Teenage Alcoholism | Adolescent Addiction
How Drug Abuse Affects Teenage Brain Development
Troubled adolescents comprise about 20% of the adolescent population. These adolescents come from family backgrounds that are not stable. There often are histories of mental illness in these families, the parents often have marital conflicts, and the families often have economic difficulties. The moods of these adolescents are not stable, and they are more prone to depression. They have significantly more psychiatric disturbances, and they do well only with the aid of intense psychotherapy. They do not grow out of it (Santrock, 2010; Mortimer, 2003; Masterson & Costello, 1980; Offer, 1986). It is in this troubled group that addiction often develops.
In this country, the average first use of mood-altering chemicals for boys is 11.9 years and for girls is 12.7 years (U.S. Department of Justice, 1983). Adolescents usually use alcohol or drugs for the first time under peer pressure. They want to be accepted and to be a part of the group. Children are likely to model after the chemical use of their parents. Children with alcoholic parents are at greater risk for becoming chemically dependent. More and more adolescents are using prescription drugs found in the medicine cabinets of their parents. Individuals who begin drinking before the age of 14 are more likely to become alcohol dependent. (Hingson, Heeren, & Winter, 2006; National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 2009; Spalt, 1979).
Adolescents who continue to use will increase drinking to a regular pattern (usually weekends). They may experiment with other drugs, particularly prescription medication taken from their parents or friends. The use of opioids is becoming more often the second drug of abuse. Hydrocodone is now one of the most prescribed medications in the country so opioids are widely available. Adolescents begin to use drugs to communicate, to relate, and to belong. With regular drinking, tolerance develops. The adolescents need more of the drug to get intoxicated. Emotional changes may first be noticed here by their families. The adolescents may become irritable and more non-communicative. They may begin to spend more time alone in their rooms. They may begin not caring for themselves or for others. Polarization of parents and children begins to occur (National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 2009; Morrison & Smith, 1990).
Rehab Video: Adolescent Treatment: The First Week
As addiction further develops, adolescents no longer can trust themselves when using chemicals. The choice to use these drugs no longer is available to them; they have to use to feel normal. The continued use of chemicals eliminates the ability to think logically and rationally. Rationalization, minimization, and denial cut the adolescents off from reality (Soujanen, 1983).
Chemically dependent adolescents gradually change their peer group to include drinking and drug-using friends. They begin to use chemicals to block out the pain. They no longer use for the euphoric effect. They drink to escape pain. Anger, blackouts and drinking alone are strong indicators of addiction in the adolescent population. With the progression of the disease, family conflicts increase. The adolescents may run away, withdraw, or act out at home and at school. They withdraw from family and community activities. Problems with the police and school officials increase and become serious. The adolescents may become verbally abusive to parents and more rebellious to authority figures. Life begins to center around the drug or addicted behavior of choice. Daily use begins, and these addicted individuals begin to use to maintain rather than to escape. The adolescents attempt to cut back or quit, but they are unable to stay clean and sober. Physical deterioration begins. Hiding and lying about drugs becomes more common. The adolescents feel more intensely isolated and alone. Concern is now openly expressed by parents, teachers, and even peers. Gradually, the adolescents lose all self-esteem and depression begins. Persistent chemical use leads to incarceration, institutionalization, or death (Chatlos & Jaffe, 1994; Morrison & Smith, 1990).
Rehab Video: Adolescent Treatment: The First Week For Parents
Addiction stops emotional development and the addicted adolescent stays immature. Their prefrontal cortex goes off line so they become unable to focus attention, plan, organize, inhibit primitive impulses and learn. To develop normally, adolescents must learn to use their feelings to give them energy and direction for problem solving. When feelings are consistently altered by alcohol or drugs, this no longer is possible. The major coping skill of addicts is their addiction.
Adolescent addiction can occur extremely quickly—within weeks—because adolescent emotional development is immature. Adolescents do not have the internal structure to bring themselves and their lives under control. They cannot delay the onset of addiction for years, as can adults.
Rehab Video: Adolescent Alcoholism Treatment: Getting Help for Girls
Call 1-800-992-1921 for a free assessment
Chemical Dependency Counseling: A Practical Guide, Fifth Edition: is a best-selling comprehensive guide for counselors and front-line professionals who work with the chemically dependent and addicted in a variety of treatment settings. The text shows the counselor how to use the best evidence-based treatments available, including motivational enhancement, cognitive behavioral therapy, skills training, medication and 12 step facilitation. Guiding the counselor step-by-step through treatment, this volume presents state-of-the-art tools, and forms and tests necessary to deliver outstanding treatment and to meet the highest standards demanded by accrediting bodies.
The Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Client Workbook, Third Edition:An evidence-based program that uses treatments including motivational enhancement, cognitive-behavioral therapy, skills training, medication, and 12-step facilitation. It provides a venue for clients to write down their thoughts and experiences as they progress through treatment.
The Gambling Addiction Client Workbook, Third Edition:An evidence-based program that uses treatments including motivational enhancement, cognitive-behavioral therapy, skills training, medication, and 12-step facilitation. This workbook walks clients through self-reflective activities and exercises meant to help them recognize the underlying motivations and causes of their gambling addiction and to learn the tools necessary for recovery. The Third Edition of this workbook includes coverage of all 12 steps of recovery. Chapters focused on honesty and relapse prevention as well as a personal recovery plan contribute to client success.
Alcoholics are one of the most difficult client groups to treat effectively. To preserve their way of life, they may lie about their problem or deny that one exists; that is the nature of this profoundly powerful disease. Yet if you can guide each of your clients through their own resistance towards the truth, not only will you be rewarded with starting them on the road to recovery, you will no doubt have saved their life as well. Achieving such a victory goes to the heart of being an addiction counselor; it is the experience of healing on a direct and tangible level.
Treating Alcoholism provides a complete road map for assessing, diagnosing, and treating this multifaceted and tenacious illness. Detailed clinical information on the disease accompanies ready-to-use tools for practice. With a special emphasis on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the author walks you through the first five steps of this established methodology in comprehensive detail, showing how to easily apply each one to treatment.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that only God can relieve the illness of addiction. Here are a few spiritual tools to help you:
God Talks to You: Second Edition: God wants to communicate with you. God has been calling you for a long time. You have wanted God to speak to you for a long time. You have wanted to talk to God and get answers back. Here are a few quotes from spiritual leaders who have read the book: Reverend Mark Holland: “After reading Dr. Perkinson's book, I spent several minutes quieting myself, and then I asked God if there was a message for me. “Mark I’ve missed you!” Although there were no words spoken, I felt this message very clearly. I was quite surprised. Daily I was involved with spiritual matters, praying, preaching, and counseling. Nevertheless, I discovered that God was lonely for me.” Reverend Dave Waldowski: “This book and tape do not only “discuss” communication with God, moreover if you follow these simple principles you will “experience” and “hear” God’s voice on a daily basis.”
Peace Will Come CD Sit back and let the words and music sink into your soul. Come back often and play the songs over and over again. You won't be sorry. God will teach you many things you need to know.
A Communication From God: A meditation tape that will give you long communications from God. The tape takes you through two exercises where God speaks to you directly.