What Type of Responses do Adolescents Struggling with Addiction Really Need?

Boy adolescent struggling with addictionDespite the fact that we’ve all been adolescents at one point or another, it becomes harder and harder as we get older to reel into the mindset that we held at that age. Even now, adolescents face unique pressures than adolescents 10 years ago; how can we tell what they’re really thinking? When substance abuse is involved, the quest to fulfill our youth’s needs becomes evermore challenging. We’re left in disarray as we scramble to find the answers – but without having a deep remembrance of what it’s like be an adolescent, we rely on punishments, strict curfews and serious talks – hoping that will solve our problems. Thankfully, researchers have explored the very responses that adolescents need during times of trial and tribulation – and this type of research can be used to benefit us in our own family experiences.

If you have an adolescent who’s been acting out, getting into trouble at school, home, or with the law and abusing substances, there is a path of healing for them. It will take time, effort and additional resources – but recovery is certainly possible and could even save their life. Three particular studies – one published in the International Journal of Criminology and Sociology, another published in the Journal of Adolescent Research and yet another published in the journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice assessed adolescent addiction recovery from diverse perspectives. Of all three studies, these were the most effective response methods shown to help adolescents recover from substance abuse disorders (SUDs):

  • Service to others – by helping others through volunteerism, adolescents are likely to be reminded of the many ways they can make a difference in this world. It promotes community, acceptance and overall purpose.
  • Love – many adolescents experience bullying or problems at home; love and kindness in recovery can promote their mind – and their heart – to remain open.
  • Social activities – as human beings, we’re social creatures. We thrive on being around other people and feeling a sense of inclusion. Adolescents have been shown to thrive when engaged in social activities as part of recovery – because it gives them a chance to reconnect with others in fun, meaningful ways.
  • Spirituality – 12-Step programs, in addition to learning the importance of love, kindness, respect, gratitude and community, can all have significant positive influences on adolescents’ addiction recovery.

Don’t wait any longer to speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights regarding you or your child’s struggle with addiction. Healing and restoration is right around the corner – it’s up to you to take the first step.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.