Being an adolescent isn’t easy. It’s a period of transition in life and a time when the risk for drug abuse greatly increases. Unfortunately, young teens don’t realize that trying drugs can lead to negative effects that last a lifetime. At Zelus Recovery in Meridian, Idaho, our early intervention program helps teens who are at risk for developing a drug or alcohol addiction.

Seeking Treatment with Zelus Recovery

Adolescence is a critical time in teens’ lives because their personalities begin to take shape. It’s during this time that chemical changes in their bodies and environmental factors influence who they become. These chemical changes and environmental factors also make teens susceptible to alcohol and drug use.

Some prevailing circumstances that lead teens to substance abuse include:

  • Trying to fit in with peers
  • Feeling socially withdrawn from family and friends
  • Reacting to stressful events such as family divorce and moving
  • Having mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Experiencing traumatic events such as physical or sexual abuse

How Drugs Affect Teens

Generally speaking, teens are unaware that substances can’t fix what could be long-term problems. As they use illicit substances, their grades and relationships begin to suffer. However, the biggest concern is the effects that drugs have on their bodies.

Brain development is crucial for middle school-aged teens, and drugs affect the brain in several ways. For instance, alcohol abuse has a negative impact on the memory center in the brain. This effect makes it difficult to remember and recall information.

Drug use delays the development of functions such as planning, completing tasks, meeting goals, and judgment. These delays make it harder for young teens to deal with the stressors and pressures of daily life. Drugs also confuse the brain’s reward center, which in turn makes teens feel bad when they don’t use them. This effect makes them want to use more, making the situation worse.

How Our Early Intervention Program Helps

Parents who think that their teens have started to use drugs can get help through Zelus Recovery’s early intervention program. They might notice uncharacteristic drops in grades or changes in friends. In some cases, these changes are normal for teens. However, parents should stay vigilant of other warning signs such as sneaking around and mood swings.

Our approach gives teens a safe and comfortable place to share their concerns and thoughts. We utilize a range of therapies based on each teen’s needs. The ultimate goal is to provide education and support to prevent drug use and the progression to addiction.

Dual Diagnosis as Part of an Early Intervention Program

One of the primary reasons teens begin using drugs is mental health. Mental health issues and addiction are often interlinked. For instance, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2018, over 3.5 million teens suffered from both a substance use disorder and depression. Though sometimes the mental disease is caused by addiction, an addiction can also begin as a result of a mental illness. The teen may start to use drugs to cope with the symptoms of a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. This usage can quickly develop into an addiction if parents and loved ones do not enroll them in an early intervention program.

If your teen began using drugs to cope with a mental illness, it is critical for them to start a dual diagnosis treatment. During this treatment option, their treatment specialists will help them get to the root cause of their addiction. They will also help them to understand their mental illness and give them the tools they need to cope with that disorder. This treatment sets your teen up for long term success and sobriety.

Therapy Options at Zelus Recovery

We use a wide range of evidence-based therapies during the course of our early intervention treatment program. Evidence-based therapies are therapeutic options that addiction treatment specialists have studied extensively over several years. During that time, they have proven that these therapies can effectively treat addiction and mental health disorders.

Some of our treatment options include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is one of our most useful therapeutic options. We understand that most of our negative behavior patterns are a result of adverse thought processes and feelings. During CBT, we help teens identify their negative habits and replace them with positive ones.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy: Dialectical behavior therapy, also known as DBT, is an offshoot of CBT. During this treatment, we help teens come to grips with ideas such as distress tolerance, mindful awareness, and acceptance. This treatment can take place in a group setting or a one-on-one setting.
  • Family therapy: Everyone in close contact with your teen can be affected if they use substances. During family therapy, we work with the family to determine what needs to change in order for the teen to avoid using drugs or alcohol.

Get Treatment at Zelus Recovery Before Addiction Develops

Although Zelus Recovery mainly treats teens in our early intervention program, in some cases it can be beneficial for anyone under 25. We understand that each person and situation is unique. Our team has years of education and training as well as a passion for helping teens grow.

Along with early intervention, our other substance abuse programs include:

Rational emotive behavioral therapy

Individual therapy

Group therapy

Zelus Recovery wants to help young people find happy, healthy lives in which they contribute to society. We purposely keep a small staff so that we can build close relationships with teens to achieve those goals. We also involve family members in every program to help them build strong, supportive relationships with their loved ones.

Don’t let your teen struggle with drugs. Get help at Zelus Recovery in Meridian, Idaho, to prevent the long-term effects of drug use. Contact Zelus Recovery today at 208.518.0797 to learn how an early intervention program can help your teen to avoid substance abuse. Addiction doesn’t have to be the next step in your teen’s journey to adulthood.