It’s a frightening thought for any parent to think: the possibility of one of their children becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs. Yet it happens more frequently than we care to admit. Teenage and adolescent addiction is on the rise all across Europe, while in the UK, we have been deemed the addiction capital of the European continent. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Addiction help is available to teenagers and adolescents, just as it is for adults. It is possible to intervene on behalf of a child, help him or her break their addiction, and change their life forever. If it were not possible, there wouldn’t be so many great organisations working so hard on behalf of UK kids.
We are here to help you if you or one of your children is dealing with an abuse or addiction problem. Our job is to match each of our clients up with the rehab centres and services best suited to their needs. Our services are free and confidential, so you’ll never have to worry about negative consequences from calling us. We are here for your good and the good of your family.
How Teens Become Addicted
Addiction among teens and adolescents seems so contrary to everything we believe about childhood. After all, is childhood not supposed to be a time of innocence, happiness, and establishing dreams for the future? It’s unfortunate that so many kids lose their childhoods, and eventually their adult lives as well, to addiction.
Addiction for kids starts the same way it does with adults. An individual decides to experiment with a drug or alcohol, just to see what it’s like. A second and third try is likely if that initial experience is pleasurable. Before the individual knows it, the drug becomes the thing he or she runs to whenever they are feeling bad about themselves or their circumstances. The drug becomes an escape. At that point, addiction is born.
The thing to understand about kids is that addiction often starts out as recreational use. In other words, their first experimentation with drugs or alcohol is the result of doing what their friends do. What begins as a seemingly innocent activity can easily become a life destroying addiction.
There are lots of reasons kids might choose to use drugs recreationally or as a means of escape. Here are just a couple of the more common examples:
Family Trouble – Kids are the forgotten victims when mothers and fathers cannot get along. Some kids living among broken families turn to drugs or alcohol to ease the emotional pain of their family situations. It’s sad, but true.
Parental Example – Another family-related issue comes by way of learning by example. If kids see their parents dealing with the stresses of life via a bottle or a pill, they are much more likely to do so themselves. Children can become what their parents teach them.
Peer Pressure – It has been said that peer pressure is one of the strongest influences in a child’s life. Perhaps that’s why so many kids take their first drink or hit while at a party with friends. They do so to fit in with the crowd.
Perceived Failures – Kids are especially vulnerable to perceptions of failure, be they in the classroom, on the sports field or in any other environment where they feel a need to perform. Feelings of personal failure can be overwhelming to the point of not being able to handle them adequately.
Please understand that this is a short list of reasons kids turn to alcohol and drugs. Please also understand that addiction is not confined to your household drinks cabinet or illicit drugs purchased on the street. Your kids can be addicted to prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and even household solvents and cleaning chemicals.
Getting Help for a Child
We started out by establishing the fact that addiction recovery help is available for teenagers and adolescents. So how do you go about accessing that help? The first step is to recognise the problem exists. If you are concerned about a child potentially suffering from abuse or addiction, you may recognise some of the following symptoms:
poor performance in school
unexplained changes in social circles
increased desire for solitude
unexplained mood swings
lack of concern for personal hygiene.
If you are a teenager concerned about your own potential abuse or addiction problem, here are some symptoms you may recognise:
you can’t stop thinking about taking drugs or alcohol
you plan social activities around drugs and alcohol
you feel as though you can’t cope without a drink or a hit
you’re willing to go to great lengths to get your drug of choice.
Admitting addiction exists is the first step in getting the help you need. Whether you are a teenager or parent, no help can be afforded until everyone involved is willing to face the addiction head-on. We urge you to seriously consider the symptoms listed above if there’s a chance at all you or a loved one is suffering from addiction.
If you’re ready to seek treatment, we can help. We work with the best clinics around the country to provide all of our clients custom tailored treatments according to their circumstances and budget.
Drug and alcohol addiction treatment for kids comes in several different forms. There are outpatient programmes offered by the NHS and charitable organisations; these programmes are typically free of charge. For a more intense programme with a greater chance of success, residential treatment is a second option.
Residential rehab involves a 4 to 12 week stay at a certified treatment centre with a group of teens all battling the same problems. During the course of the stay the client receives medically supervised detox (when necessary), different forms of behavioural therapies, counselling and plenty of group support.
The point of residential treatment is to break both the physical and psychological addictions through what is known as the 12-step programme. Alcoholics Anonymous originally developed this programme in the 1930’s. For more than 80 years, it has proven to be a programme that works.
We urge you to get in touch with us right away if you or a loved one is battling addiction. Each of our caring and compassionate staff members is more than qualified to assist you in locating the help you need. We will even help make admission arrangements as well. We want to make sure the road to recovery starts today.
Help for family, friends, and close ones is just as important as the help people suffering with addiction need. Seek support to find the right path.