When someone you love is addicted to drugs, it can be tremendously difficult to know what to do, who to turn to, and where to go for help. Especially when that someone is your son or daughter. It is tough enough to see your child put him or herself in danger. As a parent, it is hard enough to manage all the thoughts and feelings your teen’s drug use has provoked:
How did this happen? What went wrong? Why won’t he or she stop?
As a parent or concerned loved one, it is ever important to understand the complex disease of addiction in order to get your child the help that he or she needs. Before we dive into the wheres and hows of seeking drug addiction help, let’s take a minute to look at the larger picture.
Understanding Addiction in Youth
Addiction is a disease of the brain that occurs after prolonged, repeated drug use. It can happen to anyone of any age, background, or upbringing. While experimentation and initiation of drugs is a choice made by many young people today, drug addiction is not. Addiction is involuntary, yet all too common among our youth. In America, about 10 million youth (ages 12-29) are battling substance addiction.
Drugs are chemicals that change the brain’s makeup and, over time, alter one’s capacity for reasoning and self-control. This is especially true for young people, who are already prone to risky behaviors and whose brains are dangerously susceptible to early drug use. Until age 25, the brain is still developing – meaning that any drugs introduced before that point can impair your child’s brain progress and leave lasting, cognitive deficits. Early drug use also poses a greater risk of developing an addiction.
In adolescence and through one’s early twenties, the parts of the brain responsible for judgement, problem-solving, and decision-making have not yet fully developed. If your loved one is using drugs and is between the ages of 12 and 25, he or she may not recognize the extent of the problem (or that a problem exists at all). You see, for teens and young adults, there is a biological blanket covering up any brain signals that say, “stop– this is dangerous,” “there will be consequences,” or “you need help.” And because of this, young people are less likely than adults to seek addiction treatment on their own.
Parents – your child needs your love, your support, your help in identifying and addressing their drug problem. This disease is in fact treatable, but your child needs you to assist in finding the right drug addiction help. Your teen cannot do this alone and you are their greatest support.
Finding the Right Drug Addiction Help
Your first step in finding drug addiction help will be to evaluate the extent of your son or daughter’s drug problem. Is your child’s drug use excessive and frequent? Have you seen changes in your son or daughter’s behavior or health? Have you seen his or her performance at school sink? Has he or she tried to stop using previously, but has since relapsed? Make a point to sit down with your child and discuss how he or she feels at this time. Does your child feel lonely, sad, in pain, or pressured at all to use drugs? Sometimes, underlying emotions or mental health conditions can lead to early drug abuse.
Once you assess your son or daughter’s problem, you can start seeking drug addiction help. You might begin by contacting your doctor, counselor, or a local rehab center for a clinical evaluation. You can always contact Turnbridge, a Connecticut young adult treatment center. We can help you decide which type and course of treatment will best meet your loved one’s needs.
There are many different treatment options available to teens and young adults today. In Connecticut and across the country, you will find inpatient and outpatient rehab centers, dual diagnosis facilities, gender-specific treatment, short-term and long-term residential programs, as well as 12-step, detox, and therapy-based models. While it is important to consult with an addiction professional, experts typically recommend long-term treatment (at least 90 days) and an integrated, therapeutic approach to addiction. If a co-occurring mental disorder is present, dual diagnosis treatment will also be necessary.
Where to Find Drug Addiction Help
The “where” aspect to finding drug addiction treatment is a critical consideration as you explore the many options for your teen. As a parent, you will have to decide whether it is important for you to have your child close to home. While close to home generally means greater accessibility, it may also mean keeping your teen close to old friend groups, drug-using memories, and other relapse triggers.
With that said, be sure to choose a rehab facility that is safe and secure, away from outside pressures. The best location will promote a serene and healthful environment, giving your teen the space and opportunity needed to reflect and renew. Turnbridge’s facilities, for example, are set back on a greenery in Connecticut – where residents enjoy peace and quiet as they focus their energy and time on the healing process.
It is also important to choose a rehab location that provides its residents with the opportunity to expand and grow later on in the recovery journey. Your child should never feel confined by his or her treatment environment. The right rehab facility will offer your teen access to outside, sober activities, tutoring and classes, 12-step meetings, and work opportunities as he or she gains accountability in the program.
At Turnbridge, we believe a setting built for success will bring about the best in an individual (and promote the most successful recovery). Our young adult rehab facilities are located in New Haven, Connecticut – a New England city that promotes the best of urban and suburban, secluded and integrated life. Here, we welcome clients from all over the country. We would be honored to help you and your family through this journey.
Making Your Choice
As a teen and young adult rehab center, Turnbridge understands how overwhelming this all is for you. Helping your child through this addiction is your top priority right now, but it is in no way easy. You do not have to handle this all on your own. A trained, reputable addiction professional, doctor, or clinical counselor can help walk you through this process. And you can always call the Turnbridge staff. Together, we will work with you to decide on the best next steps for your child’s recovery. We can develop a custom treatment plan that adheres to his or her needs. Beyond drug addiction help for your teen, we can also help you and your family get through this difficult time.
For more information on getting help for drug addiction, call Turnbridge at 877-581-1793.