Bricolage Alcoholism Treatment Programs: A Mental Health Clinic Addressing Substance Abuse
Why Your Teen May Need an Alcoholism Treatment Program
Many believe experimenting with drugs and alcohol is just a part of being a teenager. Everyone does it, right? Who hasn’t partied with their friends during their high school and college years? If my teenager is just experimenting, why would they need an alcoholism treatment program?
Maybe the drinking and drug use isn’t something to be too concerned about. But if your teen is starting to use these substances more frequently, get in trouble due to drinking, or participating in this behavior when they’re alone, it might be time to intervene and help them seek some sort of treatment.
If you’re worried about the amount of alcohol your child is consuming, you aren’t alone. Other parents in Flower Mound and the greater Dallas area are going through exactly what you’re going through, and there are ways to identify the root of the problem.
What could possibly be the reason for this frequent drinking? There are several potential reasons for this. Maybe it stemmed from peer pressure or just curiosity. These are valid reasons to consider, but self-medicating from the stress of adolescence is a more likely cause, especially if they are drinking in solitude.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University studied over 700 young adults’ drinking habits and found that teens and 20-somethings who drank alone had a 50 percent higher chance of developing alcoholism by age 25 than those who drank in a social setting.
Why Is My Teenager Drinking in Solitude?
This study revealed that adolescents chose to drink in solitude because they were self-medicating due to the intense pressures and stressful situations that come with adolescence. It also revealed that people who begin drinking before the age of 15 are at a much greater risk for developing other substance abuse problems and struggling with polydrug abuse, engaging in risky sexual behaviors, or getting into serious accidents, especially car crashes or physical fights.
What’s clear here is that excessive drinking or drinking alone is often a sign of a deeper issue, one that likely needs professional therapy to learn better coping skills as well as to treat the underlying issue.
It’s clear that frequent drinking in adolescents can escalate to much bigger issues later in adulthood. If you notice your child is withdrawn and not acting as happy as they used to, it’s important to communicate with them and get to the root cause of their change in behavior before it becomes a more serious issue.
We all remember what it’s like being a teenager. The stress of high school, applying for colleges and deciding what to study, SAT’s… most of these experiences are not thought of fondly. These intense pressures that come with being a young adult can be too much to handle for some, and even cause many teens to feel depressed or have anxiety.
Did you know that an estimated one in five adolescents from all walks of life will suffer from depression at some point during their teen years? Although depression in adolescents is fairly common, most teens do not receive treatment for their mental health issues.
Because most teenagers are not receiving professional treatment and do not know how to cope with these new, intense pressures in their lives, it makes sense that they would self-medicate by drinking.
Most pressures and stressful situations teens experience come and go. If they're in a slump, they'll move on eventually, and there won't be a need for treatment, right?
Maybe, maybe not. Every case of depression and every situation that a teen goes through is different. Although an alcoholism treatment program may sound extreme, it could be extremely beneficial for your child and the whole family. There are specific signs to watch for to get a better sense if your child has a serious problem with drinking or not.
Bricolage Behavioral Health can come up with an individualized plan for your teen and your entire family to start healing and get your child back on track at home and in school. 469-968-5700
How Can I Tell if My Child Is Abusing Alcohol?
If your teen is hiding their alcohol consumption, it can be difficult to know how often this is occurring and how serious of a problem this is.
Here are some common signs of frequent drinking:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Smaller pupils
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- Deterioration in appearance
- Being exhausted or sick often
- Impaired coordination, or displaying bruises, cuts, or other injuries from accidents like falling
- Smelling like alcohol
- Appearing drunk often: falling over, slurring words, etc.
- Empty bottles in the teen’s room or in the garbage
- Poor performance in school and not attending classes
- Lowered participation in events or hobbies that were once enjoyed, such as sports, extracurricular activities, reading, etc.
- Changes in social groups
- Becoming isolated or withdrawn
- Acting suspicious
- Demanding privacy and clashing with family over this condition
- Stealing money
- Lying, or becoming defensive, about potential alcohol abuse
- Other changes in personality, behavior, habits, or grooming
- Sudden mood changes
In some cases, this list isn't enough and you may need more assistance on how to spot drinking in teens. If you notice some of these symptoms with your child, it’s time to consider seeking an alcoholism treatment program for them.
How Can I Help My Teen?
If you’ve realized that your child is acting differently and drinking more frequently, that is an essential first step. If these issues go unnoticed for too long, it can cause serious problems down the road.
The next step is to communicate with your child. Ask them about these new changes that they’re going through, how they’re feeling and why they’ve been drinking frequently. It’s important for your teen to know that if they are self-medicating due to depression or anxiety, they are not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
The mistake most parents make is to take the authoritarian route: “This is not OK,” “This stops now,” “You’re ruining your life,” etc. This usually serves the purpose of pushing teens farther away and deeper into use.
Avoid shaming and blaming at all costs. Focus on understanding why your teen is using and then work together WITH them to find alternative strategies that could work. Help them envision goals in their lives and discuss ways to achieve them.
When you talk with your child, just listening to them can be the most important thing you can do. Making your teen feel like they’re able to talk honestly about how they feel can help them open up and feel less isolated.
It could also be beneficial to speak with their teachers, or even their friends to know how your teen is acting outside of your home. This could be especially helpful if your child is not willing to open up about their depression, anxiety, or drinking habits.
Now you’re probably wondering how an alcoholism treatment program works, what kind of options are out there for your child and how they can learn healthy coping mechanisms that don’t involve drinking.
Alcoholism Treatment Program Options for Your Child
Although every mental health diagnosis and teen is different, if your child is drinking because they feel depressed or anxious, it could be very beneficial for your teen to go through an alcoholism treatment program that includes dual-diagnosis treatment.
What does this mean? Dual-diagnosis treatment aims to treat the substance abuse disorder in patients along with underlying mental illnesses. Learning new ways to cope with stress is an essential skill that is learned during this treatment process.
Dual-diagnosis treatment can be seen in many forms, here are just a few examples:
- Detox: If your child is physically dependent on alcohol, the first step to receiving treatment is detoxing their body of this toxin. This will eliminate the physical need for alcohol, but the mental dependency still needs to be addressed.
- Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioral Therapies: This is where your child will learn healthy ways of coping with stress and their depression and/or anxiety. Your teen can also understand their mental health diagnosis more clearly and be able to identify harmful thoughts that can cause addiction. Behavioral therapies are so important because they can decrease the chance of your child having a major substance abuse problem later in life.
These options for an alcoholism treatment program can be done in both in-patient and out-patient rehab. The main difference between these options is that in-patient rehab allows your child to reside in a rehab facility for 30 days, 24 hours a day and is more intense treatment.
Out-patient rehab allows your teen to attend therapy sessions and other forms of treatment for a few hours a week, but is able to reside in their own home. This is a more popular option for adolescents as they’re able to receive treatment and still attend school, work at their job, or other duties they have. But at the end of the day, every case is different and this decision is up to you and your family.
Bricolage Behavioral Health is Here for the Teens of Flower Mound
Our staff at Bricolage Behavioral Health understand how heartbreaking it can be to watch your child suffer in any way. We’re here to help you and your family get your child’s life back on track with our alcoholism treatment program that focuses on mental health.
Located on Long Prairie Road, near Firewheel Drive and the Montessori Rainbow School, and close to one of Flower Mound’s large residential areas, we are convenient to reach out to.
Seek professional help for your teen before it spirals out of control. Bricolage will make sure your child is in the right hands.