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Do Adult Treatment Centers Help Teens?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, teen focused drug treatment centers do help teens recover from drug or alcohol abuse. With the average age of trying drugs and alcohol, continuously getting lower it is important to remember that drug addiction and recovery is different at different life stages. Although it might seem obvious, drug and alcohol addiction treatment for teens needs to be teen focused. Adult treatment centers are rarely helpful for teen issues.
Why do Teens Need Teen Centered Treatment Centers?
There are several reasons why adult treatment centers do not work for teens. If you consider teen psychology and their life stage, it should be apparent that teens need teen centered therapy. One of the most important parts of drug treatment is discovering the cause of the drug addiction. In adults, drug addiction is caused by:
- stress at work
- stress in adult relationships
- escaping the pressures of life
- attempting to fight a mental illness
The causes for teen drug addiction are similar but not so similar that treatment should be the same. The causes for teen drug addiction are:
- stress at school
- peer pressure
- social anxiety
- attempts to fit in
- mental illness
- hormones released during puberty
- an attempt to adjust to the changes of puberty
Not only are the causes of drug addiction different but the response has to be different. Therapy approaches that work for adults do not necessarily work for teens.
Teens Helping Each Other
One of the reasons why teens should have separate drug treatment programs is that teens need people of their own age and maturity level around them to beat their addiction. Just as adults have peer groups that help them adjust to sobriety, teens need their peer group around them to adjust.
Drug addiction treatment is not universal. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, not every treatment approach works for every person. This is true for teens too. There is no cookie cutter approach for drug treatment for teens. They have their own concerns and needs just as adults do.
Treatment Approaches for a Younger Generation
The treatment approach has to fit the age group it is treating. Many teen centers have programs that are specific to teens. Some of these programs are:
- integrated education and inpatient drug treatment
- partial day recovery programs
- technology available at the treatment center
- socialized gaming to help with social skills that might be lacking in a teen drug abuser
- trips and retreats for teens to get away from technology and technological dependence
- online therapy for teens in outpatient programs
- dedicated media outlets for teens to participate in recovery activities
It is important that the treatment match the social and emotional maturity of the person. In teens this means it has to be progressive enough to be relatable.