When talking about teen drug abuse, here are three important questions to consider. Are we seeing addiction rates going up, decreasing, or staying about the same? Do the patterns seem to be shifting from alcohol and marijuana to “harder” drugs? What options do adolescents and their loved ones have today? Answering these questions can give us a lot of insight as to how prevalent this issue really is.
Understanding What the Data Says
The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports decreases or “no change” in statistics for the fifth year in a row in adolescent addiction and abuse. One area that may be of concern, however, is how new laws regarding marijuana use and availability will affect youth 12-17 years of age. These figures aren’t expected until the end of 2018. Of note, however, is the marked decrease among adolescents in the use of inhalants, as well as designer drugs like MDMA, or ecstasy since 2015.
Rehab is Becoming a More Viable Option
Whether adolescent or adult addicts, one concern will always be how is the addict who is seeking help learning about the options available. Are these plans beyond the traditional ideas of treatment or loosely affiliated programs? Is a residential recovery program an option that might work for youth who have little to no support in making these decisions? These are good questions to ask, if not now, then at some point in deciding what’s next.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is encouraged by reports that more and more rehabilitation centers are focusing on evidence-based methods of treatment, not only with adolescent patients, but in all age groups. The “one-size-fits-all” concept is seeing a switch into programs that meld a variety of disciplines including social, medical, scientific, and faith-based plans. Short term, long term, and outpatient programs are highly accessible to young people and adolescents today.
NIDA is an excellent resource for teens, family, teachers, and parents in this difficult hurdle. Knowing when to ask for help is equally as important as knowing where to find assistance. Sufferers of addiction are not limited to the one using or abusing illicit drugs or making risky choices when they decide to use illegal substances. One group focused on educating and distributing information to adolescents is NIDA for Teens. Information on how drugs affect the body and mind, plus what role models and other prominent people in the teenager’s view have to say can also be found here. Options for one-on-one chat are available, too.
It’s not about whether someone has a problem, but how it’s being handled. Help your teen handle his or her addiction by reaching out to us today.