Tag Archives: Adolescent Recovery

Tag Archives: Adolescent Recovery


Adolescent benefiting from 12-Step programsPrevious research has shown that treatment is best when it’s integrated – because everyone has unique histories, interests and learning processes. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that comprehensive, personalized treatment works best for adolescents in addiction recovery and this often takes place amongst several components:

  • Behavioral therapies – such as counseling, psychotherapy, group therapy, etc.
  • Activities – such as horseback riding, rock climbing, canoeing and others
  • Group meals – so that adolescents can get to know other teens who are recovering
  • School assistance – which allows adolescents recovering to continue their education and not get behind
  • 12-Step programs – to provide a community in which adolescents can become a part of

12-Step programs can be incredibly effective for teens in recovery because it gives them an opportunity to connect with others while following a structured path towards healing. In 12-Step programs, teens can rebalance and restore their mental, physical and spiritual health; a 2015 study published by a student in the Harvard University Extension School found that greater involvement in 12-Step programs leads to lengthened sobriety. The 12-Step program is often supplemental to other forms of treatment, and it’s these various approaches to recovery that give a person a more personalized experience.

While being promoted to live a drug-free lifestyle, adolescents in recovery can work through deep-rooted issues in psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), for instance, is a therapy approach that helps individuals uncover negative thought processes and replace them with more positive, meaningful ones. Group therapy sessions – aside from the group discussions explored in 12-Step Programs – can help teens explore greater issues that have been at play in their lives – whether it relates to friends, home life, school, mental health concerns or something else.

One person shared their personal experience with a 12-Step program via Recovery and Me. Here is an excerpt from their story:

“I learned about the power of connection between one recovering person and another; where sharing experiences, strength and hope with each other provide examples and inspiration to continue ‘one day at a time’.”

The strength garnered from 12-Step programs, in addition to other treatment modalities, can only serve to strengthen an adolescent’s journey to recovery. The period of adolescence is already marked by a rollercoaster of emotions and development; teens can find strength in a safe community found through Cumberland Heights’ ARCH Academy.

 Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program located in Kingston Springs that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Nashville, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

How heavy drinking affects teen’s brainsAs the adolescent brain is developing, it’s extremely vulnerable to outside circumstances. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry explains that the prefrontal cortex is what we use for reasoning, but this does not develop until later on in life. As the brain is not yet fully developed, youth are less likely to employ critical thinking when faced with risky situations, peer pressure and more – which makes heavy drinking a major concern for many parents and family members alike. If your teen is seeking helping for substance abuse, you may be fearing what the effect of this could have on their brain.

A 2015 study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry sought to explore this very question by analyzing 134 adolescents, 75 whom transitioned into heavy drinking and 59 who remained light drinkers and non-drinkers over the next 3.5 years. MRI scans were conducted two to six times between the ages of 12 and 24 for these adolescents, and they were then followed up for the next 8 years. These were the results from the study:

  • Adolescents who had engaged in heavy drinking showed accelerated gray matter reduction, which contains regions of the brain that help with muscle control, emotions, speech, decision making, hearing, self-control and more
  • Both male and female adolescents showed similar results when it came to these effects

While the adolescent stage is a crucial one for learning and development, and while heavy drinking can certainly reduce optimal functioning in several areas of the brain, teens can recover if treatment is sought early and is maintained. As Time Magazine has previously stated, youth who show problems with substance at age 18 are at even higher risk for developing a full-blown addiction by age 25. Help your teen seek the treatment they need right away.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

Teen boys e-cigarettesWith the rise of e-cigarettes over the past 15 years, teens have become more accustomed to smoking e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. Local advertisements are a key driver of teen use, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that 7 out of 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette ads. Since e-cigarette companies don’t have to report their ingredients, our teens may be receiving more nicotine than they think. In fact, recent studies show that 66% of teens believe there’s just flavoring in their e-cigarettes; the unfortunate reality, however, is that there’s more than that – and it may be prepping our teens to start smoking traditional cigarettes, too.

A 2017 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that e-cigarette usage is an over 30% of high school teens, compared to the single digit numbers that were displayed a few years ago. The authors of the study noted that teens are at an increased risk of vulnerability for traditional cigarette use if the following occur:

  • Risk-taking
  • Impulsiveness
  • Negative affect
  • Low parental support
  • Surrounding oneself with peers who tend to get into trouble
  • E-cigarette use

Furthermore, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine conducted a national sample of 694 adolescent participants ages 16 to 26 years old to explore just what makes one person more susceptible to traditional cigarette use over another. After a year of follow up with these participants, they found that 11 of 16 e-cigarette users had eventually moved to traditional cigarettes; so far, evidence is showing that e-cigarettes aren’t as harmless as they’re made out to be.

If your teen is struggling with substance abuse, speak with someone from the Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights center today. Recovery is right around the corner – be sure they seek help as soon as possible.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

How attitude influences teenagers thoughts towards alcoholMany of us can remember vague memories from our teenage years, but we may have some difficulties recalling our thought processes at the time. It seems that once we’re well into adulthood, we have trouble understanding what our own teens are going through – and this can make it more difficult to work with them when it comes to preventing substance abuse. Teenage years are some of the most vulnerable years, because the teen brain is still developing. The better we can understand how teens are thinking, the more capable we will be of working with them to ensure they know what to do in situations that could place them at risk for addiction.

A 2016 study published in the journal Health Psychology followed 868 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 years old for three years. That found that implicit attitudes actually predicted future drinking behavior one year later; the researchers also found that if the adolescents’ parents approved of drinking, their implicit attitude was more likely to favorably view drinking, too. This leads us to one key question: what exactly is implicit attitude?

The dictionary defines it as, “Evaluations that occur without conscious awareness towards an attitude, object, or the self.” When we hold an implicit attitude, it’s not something that we’re directly aware of, but it is shaped by our environment and experiences. If implicit attitudes are having such a strong impact on our teens, how can we influence those attitudes as parents, family members and community members?

A 2017 study titled, “A Different View on Parenting: Automatic and Explicit Parenting Cognitions in Adolescent’s Drinking Behavior” emphasized that too often, parents underestimate the extent of their teens’ drinking behavior. By showing our teens responsible drinking and expressing our disapproval of binge drinking, we may influence our teens’ perceptions of alcohol.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

Boy experiencing peer pressureA few years ago, a young lady shared her experience of peer pressure through DrugFree.org. She explained that growing up, her parent struggled with alcoholism – and between that and her parent’s divorce, she dealt with a lot of psychological turmoil. This young woman went on to explain that since she didn’t have the coping skills she really needed to get through some of the hardships she faced, she turned to her peers for validation. She stated,

“I wanted to fit in and feel better about myself…As a teenager who was already full of apprehension and anxiety, getting caught up and swept away by peer pressure was just another high.”

It’s not uncommon for teens and adolescents to go become vulnerable to peer pressure, especially as they are still trying to figure out who they are. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Adolescence noted that popularity in school can also influence teens to drink and abuse substances – especially if that means they will become “cool” or otherwise accepted. Since the teen brain is still developing during these stages of life, how can we as parents, educators and community members support our youth?

In 2018, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry suggested a number of actions we can take:

  • Teaching our teens to be more assertive in resisting dangerous activities
  • Helping our youth develop more self-confidence, so they do not need to seek out this type of validation from their peers
  • Encouraging open and honest communication from our adolescents, so that future problems can be prevented
  • Getting to know our children’s’ parents and friends
  • Coming up with “back-up” plans for our teens if they’d like to get out of risky situations

If you have a teen who is showing signs of substance abuse, ensure they seek the help they need, right now. Recovery is right around the corner, and it could change the outlook on the rest of their lives.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

Teenage boys experiencing rehabAccording to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1.3 million U.S. adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 had a substance use disorder (SUD) in 2014. During this transitional period, adolescents are at heightened risk for alcohol and drug use; the teenage brain has not yet fully developed, making it more challenging for them to exert critical thinking skills. If you have a teen who has been struggling with substance abuse, the sooner they seek help, the better. Teens have a high possibility of recovering from substances without taking it into adulthood if they obtain treatment early on; before pursuing treatment, however, you and your teen may be wondering what “teen rehab” truly looks like.

Personal Experiences

1. Admitting the Problem

In 2017, Tonic, a portion of Vice Magazine that covers trending topics on mind, body, healthcare and more, sought to get some information from those who’d attended rehabilitation for substance abuse as teens. Sammy, age 31, expressed that it was hard for them to go through rehab because they kept wanting to “write off” their drinking as part of teen experimentation. They stated,

“I actually struggled for a really long time to admit [I was a person with alcoholism] because I never did my drinking in bars and never got a DUI.”

Since drinking and drug use is often considered a normal part of “teen angst” or adventure, many teens in rehab must acknowledge that their patterns of behavior are not healthy for them.

2. Becoming Part of a New Community

Morgan, 22, explained that she got out of rehabilitation for Xanax, alcohol and opiates a month before her 21st birthday. Despite having gone through a journey to understanding that she did struggle with addiction, she came to know many people throughout treatment that helped her form a sense of community. She even came into contact with an old high school friend who had been practicing sobriety for a few years. She stated,

“A bunch of sober people showed up and I actually had a really nice time.”

As with anyone in recovery, teens will need to find people they can rely on who support their recovery efforts. Going back to the same social groups they abused substances with will only reinforce negative patterns of behavior.

3. Finding Yourself

Many teens become lost during these developmental years, as they’re trying to figure out who they are. They’re more susceptible to follow through with peer pressure because they want to “fit in” and, without having a clear sense of their own values, beliefs and identity, they’re at an increased risk for making impulsive decisions. Jamie, 23, told Tonic that despite her friends believing her weed and alcohol addictions were simply “phases”, she came to realize that it was through rehabilitation that she gained a sense of clarity about who she was. She stated,

“Most of my peers are popping Adderall when midterms and finals roll around. I can become envious at time…But then I think: how awesome that I get to do this sober – it’s all me!”

Components of Rehab

Therapy

Teen rehabilitation is similar to adult rehabilitation in that individual therapy and group therapy is going to be a part of the daily experience. Teens need someone to talk to – someone to learn more about addiction from, someone to share their experiences with and someone to develop healthy ways to work through thoughts and emotions. The Fix highlights many benefits that therapy can bring to our teens:

  • Guidance through a sensitive time
  • Mediation in family work
  • Mental health “tools” and ways of thinking about substances
  • Enhanced learning opportunities

Environment

In residential treatment programs, teens are provided with much more guidance and support than they would receive attending anything else. Here are some specific benefits of residential treatment:

  • An environment with no triggers – teens who are not surrounded by friends they abuse substances with are able to heal much more efficiently than those with constant reminders
  • Families receive a short break – for many families, a break is exactly what’s needed when their teen is in and out of trouble with substances. Family members can take a step back from unpredictability and feel safe in knowing their teen is being well taken care of.
  • Structure – with daily schedules, teens quickly learn to formulate a plan from morning to night. There is little down time for them to think about acquiring substances – and residential treatment will ensure that all their activities planned throughout the day promote their sobriety, healing and recovery.

Support

Teens need as much support as possible, and this accounts for all aspects of their lives. With an entire healthcare team by their side, teens are encouraged to live a life that speaks to their mind, body and spirit. 12-Step models of support provide youth with clinical therapy, educational services and adventure programming – all of which speak to the heart of recovery.

Education is incredibly important for teens during this time, and recovery shouldn’t set them back. ARCH Academy specifically offers a fully accredited private high school with grades 7-12 and includes GED prep, credit recovery options and follow-up placement. Between the love and support provided by staff, to the teachers, to their therapist and their family, teens are set up to succeed.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

Teenage boy addictive behaviorsAs a parent or family member, it’s hard to know what our teens are going through. Boys experience learning and development quite differently from girls, with this distinction making it ever more challenging to get inside their mind and discover what type of support is needed. At this age, boys are highly susceptible to abusing substances . Even at this stage in their life, what is seemingly harmless “teen angst” could develop into a full-blown addiction later on. Kristine Marceau, assistant professor in human development and family studies at Purdue University, stated in a 2018 article published by Science Daily,

“The earlier your first sip of alcohol or that you try other kinds of drugs, the more likely you are to go on to develop lifelong addiction and problems with substance abuse.”

Of course, we can tell our teen just how harmful substances are, but what are they truly thinking about substances? In knowing this information, we may be able to address some of the thoughts they are having without even needing them to tell us. A 2018 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health conducted interviews with 16 boys aged 16-17 years old. These particular researchers aimed to understand the rationalizations that these boys made for smoking and their beliefs about their health, but it’s likely that these rationalizations could be applied to other substances as well. Here were some of their responses:

  • Teen boys do not view the immediate consequences as significant and believe that any consequences can be compensated for. They also believe that the benefits outweigh the consequences of using.
  • Many teen boys expressed their expectation to only smoke during adolescence, with the belief that they will have the rest of their lives to recover from any damages caused by smoking early on.
  • Participants reported feeling much control over their use and, therefore, over their chances of becoming addicted to substances.

Teens need more specialized support because of the thought processes they experience. If you’re ready to help your teen begin their journey to recovery, speak with a professional from a Cumberland Heights today.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966 and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

How adolescent substance abuse affects the familyWatching a loved one head down the path of addiction is devastating and if they’re an adolescent, the pain sears even deeper as we worry how this will affect their health, their future and their life as a whole. Adolescents are typically considered between the ages of 10 and 19 years of age, when many physical, mental and spiritual changes take place.

Addiction certainly disrupts these processes by causing our youth to think and act on cravings to use substances – and if you’re a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, guardian or other family member, there’s no doubt that it’s taking a toll on your health.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a piece of literature that identifies several key themes that many families experience when someone in the family is abusing substances:


  1. Negativity – the family’s mood often drops, with family members complaining more or being more critical. Positivity often becomes ignored as some family members may feel guilty, angry, sad or hopeless.
  2. Parental inconsistency – as the family’s structure becomes less stable, both parents and teens may become confused on boundaries and the difference between “right” and “wrong”.
  3. Parental denial – some family members may fail to recognize that their teen is struggling. Unfortunately, this only perpetuates the addiction and neglect support for their teen.
  4. Miscarried expression of anger – family members who are stressed may find themselves repressing their anger, which may take forms in other ways.
  5. Self-medication – teens may be abusing substances to deal with a physical or psychological concern, or they may be experimenting.
  6. Unrealistic parental expectations – if teens are not given loving and supportive messages throughout their recovery, they may feel that they’ll never meet parents’ expectations.

In recognizing the many ways that teen addiction can affect the entire family, individuals can take preventative and proactive measures towards their family’s health and wellness. If you have a teen who is abusing substances, speak with someone from Cumberland Heights today – it’s time they seek help.


Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966 and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.


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