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Adolescents and Substance Abuse

Many of us tend to think of substance use disorder — more commonly referred to as drug abuse and drug addiction — as a problem that afflicts adults. And while more adults than ever suffer at the hands of addiction, it is an unfortunate fact that more teenagers and young adults than ever are affected by this debilitating disease as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other organizations, have been very clear about the risks that substance use and abuse can have on bodies that are still developing. Among these risks are the facts that substance use can:

  • Negatively affect the physical growth and brain development of adolescents
  • Be an indicator of other dangerous behaviors, like unprotected sex 
  • Cause serious health problems later in life, like heart disease and hypertension.

As a result, the CDC, in cooperation with the American Academy of Pediatrics, suggests screening for substance use starting at nine years of age. A quality adolescent rehab facility near you — like Zelus Recovery in Boise, ID — can answer all of your questions about teen and pre-teen substance use disorder, and help you on the path to rehabilitation and recovery.

Warning Signs of Adolescent Substance Use

One of the problems with identifying a substance use disorder is that the warning signs may not be apparent until the disease has taken hold. A further complication is that many of the early signs might easily be confused with relatively normal teen behaviors that are the result of changes in hormone levels and various social pressures that all adolescents experience. If you are worried that a teen or pre-teen that you know might be misusing prescription or over-the-counter drugs, or using drugs or alcohol, you should begin by observing whether he or she:

  • Is sleeping more or less than usual
  • Is demonstrating listlessness or despondency
  • Is behaving in an outwardly aggressive or angry way
  • Has lost interest in activities that were once important
  • Has dropped old friends for a new “crowd”
  • Has begun breaking rules
  • Is demonstrating any of the physical symptoms of addiction, like sudden weight loss, frequent nosebleeds, watery or bloodshot eyes, or shakiness.

None of these symptoms are conclusive. But if you observe one or a combination of any of these symptoms, it is worth speaking to someone. Trained professionals like those at an adolescent rehab program in Boise, ID, can weigh in quickly and effectively on the extent to which there is cause for concern. 

Once you have determined that it is or that there may be a problem, it is vital that you reach out to a trained professional, like the ones at the adolescent rehab program at Zelus Recovery. It is tempting to try to take care of problems like substance use disorder without outside help. Overcoming addiction, however, is not just a question of will power and circumstance. Substance use disorder is a disease, and as such, needs to be treated by health care professionals.

What Adolescent Rehab Program is Right For Me?

There are many variables involved in selecting an adolescent rehab program that suits your needs. Some critical factors to consider are:

  • Does the adolescent rehab facility offer outpatient care, which is often cheaper than residential programs and allows the patient to continue to work, go to school, and honor family commitments?
  • Does the adolescent rehab facility offer a combination of evidence-based clinical treatment and holistic approaches to the treatment of substance use disorder?
  • Does the adolescent rehab facility encourage the family to participate in the patient’s treatment and care?
  • Does the adolescent rehab facility offer a dual-diagnosis program, in which they can simultaneously treat the addiction and address any underlying mental health issues?
  • Does the adolescent rehab facility offer a comprehensive aftercare program?

These are only a few of the questions to ask, but at Zelus Recovery, we have found that these are some of the most important. 

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you love is struggling with the early stages of addiction, please don’t hesitate; Zelus Recovery’s adolescent rehab facility in Boise, ID, is waiting to take your call. Contact us today by calling 208.518.0797. We’ll be with you every step of the way.