Adolescence is frequently a time of drug and alcohol experimentation in America. For this and other reasons, it also represents a crucial time for preventing drug and alcohol use. If you have children, you may wonder if the ways to prevent drug abuse among teenagers differ from the ways to prevent drug abuse among adults. The answer is yes; age has a significant impact on the methods used to prevent involvement in substance intake.
Parenting addicted teens is the ultimate challenge for a mother or father. If you are facing this situation, you may feel helpless, alone or desperate to get your child well again. The best thing you can do for your addicted teen is to get him into treatment. Rehab facilities that are dedicated to helping patients are numerous, and by knowing what to look for, you can find the right treatment program for your vulnerable teen.
According to the annual Monitoring the Future survey, the rate at which teens abuse ADHD drugs is remaining steady at around 7 percent. While the number of teens abusing other prescriptions has gone down a little bit over the last year, use of the drugs to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has not budged. Teens most often report abusing drugs like Adderall and Ritalin in order to study more effectively or to stay up late to write papers. What they don’t realize is that this practice is risky and dangerous.
It seems like just yesterday that your son was sitting with his cousins at the card table in the living room for the holiday meal. Now, he is 18 and coming home for break after his first semester away at school. Of course he has graduated from the kids’ table — he has been part of the main event for several years now — but is the “college man” ready to enjoy the entire holiday grownup spread, including the Cabernet that you so carefully picked out to pair with the prime rib?
When parents think about protecting their children from pornography, most are thinking about their sons. Little girls aren’t interested in these things, are they? The fact is that boys and girls are equally curious, but as a society we tend to ignore the needs and curiosities of the female sex. We do it to their detriment. In this age of ever-available Internet porn, little girls and little boys have equal access to material that they may not understand and which can cause lasting damage and may even lead to pornography addiction.
Smartphones are here to stay. Most Americans have one and for good reason. With a smartphone you can connect to the Internet and social media sites, check email, text, and make a good, old-fashioned phone call. So much convenience in the palm of your hand is hard to resist. There are problems with smartphones, too. The constant connectivity can lead to obsessive use, compulsive behaviors, and even addiction. Smartphone use can make you sleep less and increase your stress. New research now tells us that obsessive use of smartphones can worsen other compulsive behaviors and addictions, and can keep you from effectively recovering from addictions.
Continuum of care now includes nationally recognized “adventure-based” treatment of young adult men who suffer from chemical dependency and co-occurring issues.
We are very happy and proud to announce that TRS Behavioral Care, Inc., parent company of The Right Step and Spirit Lodge has acquired San Cristobal Treatment Center of Taos, NM, greatly increasing the company’s geographic reach and leadership position in the chemical dependence treatment field.
TRS, named one of Houston’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies for the past two years, ended 2011 with the highest revenue in the company’s 22-year history. The San Cristobal acquisition extends TRS’ reach beyond Texas and also expands its continuum of care to include adventure-based addiction treatment for young men.
When it comes to dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, the ongoing support of friends and family is every bit as important as identifying the problem and signing up for treatment.
That’s the sentiment of James Patterson, executive director of The Right Step Conroe – an intensive outpatient treatment facility that is part of the nationally accredited, 20-location The Right Step “live life sober” network.
“There are a lot of supervised programs that offer medical, psychological and emotional support,” Patterson said. “But outpatient treatment is where the rubber meets the road. At some point, an addict needs to learn how to live in the real world.”
How many parents do you think sit down to talk to their kids about really important issues such as sex, drug abuse or alcohol abuse? Judging from the numbers of adolescents now facing their first and second stints in drug and alcohol rehab programs, I’d venture to guess not many. Then again, there are some parents who talk to their kids about these issues, but the kids go out and experiment anyway not really “seeing the big deal” until it’s too late.
How to Fix the Problem
Where do we begin to solve the problem of adolescents abusing drugs and alcohol? What needs to happen? Growing up, I had just as much of an opportunity to experiment with drugs and alcohol as anyone else, but I never did. So, what made me special or not so special? Perhaps the issue goes beyond just talking about drugs and alcohol. Perhaps we need to look at other factors such as life at home, peer associations and other external influences.