment

Interventions are not a one-time, scared-straight technique. Interventions work because they are an effective first step in the road to recovery that requires follow through.

Interventions are designed to help a teen see how loved he or she is, and how destructive the current path of drugs and alcohol will very soon be, if use continues. The design of an intervention is to interrupt the damaging and dangerous behavioral choices, and to offer alternative possibilities. With the help of a trained professional, a treatment program can be introduced to your teenager that will help the substance abusing young person face the consequences in a loving and supportive environment.

Interventions are not a one-time, scared-straight technique. Interventions work because they are an effective first step in the road to recovery that requires follow through. For young people who have been abusing alcohol and various drugs (which include prescription drugs), and who also suffer from a mental illness, an eating disorder, unmanageable anger, aggression, or sadness, chronic feelings of isolation, legal problems, or communication issues, an intervention is a great way to guide him or her toward the treatment that can address and treat each aspect of suffering.

To break the cycle of substance use before major life consequences forever change the life of a young person, call Recovery Now TV today at 800-281-4731.

Treatment for Teenage Substance Abuse & Addiction

Treatment for teenagers is most beneficial when it includes: short-term goals, drug and alcohol education, and constant peer involvement.

Formal rehabilitation services for young people are based on therapeutic methods of guidance, clinical assessment, and medical supervision that combine to treat the mind, body and soul of the troubled teenager, plus his or her family. An effective treatment center employs a medical doctor, a psychologist, and several drug and alcohol counselors, all of whom have many years of experience and expertise in dealing with the specific needs of teenagers, and the established family dynamics.

When a young person chooses treatment, generally during a formal intervention, there are a series of steps that involve various levels of care.

Inpatient Treatment

Following a medically-monitored detoxification program, an inpatient, residential treatment program is recommended for all substance-abusing teens. In this level of care, clients live and receive treatment at the same facility.

The benefits of inpatient treatment are:

  • Twenty-four-hour monitorization
  • Majorly restricted, if not prohibited, ability to leave the facility
  • Access to a member of the treatment team at all times
  • Constant peer involvement
  • No access to drugs or alcohol
  • Involvement in 12 Step programs
  • Ongoing medication management
  • Continuous care for every aspect of recovery

Outpatient Treatment

An outpatient treatment program means that the teenager reports to the licensed facility every day for group and individual meetings, just like in inpatient treatment, but with much more freedom. While a client must hold him or herself more accountable for choices, outpatient treatment provides a way to continue formal care.

Using the coping skills and techniques for recovery learned in inpatient treatment, and while being required to pass random drug screens, outpatient treatment allows a newly sober client to participate in the “real world” with a consistent support system and treatment team in place.

Family Therapy

Family involvement can greatly help a teenager during all stages of treatment. Individual therapy sessions can be scheduled where a client, his or her therapist, and the family who choose to participate, engage in open and honest dialog, with a third-party mediator (the therapist.) Often families want to simply “fix” the alcohol and drug problem without a true understanding of the addiction. As family members are educated and exposed to the reality of substance abuse, common ground can be found, support is offered, and young addicts heal.

An 18-year-old polydrug abuser shares his experience while participating in family therapy while in an inpatient treatment program:

I burnt every bridge that I’ve got with pretty much everybody in my whole life. The family sessions here are helping a little bit, you know. My mom comes in - my stepdad doesn’t want anything to do with me but my mom comes in; we’re working, we’re listening, you know. We’re not just fighting anymore. She’s not yelling at the top of her lungs. I’m not telling her to f*** off anymore. We’re actually working together. It feels good. I might be able to get a life.

Important Aspects of Treatment for Teenagers

A few approaches to treatment are helpful, and needed, for teenagers to make progress in the right direction during substance abuse treatment:

  1. Since chemical use has altered the prefrontal cortex, and the teen’s mindset is present-oriented (not seeing into the future), treatment needs to be focused on setting goals that can be achieved in a short period of time. With daily and weekly goals, for example, a teen can experience the reward and positive reinforcement of a good choice.
  2. Treatment for teens must downplay the benefits of alcohol and drug use. By explaining that the perceived fun and enjoyment of substances is actually more of a fantasy that a reality, a young person’s brain can compute the information and then see the misconceptions that tend to glorify substance use.
  3. Teen drug and alcohol treatment must involve peers. Research shows that teenagers are much more likely to listen to one another than they are to listen to adults. When guidance, support, and honesty can come from peers, teenagers hear it and let it sink in. An effective rehab program for teens needs to include peer process groups that are built into each treatment day.

By calling Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731 today, you can find a set of treatment programs that are best for your teenager’s unique set of circumstances and needs.

Sources:
Coalition Against Drug Abuse
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens
University of Michigan 2013 Monitoring the Future Study
Uppers, Downers, All Arounders by Darryl S. Inaba & William E. Cohen