Being a parent of a young person struggling with addiction is heartbreaking and stressful. You want to do anything to help your child, but the disease of substance abuse is complex and harrowing. If you are experiencing the heartbreak of teen substance abuse, you may feel that help is out of reach. Fortunately, finding help for your son or daughter is easier than you think, but you must take your time and do your diligent research.
The following are important things to keep in mind:
Young People Have Unique Needs
When looking for treatment for young people, you must understand the unique needs of this age group. First and foremost, the minds and bodies of young people are still developing. Substance abuse treatment options must take this into account. Secondly, young people are vulnerable to peer pressure and are undergoing a huge amount of social growth. The awkwardness young people experience in this period of life may make them more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol in order to cope.
Before committing to a program or making any major decisions, it is important to speak with your family doctor or addiction professional well-versed in adolescent treatment. When you seek the advice and support from health and treatment professionals, you are better able to create a treatment and recovery plan that best fits the needs of your young one. Most importantly, you feel more confident and at ease.
While seeking professional advice is important, it is equally as important to do your own research. The more you learn about the complexities of drug addiction, the better equipped you are to help your young one. Fortunately, there are many reputable websites run by government-run agencies that are available to you that will provide you the information you need.
Examples of these include SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), NIDA for Teens, and Youth.gov to name a few. These government agency sites are current, easily navigable, and contain a wealth of resources regarding treatment and education programs for young people. These websites are staffed by experienced and compassionate staff who can provide you with additional resources and support that you need in order to get your addicted young one support.
Find the Appropriate Program
As stated before, young people who struggle with substance abuse need treatment and support that are geared to their unique and specific needs. In your search for treatment, you need to look for treatment facilities that are exclusively geared towards adolescents and young adults. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of facilities opening nationwide that are filling this need. Examples include the following:
- Newport Academy (https://www.newportacademy.com)
- Adult and Teen Challenge (https://www.teenchallengeusa.com)
- Polaris Teen Center (https://polaristeen.com)
Not only are these specialized treatment centers opening, but there are also many that include dynamic new treatment approaches such as wilderness therapy and other approaches that are interactive and hands-on. While teen-centered programs embrace new and exciting therapy options, it is important to understand that the best facilities need to feature a variety of therapies AND family programs that will help the entire family grow and heal.
If you are having trouble finding an adequate treatment program for your young person, consult your family doctor, hospital, addiction professional or local non-profit addiction advocacy groups. They can provide the resources and referrals to help your young one find treatment.