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The Unique Treatment Needs of Adolescents

When adolescents receive some form of reliable guidance that extends into early adulthood, it greatly increases their chances for a successful future. Young people need guidance for a variety of reasons. Many adolescents struggle with finding their identity or fitting in. They may also face problems developing goals and meeting them. Even adults have difficulty with skills involved in living a productive and satisfying life. Children and teens are still developing mentally, emotionally, and physically and need extra support leading into adulthood.

For adolescents facing addiction and mental health challenges, additional professional support is highly recommended. When adolescents develop a dependence on alcohol, experiment with illicit drugs, or misuse prescription medications, it is extremely dangerous. These substances can physically impair an already underdeveloped brain structure.

Therefore, it’s imperative to intervene early with adolescents. Educating teenagers about the risks of substance use is also important. When an adolescent can be guided to receive mental health or addiction treatment and stay committed, it can greatly decrease the chance of a potential suicide, relapse, or possible drug overdose.

Effects of Addiction and Mental Health on Adolescents

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), young adults who are facing difficulty with addiction experience problems academically, mentally, and physically. Adolescents may also face problems with the juvenile justice system, peers, and family members. Friends, relatives, and the entire community can be affected.

Mental health effects of addiction may include:

Physical health effects may consist of:

Unique Holistic treatment Options for Adolescents

There are many benefits to seeking holistic mental health treatment for adolescents. Certain practices increase an individual’s self-esteem, introduce healthy coping skills, provide an opportunity for spiritual connection, and prevent relapse. There are natural treatment options that can help an adolescent safely overcome addiction and successfully manage the effects of mental health conditions.

A few natural and therapeutic approaches may include:

How Can Sage Recovery Help?

Sage Recover is a holistic recovery and wellness center that offers a 4-day intensive outpatient program (IOP) to children and adolescents who need additional support. An IOP is a great option for an adolescent facing challenges with addiction and their mental health. This type of care allows the teenager to continue to work and attend school while participating in the program during the evenings. However, if it’s more convenient, day programs are also an option. The adolescent can attend fewer sessions over time depending on the level of their success.

Virtual treatment for adolescents is an alternative option as well. Telehealth (also known as online therapy) is a convenient and HIPPA-compliant way for young adults to safely attend therapy sessions from home. Individual behavioral therapy, group therapy, and family sessions are great choices for adolescents and families to partake in.

The Importance of Early Intervention

As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), entering our teen years into early adulthood can be one of the most difficult phases in life. Many adolescents face mental health problems or a substance use disorder (SUD) and are completely oblivious to the signs or symptoms. As a result, they often do not seek treatment.

SAMHSA provides the estimate that in 2018, approximately eight.9 million adolescents reported a mental health condition. More than two out of five teens did not seek help. Nearly nine out of ten young adults out of the five.1 million who were diagnosed with SUD did not receive treatment.

The Importance of Early Intervention

As claimed by a review published in the International Journal of Mental Health Systems, early intervention strategies may encourage a positive outcome and positively impact a child’s well-being. Early screening and evaluation may increase the effectiveness of all healthcare pathways. Treatment in general may potentially decrease healthcare costs over time and reduce the disease burden on society.

Early intervention is very important as it can prepare a young individual for positive long-term effects. Advanced treatment ensures that the long-term physical side effects are greatly reduced. Certain substances or untreated mental health issues can be detrimental to one’s health.

In some situations, the whole family can benefit from receiving support. Addiction and mental health problems affect all members of the family. Additionally, when parents or caregivers seek help from mental healthcare professionals, this allows them to correct any negative behaviors that could be compounding the teen’s condition. Family members also can learn new strategies for coping with the condition. Intervening from the beginning can significantly improve everyone’s mental health, improve relationships, and foster a healthy living environment.

Moving Forward

Substance use, especially at a young age, can result in many negative effects. Untreated mental health conditions can be difficult for adolescents and families to manage on their own without professional support. Learning to recognize the signs of addiction and mental illness early on can potentially prevent further problems in an adolescent’s child’s life. Treatment options such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eye sensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), equine therapy, art therapy, group therapy, and more can be effective in helping adolescents overcome their condition. It’s never too late to seek help and establish a healthy and happy life.

Substance use at an early age can come with many mental and physical risks. Holistic treatment options provided by healthcare professionals can be beneficial for adolescents. It’s important not to wait, as early intervention can potentially save a child’s life. Here at Sage Recovery, our administrative team members all share a sincere passion and calling to support individuals in vulnerable situations. The holistic and trauma-informed services at Sage Recovery & Wellness Center are designed to allow for a custom-built individualized treatment plan to help your loved one overcome the effects of addiction and/or mental illness. If you feel you could benefit from our services, please call Sage Recovery at (512) 306-1394 to learn more.