Adolescent Teens struggling with substance use disorders (SUD) face many obstacles that prevent them from seeking treatment. These include fear, shame, stigma, and self-perception. It is important to help teens address their fears surrounding addiction treatment and offer them resources to help them.
Treatments Available to Teens
Thankfully, teens struggling with SUD can find various treatment options. Parents can choose from three types of treatment available to teenagers and young adults including:
- Inpatient Treatment: Inpatient treatment is the most common treatment for teens and young adults. They may enter into rehab or a residential facility.
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient treatment varies according to the offered services' type, intensity, and frequency. Some facilities mainly deliver their therapeutic sessions individually or in a group format. Participants in outpatient programs spend 3 hours a day at least twice a week. They may offer drug abuse prevention programming or other behavioral interventions.
- Partial Hospitalization: Teens with more severe substance use disorders may receive referrals to a partial hospitalization setting for day treatment. During the day, adolescents participate in treatment 4–6 hours a day, five days a week while living at home.
Reasons That Make It Difficult for Teens To Seek Treatment
Regardless of the treatment options, many teens are hesitant about seeking treatment. Some of their concerns include:
- Embarrassment: Some adolescents may find it embarrassing to admit that they have a substance use problem. Carried away by shame, they rather hide their condition. Some teens fear how others will perceive or treat them after entering treatment. They may fear that a stigma will follow them for the rest of their life.
- Discussing Their SUD: Teenagers have a lot going on in their lives. For some, it may seem easier to live in denial or avoid the topic as they continue to live out their routine. Others are unsure if peers will understand their predicament. We suggest parents create a safe environment for their child to share their concerns and feelings.
- Doubt Treatment's Effectiveness: Some teens refuse to go to rehab because they doubt treatment can make a difference. Sometimes that results from them not knowing the type of support services available. They often feel that these facilities may not fit their recovery goals or desired approach.
- Leaving Friends or Family Behind: They want to stay with their friends and family instead of going into treatment. Essentially, they fear missing out on events regarding family or friends.
- Commitment: Teenagers don't know how long it will take to detox and recover. So they fear committing to the process. Regardless of the treatment program, recovery is a life-long journey.
- School: Some teens may hold certain reservations about missing school and falling behind in their classwork. They may worry about its impact on graduating or applying to colleges.
Easing Your Teen's Worries About Treatment
There are many ways to approach this issue with your child, including:
- Plan: Make sure all of the teen's primary caregivers devise a plan that all parties find suitable. A unified front will grant your more headway into the situation and assure the teen that they have a support system.
- Review the Consequences: Discuss their well-being and recovery effects if they continue to refuse treatment. Mention how their behavior affected others and how it could affect them if they decide not to go into rehab for treatment.
- Explain the Benefits of Treatment: Inform them of the many benefits. They will gain the ability to restore their self-esteem and relationships with loved ones. They will also develop better coping skills to deal with triggers, avoid relapses, and face life's challenges.
- Be a Good Listener: A teen struggling with an addiction will likely have many questions about treatment. Listen to the child and answer questions as honestly as possible without judgment.
- Assure Them: Let them know that you'll be there to help them throughout the process. Review how often you will visit them during their stay.
- Help Them Express Their Emotions: To ease their worries, encourage them to share their feelings and concerns. Help them express any feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, and fear. Ask your teen questions about their experience with SUD.
How Parents Can Help
Teens may have a variety of fears and other obstacles that prevent them from getting help for their addiction, such as fear, shame, stigma, or self-perception. Parents can help ease their teens' worries by showing compassion and understanding. Take time to hear their concerns, and listen without judgment. Explain their treatment options, the consequences of SUD, and the benefits of treatment.
Teens with a substance use disorder are often hesitant to seek treatment. What actions can you take to help them overcome these fears? At Clearfork Academy, we can ease your child's worries and help them transition into our program. Clearfork Academy also offers comprehensive programs that include individual, group, and family therapy sessions. Our various evidence-based and holistic therapies will ensure that your teen finds the right treatment plan to fit their needs. Our treatment programs also help teens understand SUD as a disease and provide life skills that will help them prevent relapses and sustain recovery. Participants can complete their long-term treatment without compromising their educational opportunities. Ultimately, our qualified team will help ease you and your child's reservations about treatment. If your teen is currently in need of help, don't wait; consult a professional today. To learn more about our treatment program, reach out to Clearfork Academy and call (817) 259-2597.