Tag Archives: Adolescent Recovery

Tag Archives: Adolescent Recovery


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.


Stay Connected

Signup For Emails

Secure Contact: Confidential Email Form

Call Today: 800-646-9998

Stay in the Know

Get Confidential Help from Cumberland Heights Treatment Center

FOR A CONFIDENTIAL ADMISSIONS ASSESSMENT

If you or a loved one would like to speak directly with one of our licensed admissions staff, please call us now at (800) 646-9998 or submit the following information. If outside business hours, we will get back to you the following day.

* Required Field

×

Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?

Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.

×
We Are Open. Read updates regarding COVID-19 here and our available Telehealth services here.
close