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The Mental Health Effects of Covid-19 on Teens

No one could have prepared for the sudden COVID crisis of 2020, and that includes our kids. It’s been undeniably hard on everyone, and when one of our greatest coping mechanisms is the positive reinforcement we get from our friends, what is your teen supposed to do when they’re cooped up at home?

How is the pandemic affecting them?
What are some signs that parents need to be on the lookout for?


Depression is More Prevalent

Sadly, depression has seen a big rise since the start of the pandemic. Teens are even more susceptible to its effects because of their natural hormone imbalances and brain development. They don’t yet have all of the coping skills that adults have crafted over a lifetime.

It can be more than just the blues; severe depression is something to be concerned about. Changes in your child’s behavior or mood could be indicators that they are struggling emotionally and are in need of help.


Signs of Depression

Teens can be moody, even in the best of circumstances, so keep your child’s unique personality and patterns in mind as you go through the possible signs of depression:
        • Irritability
        • Mood swings
        • Withdrawal and isolation
        • Excessive sleeping or napping
        • Loss of appetite
These are symptoms that will typically last for an extended period of time. You should monitor how long you notice certain behaviors. Has it been one or two days? A week or longer? The more severe signs of depression require urgent attention:
If you’ve seen these behaviors in your teen, please seek professional help right away.

 

What You Can Do to Help

If you see any of these behaviors that give cause for concern, don’t be afraid to ask your child about it. Having open lines of communication can be an extreme comfort for you and for them. Urging them to speak to a trusted friend or adult can also foster healthy ways for them to express their emotions in a safe space.

Remember to also lead by example. Talking about your own feelings can prompt input from your teen. Keep a positive outlook even when dealing with your own stress. Take care of yourself, each other, and encourage time spent together as a family.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Calling your pediatrician, counselor, or a treatment facility like Clearfork to get an assessment of your child’s mental state can make a big difference. It’s never too soon to ask questions, but there could come a time where it is too late. 

Take your child’s mental health seriously, and above all, just be there for them. Let them know that you care. 


If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at
www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now
Want to learn more? Click here to check out our YouTube Channel!

 

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Teen Brains: Primed For Addiction

Addiction can happen to anyone — it does not discriminate based on age. In fact, addiction actually has its easiest targets in teens and young adults. But why is that?

Teens are more susceptible to drug and alcohol addiction because of their brain chemistry. Your teen is primed for addiction, in short, because their brains are still developing. 

 

Why “Just Say No” Isn’t Always Effective

Teenage years are actually the prime development time for a person’s brain, the time when we start laying the building blocks for impulse control, maturity, and decision making that we will carry with us for our entire lives.

Because these important centers of the brain aren’t fully developed, it is much easier for a teen to partake in risky behaviors, including substance abuse. It’s not always about just saying no — their ability to understand the long term consequences of their actions versus short term perceived gains is compromised; until their brain reaches a fully matured state, saying no isn’t always the obvious choice.

 

What Drugs Do to the Teen Brain

Think of your teen’s mind like a canvas. As they grow and live new experiences, create memories, and build meaningful relationships, this canvas gets more and more colorful. Drug addiction begins to fill in these blank areas and overwrite the new, colorful regions with black ink splotches. 

The euphoria, sense of control, and thrill of rebellion are all exciting lures that can start any young adult down the path of substance abuse. Drugs change the brain, and these changes happen much faster in teens than adults because of the blank slated areas that haven’t been dedicated to substance or experience yet. 

These foreign substances even have the ability to erase pieces of the brain that are still under construction, or alter areas such as memory. Seeking immediate gratification is tempting for anybody, and even more so in teens. 

 

Why Professional Treatment is Important

We want to stop these changes from being permanent and mitigate the risk of lifelong addiction into adulthood:

“If you let the ink dry long enough, that’s not going to come off the canvas. What we really want to do is try to create moments, either to erase what is happening or what has happened on that canvas, or to overlay enough events that are positive to overshadow and overcome them.” — Austin Davis, LPC-S, Founder/CEO of Clearfork Academy

 

Don’t wait to seek help for your teen, keep their canvas colorful! If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com.

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now

Want to learn more? Click here to check out our YouTube Channel

 

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Teen Detox: What to Expect

It can be scary to watch your child struggle with substance abuse. Detox for your teen can be just as scary, so it’s important for them to have a safe facility to clear everything out of their bodies and a strong support system at home — you! 

What is Drug Detoxification?

Detoxification, more commonly known as detox, is the process of allowing the body to naturally expel any drugs or harmful substances within it. This process is most beneficial when a trained medical professional is present to manage withdrawal symptoms and administer treatment. 

The detox process is different for everyone, and the length of time it takes the body to work through these substances depends on a variety of factors such as:

        • The types of substances used

        • Their genetic makeup and family health history

        • Pre-existing medical or mental health conditions

        • The duration of their addiction

        • The amount of a substance that has been taken at one time

        • The method of usage (smoking, snorting, injecting, etc.)

The average drug detox time takes between 3 and 7 days, but varies based on your child’s unique situation. 


What are the Side Effects of Drug Detox?

Drug detox can be a frightening experience for your teen. It is important to know exactly what they may experience so you can give them the support they need, from a place of understanding. Symptoms of drug detox include:

        • Anxiety or nervousness

        • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping

        • Body aches and body discomfort

        • Nausea

        • Mood swings

        • Difficulty concentrating 

Because these side effects can be severe, a medically-supervised detox is almost always recommended. Fortunately, Clearfork Academy is medically licensed to have up to eight beds for medical detox. This means that we have a team of dedicated doctors, nurses, and a psychiatrist on hand to ease this process for your child. 

We have medical protocols in place to handle each symptom at varying severities. That includes medical rounding, medical intervention, and medication administration to lessen some of these symptoms as necessary. 


How Does Clearfork Academy Handle Drug Detox?

Our first priority when handling a teen going through detox is to ensure their medical stability. The drugs are allowed to flush out of their bodies so restore health to their organs and brain before we begin next steps. Detox may remove the impurities from your child’s body, but it is not enough by itself to keep them healthy long term. 

Clearfork Academy also addresses the heart and mind of each teen to facilitate lifelong recovery. Our therapeutic process encompasses one-on-one sessions, group therapy, and the deeper exploration of their unique thoughts and feelings. The psychological part of their addiction needs to be discussed as well. Our multi-step approach to drug detox is focused on immediate medical care, but also the mental and emotional care that must be completed afterwards to ensure lasting success. We take care of the medical aspects of their recovery first so that we can focus on repairing their self image, confidence, and address the factors that led them to drug abuse in the first place. 

 

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

Want to learn more? Click here to check out our YouTube Channel

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now
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12-Step Program for Teens

Let’s jump right in and answer two of the most common questions we get asked:

  1. Is Clearfork Academy a faith-based program? Yes. 

  2. Does Clearfork Academy use the 12 steps? Also, yes!

That’s right, Clearfork Academy is a faith-based, 12-step recovery center for teens struggling with substance abuse and mental health. On our campus, the 12 steps are posted on our wall, and are reviewed every evening. We also have group meetings on Saturday mornings. At the same time, our treatment modality is Christ-centered. While others may struggle to blend faith and recovery, it’s what we do best. At Clearfork, our Founder/CEO (Austin Davis, LPC-S) completed his undergraduate degree in pastoral ministries and went to seminary. He then earned a Master’s in Divinity as well as a Master’s in Counseling. With the help of his background, we are able to seamlessly combine the faith-based aspect with the 12-step program. We offer our teens a well-rounded curriculum with health and recovery always being our #1 priority!

 

“I love the 12 steps! The first three steps are very God-focused. He’s going to restore me to sanity, He’s going to take care of my problem and then I’m going to have to have an understanding of who this God is. That’s where Clearfork brings such a unique position on this. We’re going to bring in that ‘faith stuff’ from my background and education. When we talk about ‘the God of our own understanding’, it’s going to be the God who saves. It’s going to be the God who restores. It’s going to be the God who provides. It’s going to be the God who desires praise and relationship!”Austin Davis, LPC-S, Founder/CEO

 

At Clearfork, we want our teens to have an understanding of who God is and what God does as they work through the 12 steps. Teens in treatment at Clearfork Academy aim to complete one of the 12 steps each week so they can receive their chip before they leave campus! We also encourage them to continue going to meetings, and to get a sponsor after they’ve completed treatment with us.

 

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re happy to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now

 

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Families Matter at Clearfork Academy

As a therapist, you know when a teen is struggling with substance abuse the whole family is affected. At Clearfork Academy, we know this is not something that can be overlooked. Having the support of family is critical for a teen to recover. 

 

When you’re looking for a treatment facility to refer clients to, we realize it’s important for you to know how the entire family is included in the recovery process. Here are just a few of the ways Clearfork Academy includes and takes care of our client’s families.

 

1. The first thing you should know is that we have a full-time Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist on staff. We want to therapeutically embrace the entire family system so each perspective is heard, and the entire family unit can begin to heal.

 

2. The families of addicted teens are often unaware of their role in the recovery process. For that reason, we offer a Multi-family Education Group on Saturday mornings. This group is led by one of our therapists, and different topics are presented each week regarding the family system and recovery. We educate on things such as boundaries, codependency, dysfunctional family roles, and more. The families are also able to ask questions, discuss and learn from each other during this time. This has proven to be an invaluable resource for many of our clients.

 

3. We also offer a Family Support Group to the families of our teens. We connect with these families beginning at the time of enrollment, and we stay connected! Our family support group meets every Tuesday. It is our goal to support the families of our patients, and to stay engaged with them. This support group is for the families of current patients, and for the families of our alumni. We continue to offer family support through our parent Facebook group well after graduation.

4. Speaking of alumni, Clearfork Academy actually has a full-time Alumni Relations Coordinator. Their main focus is staying engaged with alumni families. These families often need additional care and support after their teen has returned home from treatment. We are here for them as long as they need us!

 

When you refer a teen to our program, you can rest assured we will take care of the entire family. Not only that, we will also keep you –  the referring therapist, informed too. Within 48 hours of admission, the primary counselor for the enrolled teen will contact you. After the initial exchange of information, the counselor will update you on a weekly basis (or whatever schedule works best for you). We love collaborating with other professionals to ensure that these teens and their families are well taken care of throughout the entire recovery process.

 

“As a clinician for nearly 20 years, I’ve been hard pressed to work with such a team as Clearfork Academy when collaborating with a program that can help teens and families find help in their most dire of days. Clearfork and their team are unique based on their responsiveness to the population and our industry. In the five years I’ve been working and referring with Clearfork, they have asked fantastic questions of their constituents, been responsive for their program growth and the results of which have propelled Clearfork to a renowned Texas treatment facility that embraces core values, unique continuum of care for teens and a family program that is robust. It has been my honor to be called a clinical partner, problem solver, connector and case manager alongside Clearfork’s staff these past several years and can strongly recommend their milieu/programming to help with your most complex cases.” – Joseph A. Dias, M.Ed., LPC-S

 

If you’d like to learn more about what Clearfork Academy can offer, we’d love to connect with you! Please give Missy a call at (214) 592-7012 to schedule a lunch, a campus tour, or even a Zoom meeting. You can also email help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com for more information.

 

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem?

Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through 
discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next!

Download your free guide here: Download Now