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Teens & Drugs


Moms & dads can help through early education about drugs, open communication, good role modeling, and early recognition if problems are developing. If there is any suspicion that there is a problem, parents must find the most appropriate intervention for their child.

The decision to get treatment for a child or adolescent is serious. Moms & dads are encouraged to seek consultation from a mental health professional when making decisions about substance abuse treatment for children or adolescents.

Parents and families must be informed consumers and should be involved in their child's recovery. Here are some important things to consider:

· Addicted or drug-abusing individuals with co-existing mental disorders should have both disorders treated in an integrated way. Because addictive disorders and mental disorders often occur in the same individual, individuals should be assessed and treated for the co-occurrence of the other type of disorder.

· Counseling (individual and/or group) and other behavioral therapies are critical components of effective treatment. In therapy, teens look at issues of motivation, build skills to resist drug use, replace drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding behaviors, and improve problem-solving skills. Behavioral therapy also facilitates interpersonal relationships and the teen's ability to function in the home and community.

· Effective treatment must attend to the multiple needs of the individual -- not just the drug use. Any associated medical, psychological, social, and cognitive problem must be addressed.

· Medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use. While detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.

· No single treatment is appropriate for all teens. It is important to match treatment settings, interventions, and services to each individual's particular problems and needs. This is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to healthy functioning in the family, school, and society.

· Recovery from addiction can be a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment. As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug use can occur during or after successful treatment episodes. Addicted individuals may require prolonged treatment and multiple episodes of treatment to achieve long-term abstinence and fully restored functioning. Participation in self-help support programs during and following treatment often is helpful in maintaining abstinence. Moms & dads should ask what aftercare treatment services are available for continued or future treatment.

· Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness and positive change. Each person is different and the amount of time in treatment will depend on his or her problems and needs. Research shows that for most individuals, the beginning of improvement begins at about 3 months into treatment. After this time, there is usually further progress toward recovery. Length of stay in a residential program can range from 8 to 18 months, depending upon the individual's willingness and commitment.

· Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Strong motivation can facilitate the treatment process. Sanctions or enticements in the family, school setting, or juvenile justice system can increase significantly both treatment entry and retention rates and the success of drug treatment interventions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My daughter just came out of 3 weeks at a horrible youth shelter that was a step down from juvie (April 23-May 15) and here we are exactly 2 weeks into her freedom, and she's back to smoking pot, staying out without permission, not doing her schoolwork. The only thing that has improved is the way she's been talking to me - much more respectful. She's had 6 appointments with this new therapist whom she really likes. They are working on her supposed PTSD, but it's the ODD that's the big problem, in my opinion.

But, I don't know what to do anymore. I ended up taking a friend of mine who is an attorney to court with me and the judge advised her that she was considering removing my daughter from my care because she thought that I am an unfit mother - and that she would think about taking my son away, too! Isn't that crazy?! She berated me for wasting the court's time with a sibling scuffle and told us about the time she rolled her brother up in a rug and pushed him out the window and he broke his arm! This is who I have to answer to?! This is the authority figure who has control over my and my daughter's lives? She's as crazy as the first magistrate who declared that my daughter couldn't ride in a car with me - and that's why she ended up in the shelter in the first place instead of at my mom's house. Welcome to Cleveland!

The youth shelter had no telephone or internet for her, so for 3 weeks she couldn't do much of her homework, although she did do a lot of it. It's in a bad neighborhood - her window was shot at! If I call in the authorities again, they'll just send her back there and it's not the place she needs - she needs a mental facility, but I don't know how to get her into one of those. I'm afraid to call any authority anymore because of the nightmare of what just happened. I also don't want to call my friend in again - I'm so ashamed that she even knew in the first place and her holier-than-thou attitude made everything even worse. My ex had called her.

At this point, if/when she shows up tonight, I'm going to take her to my mother's house and she's just going to stay there until my mom can't take it anymore either. She's supposed to leave for camp on June 15 and that can't come fast enough. I don't know if she'll make it until then.

I have been using the fair fighting and my poker face (Xanax is helping - see, I even starting taking pills because I can't take her anymore) and that has helped tremendously. Do you have any advice how to get her into a home for mental issues instead of a shelter for delinquents?

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