Teen Drug Abuse

Life Changes Start Here

Teens have different sets of stresses and pressures facing them than any other age group, and because of school and their social activities it might seem counterproductive to put a teen in an inpatient treatment program where he or she will have to miss many day to day activities. But in reality, a teen who is addicted has a high chance of becoming an adult who is devastatingly addicted to one and sometimes several substances.

Addiction is progressive, and the younger a person starts abusing drugs or alcohol, the longer and worse the addiction typically becomes. By a teen entering into an inpatient treatment program, he or she is in a safe, monitored environment that can help break the addiction and the cycle of addition that could haunt him or her for a lifetime.

Many people hesitate at the idea of putting a teenager into an inpatient treatment program. First, they have to miss school if it’s during the school year, which creates its own problems. Missed work has to be made up in a short amount of time, which leads to lots of work and perhaps lots of stress for the teen. Plus there are the missed social activities that go along with school, not to mention other students’ curiosity about where the addicted teen has been. If they know about the rehab, other teens could react in ways ranging from surprise to support to outright mockery.

There are also the addicted teen’s feelings to consider. He or she might feel isolated and alone, embarrassed and ashamed at having the need for treatment at all, let alone at the idea of being sent to a facility to undergo it. The idea of being away from home or in a facility with strangers could be frightening.

These possibilities can convince a parent that an inpatient treatment program isn’t right for a teenager. But in many cases, an inpatient treatment program is the ideal type of treatment for teens.

An inpatient treatment program gets the teenager away from every influence in his or her life. While it does keep them away from good influences for a short time, it also keeps them away from the things and people that tend to influence them to make poor decisions, including using drugs. They’re removed from the physical proximity of drugs—if it was convenient to buy and use them before, they’re away from those usual spots.

They’re also removed from the peer pressure we all know goes hand in hand with the teen years. During an inpatient treatment program, contact with friends is limited. If the teen’s group of friends or groups of kids at school do drugs and pressure others to do so, the teen is removed from that influence for a while; hopefully long enough to learn to deal with those pressures without giving in.

An inpatient treatment program can also help teens to feel more independent and in charge of their lives once they leave--something that is often lacking when teens turn to drugs.

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