Teenagers can sometimes be forgotten in the sphere of drug and alcohol use. Most times, the focus is on adults who are openly using the drugs or who have severe medical or mental problems associated with the illicit or dangerous use of these substances. However, teenagers are at high risk especially because their bodies and brains have not completely finished forming. Even one-time using alcohol or a drug, such as marijuana, can leave teenagers reeling for months or years to come.

The Importance of Treatment Programs

Drug or alcohol treatment programs are just as important for teenagers as they are for adults from Phelan to Barstow. At First Step Recovery Center in Victorville, we treat each teenager as an individual and create a treatment plan specifically designed for his or her needs and lifestyle. Our treatment programs can be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing teenagers to continue their schooling and extracurricular activities.

[su_note note_color=”#e5e5e5″]Often the first step in determining if a teenager needs a treatment program is accurate screening by a trusted pediatrician. These pediatricians are often the same ones seen since the teenager was an infant. Pediatricians should ask teenagers questions that will help to determine if they have used alcohol or illicit drugs. In confidential settings, teenagers are often quite open to sharing truthful information with their pediatricians. Sadly, self-reports show that pediatricians only screen between 50 to 86 percent of the time due to insufficient time spent with the patient or difficulty obtaining or using an approved screening tool.[/su_note]

Listen to Pediatricians Regarding Health Conditions

In many cases of mild substance use, a pediatrician will only have what is known as a brief intervention with the teenager. During the intervention, the pediatrician will open a conversation that is designed to educate the teenager about the possible dangers of alcohol and drugs as well as about the benefits of making healthy lifestyle choices. These interventions can usually significantly reduce or stop alcohol and drug use.

[su_note note_color=”#e5e5e5″]However, severe cases of teenage substance use call for serious care through a treatment facility. Treatment facilities, such as First Step Recovery Center, have the resources necessary for long-term recovery and can also refer teenagers to continuing programs, such as self-help groups so that they can build upon their initial success for the rest of their lives. In addition, professional treatment facilities can conduct biopsychosocial assessments to focus treatment on all aspects of the individual and to show underlying predispositions to substance use as well as lifestyle risk factors.[/su_note]