Posted on

Yes, Marijuana Addiction Is Real

Yes, Marijuana Addiction Is Real

There is a big misconception that marijuana is not addictive. However, that is false. Contrary to common belief, marijuana is addictive. Estimates from research suggest that about nine percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number increases among those who start young (to about 17%, or one in six) and among daily users (25 to 50%).

How Many Teens Use Marijuana?

Many teenagers try marijuana, and some use it regularly. As a result, teenage marijuana use is at its highest level in 30 years, and today’s teens are more likely to use marijuana than tobacco. 

In 2019, 37% of US high school students reported lifetime use of marijuana, and 22% reported use in the past 30 days. Past-year vaping of marijuana also remained steady in 2020, following significant increases in 2018 and 2019. In addition, large percentages of middle and high school students reported past-year marijuana vaping—eight percent of eighth-graders, 19% of 10th graders, and 22% of 12th graders.

Many of the nearly seven percent of high-school seniors who report smoking marijuana daily or almost daily are well on their way to addiction, if not already addicted, and might be functioning at a sub-optimal level in their schoolwork and other areas.

Legalization of Marijuana 

The marijuana legalization movement has played a role in sending mixed messages to young people that marijuana is safe because “it’s medicine” or “it’s legal.” Unfortunately, this leaves it up to parents to help set things straight. By understanding the risks, dangers, facts, and statistics on teen marijuana use, you can better address the issue with your teen.

Many states allow recreational use of marijuana in adults ages 21 and over. However, recreational marijuana use by children and teenagers is not legal anywhere in the United States. 

Marijuana Plants Contain Higher Amounts of THC

Today’s marijuana plants are grown differently than in the past and can contain two to three times more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that makes people high. The component of the marijuana plant thought to have the most medical benefits, cannabidiol (CBD), has not increased and remains at about one percent. 

Additionally, the products sold in dispensaries currently are not subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards and are not purely isolated cannabinoids; they are therefore not reliable in their potency or concentration of CBD or THC or the inclusion of other ingredients.

Various Ways to Use

These days, teens have more options regarding how to use marijuana. Various ways include:

  • Smoking the dried plant in a rolled cigarette or pipe
  • Smoking liquid or wax marijuana in an electronic cigarette, also known as vaping. 
  • Eating “edibles,” which are baked goods and candies containing marijuana products 
  • Drinking beverages containing marijuana products 
  • Using topical oils and tinctures

Marijuana and the Teenage Brain

One of the primary concerns with teens and marijuana is the effect cannabis has on the developing brain. Despite what many teens may believe, their brains do not finish developing until roughly 25 years of age. During this critical period of development, marijuana can significantly impact the brain’s structure and function. 

Studies have shown that marijuana use during adolescence can affect areas of the brain associated with: 

  • Memory and learning
  • Decision-making
  • Impulse control
  • Motivation

Marijuana use is linked with impaired attention, concentration, and increased risk of addiction and drug abuse. 

Cannabis Use Disorder

Regular use of marijuana can lead to significant problems, including cannabis use disorder. 

Signs that your child has developed cannabis use disorder include using marijuana more often than intended, having cravings, or when using it interferes with other activities. 

If someone with cannabis use disorder stops using suddenly, they may suffer from withdrawal symptoms that include: 

  • Irritability 
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings 
  • Changes in sleep and appetite  

Talk to Your Teen

Given the risk of cognitive impairments, parents and teachers need to talk openly about marijuana with teens, helping them understand its effects on their rapidly-developing brains. 

Marijuana use in teens can lead to long-term consequences. However, teens rarely think they will end up with problems related to marijuana use, so it is important to begin talking about the risks with your teen early and continue this discussion over time. 

Talking with your teen about marijuana can help delay the age of first use and protect their brain. If your teen is already using marijuana, try asking questions openly and curiously, your teen will talk more freely if not feeling judged. 

Talking about drugs with your teen can help them make healthier and more informed decisions about marijuana use. Remember, you are not alone, and help is available.

Marijuana use among teens is at an all-time high. New routes of administration and higher-potency THC increase the chances of addiction in developing brains. Marijuana addiction in teens can negatively impact learning, memory, decision-making, impulse control, and motivation. As parents, it is crucial to know the warning signs and when to reach out for help. At Clearfork Academy, we believe in the potential of teenagers and the power of faith to change the trajectory of their lives. It’s our hope that in the 13 weeks of programming, we can build rapport and create new strategies for holistic sober living for each teen and their family. Teen drug rehab is more than a job to us; it’s a calling. If you or someone you know has a teen struggling with marijuana use or addiction, help is available. To learn more, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.

Posted on

Why Are Some Teens More Prone to Addiction?

Why Are Some Teens More Prone to Addiction?

When addiction hits, it hits hard. When it grabs hold, it’s a battle to get free. It doesn’t matter how old you are, the severity of your vice, or how long you’ve been involved with it.

Further, addiction can be particularly devastating for teens. Too often, teens find themselves stuck in a cycle of substance abuse and addiction without any hope of breaking free. While every teen responds differently to an addiction problem, there are some common reasons why some teens are more prone to addiction than others.

Poor Impulse Control

It all goes wrong in the brain’s ability to control impulses. According to research,  certain brain parts, like the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, are still developing at this age, so they are at a disadvantage compared to adult brains.

Therefore, teens cannot resist the impulse; instead, they’ll do something terrible if it feels good at the moment. They may also lack the ability to think through the consequences. Teens don’t always realize that their actions can have long-lasting effects.

The teen brain has trouble making good decisions because it can’t understand real consequences and can’t figure out how much distant rewards matter. Therefore, teens act without thinking about the outcome of their actions, such as texting while driving, which puts them more at risk for addictions than adults.

Susceptible Genes

Scientists have found that differences in individual genes can affect how the brain responds to addictive substances and how fast the body breaks down. For example, genes can make some people prone to addiction. This means two people can use the same drug, but one person can become addicted while the other does not. Therefore, some teens seem to be able to “try” a drug without becoming hooked, while for others, even “experimental” use can lead to addiction.

Family History of Addiction

Another factor that might make some teens more likely to try drugs is exposure to drug use by family members or friends. Children who grow up in homes where parents abuse drugs are more likely to abuse drugs as teenagers. According to studies, teens exposed at a young age are more likely to fall into patterns of early substance abuse and

Low Self-Esteem

When it comes to low self-esteem, the effects on developing brains can be devastating. Teenagers who lack confidence tend to use alcohol and drugs to improve confidence, though this is only temporary. Unfortunately, this false sense of security makes many teenagers continue substance use.

Therapy can help build teens’ self-images and teach them coping skills for negative emotions before those feelings lead them to drug experimentation. In therapy, teens learn that healthy living choices enhance self-image. Therapists can also work with teenagers on social skills that lead to stronger peer relationships and higher quality friendships with less risk of being pressured into drug experimentation or use by having friends who don’t drink or take drugs.

Stressful Events

Stressful events — like parents’ divorce, a death in the family, or moving to a new place — can cause stress. Due to chronic stress, too many teens start drinking or using substances to mitigate the stress. Teens who have experienced more stress than others are more likely to use drugs to cope.

Abuse and Trauma

Many teenagers have experienced abuse or trauma. These experiences affect a person’s brain development, making them more vulnerable to addiction. Teens who have experienced abuse or trauma need extra support to avoid addiction. Common causes of trauma among teens include:

  • Parents’ divorce
  • Loss of a sibling, parent, or another loved one
  • Sexual, physical, or mental abuse
  • Parents neglect
  • A catastrophic accident or weather event
  • Bullying by their peers

Lack of Parental Support and Supervision

Most parents work long hours. Consequently, teens could feel neglected. In other cases, parents may be absent from the home due to incarceration, divorce, or death. Thus, they can’t monitor their kids’ activities or hold them accountable for their actions. This leaves teens without any accurate guidance and supervision from an authority figure in their lives. Without parental supervision, teens are susceptible to harmful influences.

Mental Health Disorders

Mental health professionals can treat mental health problems and co-occurring disorders successfully using therapy like group therapy or CBT and medication. Such an approach helps remove the need for self-medicating through drug or alcohol use. If you think your teen might have a mental health disorder, talk to them about this possibility and consider getting help from a trained professional like a therapist or psychiatrist who can help guide them towards recovery from their substance use disorder (SUD) and their co-occurring mental health disorder.

Some experts believe that genetics, environmental influences, or a predisposition toward risky behaviors can lead to teen drug addiction. At Clearfork Academy, we believe that in order to prevent SUD, parents must educate themselves on the issue. Our programs offer various treatments for adolescents struggling with SUD or mental health disorders. Our team facilitates the healing of teens through trauma-focused care, on-site academic courses, adventure therapy, and various therapeutic modalities tailored to meet each teen’s needs. Our fully qualified clinicians understand how challenging it can be for parents or guardians who have a teenager dealing with addiction or mental health conditions. We can help you and your family climb this mountain of recovery from SUD. Stop enabling your teen’s behaviors. Instead of enabling your teenager, seek professional help at a reputable treatment program like Clearfork Academy. To find out more about evidence-based treatment, contact us today by calling (888) 966-8604.

Posted on

What to Expect Through the Stages of Addiction Recovery?

What to Expect Through the Stages of Addiction Recovery?

Addiction recovery is not a linear process. Since addiction is a chronic condition, addiction recovery follows several stages. The first is pre-contemplation, where the person does not recognize a problem with their substance use disorder. Through contemplation and preparation, the person grows closer to realizing that they have a problem. Then, after gathering information and support from others, they begin their journey through action and maintenance.

One thing to remember is anyone can recover.

The Importance of Knowing the 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery

When entering recovery, a teen may have to deal with cravings, irritability, and other uncomfortable symptoms. It makes it difficult to see the value of treatment or imagine a life free from drugs and alcohol. By understanding the five stages of addiction recovery, your teen can help empower themselves to get through the early stages of sobriety. Ultimately, knowledge about the five stages of addiction recovery can help you intervene at the right time to help a loved one who is abusing substances.

Addiction affects brain chemistry and wreaks havoc on the body, but your teen and family can recover with treatment.

The 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery

The five stages of addiction recovery are pre-contemplation, contemplation, action, maintenance, and relapse. An individual recovering from SUD  may not necessarily go through all the stages in order. They also may need to go through the same stage again.

Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation

People in this stage of addiction recovery do not see a problem with their use of drugs or alcohol. They do not intend to stop using and may become defensive if confronted about their behavior. They may say, “I’m not addicted” or “I can quit whenever I want.” People will seek out “normal” experiences while they continue to use alcohol or drugs in this stage. Though their life may lack any balance, they can’t see what their drinking is doing to them or the people around them.

A person in this stage might think someone else, like their boss or spouse, is to blame for reminding them about their drinking. They usually need external pressure from family and friends to get them to consider quitting.

Stage 2: Contemplation

In the contemplation stage of recovery, people struggle with ambivalence about making a change in their lives; people may feel torn between the desire to move toward recovery and continue using drugs or alcohol. People contemplating constructing a change often ask themselves, “Am I an addict? Do I have a problem? Is it worth it to quit? Essentially, they begin to realize the negative impact of substances in their lives like:

  • Missing out on important social events.
  • Unable to achieve their life or academic goals.
  • May have lost interest in recreational activities.

Despite seeing the consequences of SUD, they still hold some ambivalence over sobriety and seeking treatment. In this stage, teens battling SUD try to find ways to use drugs and alcohol that allow them to function well enough to avoid any potential problems. Unfortunately, someone with a SUD can’t continue functioning well enough without treatment.

Stage 3: Preparation

In this stage, the teen starts working with their family on a plan to overcome their SUD. People in this stage will often make lists and set goals to prepare themselves for SUD treatment and recovery. With their family, they research their treatment options. At this stage, parents and family members must encourage the teen. Parents can do this by gently pressing them as they consider their options and decide whether or not to go to treatment.

Stage 4: Action Stage

The teen commits to remaining sober. This is when healthy behaviors begin to replace unhealthy ones. The teen with the SUD starts to make changes in their life and actively engages in recovery tasks like :

  • Avoid peers, situations, or locations associated with substance use.
  • Building a strong recovery network.
  • Going to therapy or support groups.
  • Attending 12-step meetings.
  • Learning new coping strategies for dealing with stress or cravings for drugs or alcohol.

An addict may make many attempts at staying sober before they manage long-term abstinence. Relapse is common during this stage, but it can also be a learning experience. Keep encouraging your teen as they work through this stage.

Stage 5: Maintenance Stage

Once someone has successfully graduated from a treatment program like a residential or outpatient program, they enter maintenance. This step involves your teen taking active responsibility for their sobriety by continuously using the coping skills and techniques learned during treatment.

Teens will have to maintain a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically, while avoiding triggers and stressors that could lead to relapse. To support your teen’s recovery, you will encourage him to continue his counseling, attend 12-step meetings, and avoid situations that could lead to relapse. While there is always a risk of relapse, a relapse-prevention plan will serve them well.

Are you tired of watching your child suffer through addiction? Knowing where your teen is in the process of addiction recovery enables you to talk to them at the right time. If they are in the pre-contemplation stage, a nudge in the right direction may be all that is necessary to help guide them toward seeking treatment. Whatever your situation, education can always give you an added advantage when dealing with adolescents suffering from substance abuse issues, and Clearfork Academy can help. Based in the mountains of Texas, our accredited treatment offers a transformational experience that helps teenagers struggling with addiction, anxiety, depression, and other emotional difficulties to grow and thrive. Our addiction recovery plan focuses on holistic, evidence-based treatments with personalized aftercare plans that guarantee long-lasting results. If your teen is currently struggling to manage their SUD, then the time to get help is now. To learn more about our programs, contact us today at (888) 966-8604.   

Posted on

What You Need to Know About Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Addiction

What You Need to Know About Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Addiction

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is growing among teens due to social media, societal standards, and constant comparisons to other people’s bodies. In a day and time where body image has become of great importance to teens, it is necessary to look out for signs of BDD. Knowing how to have a healthy self-image is important for maintaining mental health and preventing further co-occurring issues like addiction.

What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental health disorder that affects people’s perception of their self-image. People with body dysmorphia fixate on specific flaws in their appearance that typically aren’t noticeable to other people. BDD causes an intense fixation on one’s appearance that can disrupt a person’s everyday life. It involves checking one’s appearance in mirrors, repeatedly seeking reassurance from others, or getting cosmetic procedures to fix their “flaws.”

The majority of people in life have flawed beliefs themselves. However, people with BDD let their flaws consume their attention and take drastic measures to fix them. This form of constant negative thinking about one’s flaws can become intense insecurities which can cause depression, anxiety, and often trigger suicidal thoughts.

Signs of Body Dysmorphia

Body dysmorphia typically develops around adolescence and is most prominent during the teenage years. It occurs in both males and females. The most common body parts that a person with BDD obsesses over are the stomach, face, chest, hair, skin, and hips. Such a skewed perception of self can lead to damaging thoughts and behaviors. It is important t understand the symptoms of body dysmorphia as they occur.

Symptoms of body dysmorphia can include:

  • A strong belief that there is a flaw or defect in appearance that makes them appear “ugly”
  • Seeking out cosmetic procedures to fix body issues
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Consistently comparing yourself to others
  • Avoiding mirrors
  • Feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, or ashamed
  • Trying to hide parts of yourself with clothing or other items
  • Constantly exercising

Body dysmorphia can also look like or incorporate other disorders. It is typical for someone with BDD to experience depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and substance use disorder.

When Addiction and Body Dysmorphia Co-occur

Individuals with BDD have a higher risk of developing an addiction. Dealing with a negative self-image brings on many uncomfortable feelings about oneself. People who abuse substances often attempt to self-medicate to cope with negative feelings such as low-self esteem, suicidal thoughts, stress, and anxiety. Because many individuals with BDD experience these exact feelings, they often turn to drugs and alcohol use to cope with their distorted self-image.

They may even be using drugs and alcohol to cope with other co-occurring mental conditions that accompany BDD. Body dysmorphia can also trigger eating disorders due to food affecting how the body looks and feels. Someone with BDD may use alcohol or drugs like cocaine to increase or suppress their appetite in an attempt to control how they look.

Treatment for Addiction and BDD

Roughly half of the individuals with BDD will develop a substance use disorder at the same time or later on in life. If you or someone you love have a dual diagnosis of both addiction and BDD, finding a residential treatment center that treats comorbidity is necessary for recovery. To fully heal and maintain a drug-free lifestyle, you have to address both illnesses as one influences the other.

The first step in the recovery process for your teen will be to get clean of all drugs. This typically includes safely completing a medically assisted detox program to go through the withdrawal process. From there, your child will meet with a therapist who will continue your child’s treatment process and determine further actions that are necessary for recovery. Depending on your child’s needs, this could range from starting medication to trying different forms of therapy or holistic treatments.

CBT and SSRIs

Two of the most effective treatments for body dysmorphia are CBT and SSRIs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy allows the individual to talk with a professional therapist about their self-image. The therapist will work on techniques that the individual can try to incorporate into their everyday life that helps build higher self-esteem and confidence in appearance. Although researchers have found no direct cause for BDD, it is believed that the problem could be related to the brain’s inability to make serotonin.

SSRIs are antidepressants that are most often used for medication to treat BDD. It is important to remember that a clinical evaluation by licensed professionals will help you get the most accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for recovery.

Teens go through many silent battles that do not get noticed or addressed until it is too late. If you believe your teen may have body dysmorphic disorder and use drugs to cope, reach out for help today. At Clearfork Academy, our programs work to get to the root of the addiction to help teens achieve a sober lifestyle. This includes treating co-occurring disorders such as body dysmorphia or other mental health disorders. We offer a safe and inviting addiction treatment center dedicated to helping teen boys overcome substance use and mental health disorders. Sobriety is hard work, but you and your teen do not need to go it alone. Our staff provides our patients with the support and consistency necessary to beat addiction while teaching coping skills to overcome everyday challenges. If your teen is currently dealing with BDD and addiction, reach out to Clearfork Academy today and call (888) 966-8604.

Posted on

What Are the Challenges Teens Face in Addiction Recovery?

What Are the Challenges Teens Face in Addiction Recovery?

New to the discussion about addiction and treatment? Often, when teens or their families seek help for addiction, they sometimes face obstacles that could keep them from getting the treatment they need. Addiction may be taboo in society, and the fear of receiving shame or judgment while seeking help can be a significant obstacle. Teens often face fears and barriers when raising the courage to ask for help.

Obstacles and Fears Holding Teens Back From Seeking Addiction Treatment

Here are some common fears that prevent teens from seeking SUD treatment, along with ways parents can relieve their anxiety.

“They’ll force me to stop.”

A top concern for teens is the fear of being forced to quit cold turkey. The notion of suddenly stopping drug use is frightening for many teenagers. Teens fear withdrawal — both the physical and mental symptoms of the detox process.

The good news is that most teens don’t have to go through withdrawal cold turkey. Detox programs employ a range of treatments to help ease the transition, including medications that can reduce cravings and other symptoms. In addition, a medical team will be on hand to ensure their safety and comfort.

“Will the treatment center be safe?”

The safety of the addiction treatment facility is a common concern among parents and teens. While no rehabilitation facility can be considered 100% safe, parents can take steps to reduce this risk. For example, choosing an accredited facility with 24-hour supervision will help prevent drug use on the premises or nefarious activities.

“What can expect at this treatment center?”

Most parents and teens have so many questions about drug treatment. Parents can review the treatment’s facility and routine before their child enters to ease the teen’s worries. Familiarizing your child with the facility, staff, routine, and policies prepares them for their treatment, and this can go a long way towards easing their anxiety about the treatment experience.

“They’ll lock me up for months!”

Many teenagers fear that addiction treatment will take them away from friends and family for months at a time. Some even fear that they’ll be locked up for months. However, this isn’t the case with most teen rehab programs. Most offer outpatient care, which allows your teen to continue living at home. Additionally, many offer visiting hours so friends and family can see them.

“Will there be other teens there?”

Many teens fear that the facility will group them with adults, not other teens. Parents should ask about age-specific services and speak with the facility’s staff about the scope of their programs for young adults and teens.

“What will my friends say if they find out?”

Some teens might feel embarrassed to admit they have a substance abuse problem or fear others will think about their decision to seek rehab. Teens should know that there’s nothing shameful about getting help for an addiction problem, and parents can offer support by highlighting positive role models who went through treatment and recovered.

“What if I fail or relapse?”

Many teens fear that they can’t stay away from drugs or alcohol or think rehabilitation won’t adequately prepare them for life outside of treatment. A parent can help by being realistic about the potential for relapse, emphasizing the importance of ongoing support, and planning for a healthy future.

Many people who complete rehab remain sober. While relapse may happen, it does not mean that treatment has failed.

“Can my family afford the treatment?”

Many teens fear that their parents will be unable to afford treatment and resent them for it. Fortunately, many rehab centers accept private health insurance and work with other state health coverage providers, including Medicaid or Medicare. Thus, parents can discuss the issue of payment before the teen leaves for rehab. Talking about finances calmly, without anger or blame to help ease their worries or feelings of guilt.

“Will they keep things confidential?”

Teens may worry that patient confidentiality laws do not bind substance abuse treatment centers, and they will be “outed” by staff members who don’t respect their privacy rights. It’s important to note that federal law protects patients’ right to confidentiality in outpatient and residential addiction treatment programs.

“What about school?”

Teens concerned about missing schoolwork might unwillingly prolong their drug use because they aren’t sure how they’ll catch up on missed work when they return to school after rehab. This is a common concern, especially among high achieving students who haven’t experienced failure. Consider finding a treatment facility that incorporates academics for teens. At Clearfork Academy, high school students can continue their studies with our partnership with the University of Texas Charter School.

“I’ll be bored!”

Teens fear that they will find the experience in rehab entirely dull. However, treatment centers, like Clearfork Academy, offer a variety of activities for teens to participate in and enjoy. These include:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Sports and recreation
  • Nutrition classes
  • Music programs
  • Ropes courses
  • Classes or tutoring

The stigma surrounding the disease of addiction often prevents teenagers from seeking help. Today, parents can find effective treatment options for their children. Clinicians at Clearfork Academy specialize in treating adolescents who have substance use and co-occurring mental health issues. We make every effort to ease every teen’s worries by focusing on the whole person with our cutting-edge therapeutic approach. As you consider the best treatment for your child, it’s essential to remain mindful of the obstacles preventing teens from seeking treatment, and we can help. We work to ensure the best chance of recovery or relapse prevention, but it all begins with taking action now. Doing so could mean the difference between helping your teen get better and causing further harm to their development. We have helped hundreds of teens improve their outlook on life. To find out more about our programs, contact us today by calling (888) 966-8604.

Posted on

How to Break the Family Cycle of Addiction

How to Break the Family Cycle of Addiction

For many children and teens, addiction is a disease they have seen affect family members. They may have watched their grandparents struggle with addiction or live with parents that struggle with drug use. It is important to look at family history when addressing a child’s chances of addiction and what risk factors are in their life.

How Addiction Is Passed Down

Certain risk factors could lead to someone developing an addiction, and family history plays a big role. Studies show that family dynamics heavily influence adolescents and their behaviors, along with predispositions to things such as drug use and addiction. The most influential factors that contribute to drug use are a person’s genetics and environment.

Genetics and Addiction

There is often a misconception that drug and alcohol use is a choice. However, genetics play a part in whether or not someone is susceptible to developing an addiction. Having a predisposition to addiction means that there is a strong chance you will develop it too.

In families where the parents are chronic substance users, they risk passing down genes that make their children more susceptible to having a high preference for a particular drug. It can also impact a person’s ability to quit using by causing withdrawal symptoms to be more intense, which makes it harder to stop.

Environmental Factors

A child’s greatest teacher in life is often their parents or caregivers because children learn most of their behaviors in the environment they grew up in. Kids who grow up in an environment where they are constantly watching their parents or loved ones abuse drugs can develop learned behaviors of also using drugs in the same ways they have seen.

If alcohol or substances are lying around the house, it gives the child easier access to obtain and consistently use them. In addition to drug use, other environmental factors that can occur in the home include:

Breaking the Cycle of Familial Addiction

Addiction is a complex disease that almost always requires outside help for a person to recover. When you are raised in a family that struggles with addiction, as a child, you can begin to feel like breaking that cycle. The responsibility of overcoming addiction can be emotionally and mentally overwhelming for children and teens; therefore, outside help is necessary for successful treatment. If you are a teen looking for ways to start breaking the curse of family addiction, here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Acknowledge that you need help. The first step towards overcoming addiction is admitting that you or your loved ones need help. If you are struggling with heavy substance use, don’t be afraid to reach out to a trusted family member, friend, or adult. They can help you find the right resources, which may involve a residential treatment center or speaking with a mental health professional. You should always seek professional assistance when managing addiction to ensure that you are taking the right steps towards sobriety.  
  • Create boundaries. Addiction can cause codependent relationships with family. This can happen due to the lack of boundaries between the enabler and the codependent person. Setting boundaries with a person battling addiction will not only help prevent developing a codependent relationship. Boundaries help create rules about how you would like to be treated.
  • Educate yourself on addiction. It is easy to judge the ones you love who use drugs, but addiction is a disease, and educating yourself on it will help you understand it. Many risk factors can cause someone to use drugs, and if addiction runs in your family, then chances are these risk factors apply to you as well. Substance use is extremely common as a co-occurring disorder. Take some time to research what causes addiction, its symptoms, and the best way to treat and prevent future use.
  • Learn coping strategies. One of the most common reasons why people begin to use drugs is to self-medicate, which is especially true for teens. Each person who uses substances has their reasons, but there are common causes. Drug and alcohol use in teens is often used as a way to cope with: mental health disorders, stress, trauma, peer pressure, death or loss of loved ones, and boredom. Learning healthy coping strategies can be used to eliminate drug use and prevent the possibility of developing full addiction. The sooner you find help for your teen, the better chance they will have at lasting sobriety.

If you have a history of family addiction and see your teen going down the same road, it’s time to take the first step towards breaking the cycle. As a parent, this is not a task you should have to do alone, which is why Clearfork Academy is here to offer the professional treatment your child needs. Our priority in treatment is to get your child clean of all drug use, which we do through our medically supervised detoxification program. After detox, we transition them into our residential program, where they will meet weekly with our therapist and start working on the journey to long-term sobriety. Family involvement is essential to teen recovery not only because it offers a support system, but family members can learn how to create and maintain a drug-free environment for everyone involved. To get your teen the help they deserve, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604

Posted on

The Importance of Family Involvement in Teen Addiction Treatment

The Importance of Family Involvement in Teen Addiction Treatment

Addiction is known as a family disease due to its complexity and invasiveness in a person’s life. Therefore, addiction treatment should consist of both teen and parental involvement. Having support from family during treatment can lead to long-lasting recovery.

Let’s take a closer look at the importance of family involvement in the treatment process.

Teen Addiction Treatment

Addiction and substance use is not exclusive to adults; adolescents and teens also develop substance use disorders. However, substances influence teens’ psychological and emotional development differently than adults because teens are still developing. Therefore, treatment options must be age-specific.

If your teen is not getting the care that speaks to their needs, they might not see improvement. It is crucial to seek professional help and explore the best options for the child. Some effective and age-appropriate teen addiction treatment options include:

Co-occurring Disorders

Many teens could develop co-occurring disorders that can influence or affect drug use. Mental health disorders such as depression, ADHD, OCD, and personality disorders have symptoms that can be uncomfortable for teens to manage. When a teen experiences these symptoms, they can turn to substances to cope. Treatment programs should also consider these underlying conditions and have options that address both substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.

A thorough diagnosis consisting of family health history, type of substance use, and behavioral patterns will help determine if the child has a co-occurring disorder.

The Importance of Family Involvement in Teen Recovery

Parents, or caregivers, are essential components to how a child will grow up and interact with the world. While it may be difficult to hear,  parents often play a role in developing their teen’s mental health or substance use disorder. Of course, this does not imply they are a terrible parent, that parents are the root cause of their child’s disorder. However, it explains that the environment and relationship dynamic of how teens interact with their families play a part in their behavioral development.

Becoming involved in a teen’s recovery will help parents understand that seeking treatment will be a lifestyle change for everyone involved. Therapy might change how the parent interacts with their child. For example, how they communicate and express, their emotions will improve. It will also help the parent and teen develop practices to strengthen the family support structure as they embark on their recovery journey. When a family can confront challenges together, they will prevail.

Family-Based Treatment

Family-based treatment comes in many different forms of therapies. They are typically always led by a therapist or counselor and include the child, the parent, caregiver, and other family members such as siblings. These settings provide structure for families to communicate healthily. Having a professional moderate will also help keep the conversation constructive rather than confrontational. After a few sessions, the family begins to form healthy communication skills and implement them into their everyday lives. Here are some effective family-based treatments:

  • Family Behavioral Therapy: Family Behavioral Therapy involves at least one parent and the child in their treatment program. The therapist will help identify issues within the dynamic and teach behavioral strategies to use in the home environment and other settings that are familiar to the child.
  • Brief Strategic Family Therapy: Since the family dynamic plays a role in a teen’s behavior, this therapy observes the interactions between family members. A therapist will observe the interactions between each family member and assist with changing negative behaviors.
  • Multidimensional Family Therapy: Multidimensional Family Therapy provides help for teens who are high-risk for behavioral problems such as misconduct, delinquency, and severe substance use. The goal of MDFT is to incorporate multiple facets of a teen’s life while incorporating the family. For example, it may look like having therapy sessions or treatment programs in the child’s school, community, or court system.
  • Functional Family Therapy: Functional Family Therapy is a form of therapy that focuses on helping the family identify and recognize the necessary changes during teen treatment, understand the need to commit to their role, communicate, and develop problem-solving skills.
  • Multisystemic Therapy (MST): Multisystemic Therapy is for adolescents with a severe history of substance abuse or engaging in delinquent behaviors. MST measures substance abuse through the child’s personal beliefs towards their family, friends, schools, peers, environment, and own personal beliefs. Therapy may include the family as a whole, but a therapist will also meet individually with the child and parents.

Although addiction may feel like an adult issue, substance use is common among teens. If you notice your child developing a substance addiction, don’t wait; seek help. At Clearfork Academy, we work to find appropriate treatment options that provide care for your teens’ mental health or substance use disorders. Our refined diagnosis process will also identify and diagnose co-occurring disorders. With an array of treatment options, your teen will have limitless opportunities to form strong relationships and get in touch with their inner passions. We also incorporate the family into our programs because your teen needs your support. Together, we help facilitate a healthy family dynamic that can work together to repair relationships and sustain long-term recovery. With an admissions staff available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there is never a wrong time to reach out. Start your journey today. To find out more about our programs, reach out to Clearfork Academy by calling (888) 966-8604 today. 

Posted on

What Are the Reasons Adolescents Don’t Want to Go to Addiction Treatment?

What Are The Reasons Adolescents Don’t Want To Go To Addiction Treatment ?

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:

  1. Inpatient Treatment: Inpatient treatment is the most common treatment for teens and young adults. They may enter into rehab or a residential facility.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 (888) 966-8604

Posted on

Navigating Mental Health Content in the World of Social Media

Navigating Mental Health Content in the World of Social Media

As humans, our need for connection is necessary to thrive in life and feel a sense of self-worth. While social media offers this sense of connection, there are some negative aspects to the content you consume. If not handled appropriately, mental health content can be among the most misleading and damaging content. Since mental health is becoming more discussed on social media, it is important to control what content you read.

Positive Effects of Social Media

When used the right way, social media offers many benefits. Some positives of social media include:

  • Staying Connected: Social media allows you to keep in contact and communicate with friends, family, and people from around the world. Connection is an integral part of everyday living. Apps like Instagram allow you to share pictures of your favorite moments in life and share them with your loved ones.
  • Providing a Creative Outlet: Many people use social apps as a creative outlet. Artists such as painters, writers, and musicians can post their work, generate a following, and develop a career.
  • Networking: In today’s society, networking is a big part of growing a community and meeting new people. Social media allows you to connect and meet potential business partners from across the world. If you struggle with social anxiety, this is a great way to meet people without the anxiousness that could come from meeting in person.

Negative Effects of Social Media

Social media also has many negative aspects. The negatives of social media include:

  • Cyberbullying: People tend to feel bolder online because they do not need to worry about physical interaction. However, this can lead to cyberbullying, which consists of people leaving rude, unwanted, and opinionated comments on your posts. Cyberbullying can affect your mental health and perpetuate disorders such as depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphia.
  • Social Media Addiction: Studies have found that some individuals can develop an addiction to social media. While not considered an actual disorder or diagnosis, it is a form of behavioral addiction. Social media addiction is the uncontrollable urge to commit more time to social media than interacting in person.
  • Feelings of Inadequacy or Self-absorption: Social media has become about sharing selfies, posting body transformations, and personal achievements. While there is nothing wrong with posting this kind of content, overindulgence is a form of self-absorption. It could make you feel inadequate because you believe you don’t measure up to these standards or get as many likes on your selfies as others. It can also worsen symptoms of disorders such as depression or body dysmorphia.

Filter Who You Follow

One of the best ways to control your online experience is to regulate who you follow. Make sure you are following accounts posting accurate and positive mental health content. There are blogs and accounts dedicated to spreading mental health awareness that post information about disorders and ways to cope. You can also follow organizations or people who are advocates and share personal stories.

Follow Credible Sources

Social media is also a host for misinformation and stereotypes about mental health. Here are a few credible sources to follow on social media instead:

Report Harmful Posts

Misinformation about mental health creates stigmas and influences people toward taking the wrong steps to get help. However, most apps give you the option to report such harmful or disturbing posts. If you come across content that speaks about mental health in a degrading or damaging way, take the time to report the post. Reporting posts not only helps you manage your social media algorithm but helps prevent the spread of harmful posts for others to consume.

Reporting harmful posts will also allow the app to establish boundaries and standards for its users. While you cannot eradicate all negative posts, taking time to report such posts will help cultivate a positive community.

Take Some Time Off

Social media can become addicting, and you may find yourself spending hours upon hours using social media. It is not healthy to consume a large amount of information from other people’s lives daily.

Taking time to step away from social media is great for your mental health. However, you might struggle to unplug from social media. If you have difficulty getting away from social media, try to set specific hours that you cannot engage in social media throughout the day. Having a set schedule will help you stay focused and accountable. You might use this time to read, draw, journal or have physical interactions with friends and family.

Social media is one of today’s most influential platforms for teens, which may lead your child to try unhealthy coping strategies such as substance use. Clearfork Academy can help. Our treatment programs include highly trained and certified staff members that offer a compassionate approach. Located on an inviting and charming ranch, we provide a home away from home for teens in need of substance use and mental illness treatment. Whether your teen is going through our inpatient or outpatient programs, our sole focus will be on recovery and creating a healthy and drug-free lifestyle for your teen. While we do not exclude smartphones, we do provide a space free of social media to allow teens to get in touch with their innermost passions, whether it be art, music, acting, or writing. If your teen needs a safe and professional treatment program, contact Clearfork Academy today by calling us at (888) 966-8604

Posted on

A Therapeutic Approach to Marijuana Addiction

A Therapeutic Approach to Marijuana Addiction

During the teenage years, the exploration into drugs and substances is more common than what parents would like to accept. Whether it is influenced by peers or a drug they stumbled upon, teens often find their way into the world of substances. Unfortunately, exploration and exposure can lead to addiction.

After alcohol use, the most common substance used among teens is marijuana. Luckily, there are treatment programs available to help your teen recover from marijuana abuse.

What Is Marijuana Addiction?

Marijuana, also known by other terms like “pot” or “weed”, is a psychoactive drug that many people enjoy for the “high” effect it brings when consumed. There is much discussion around whether one can truly be addicted to marijuana the same way some are addicted to other drugs like meth or alcohol. The perception that users don’t experience severe withdrawal symptoms from stopping marijuana use, causes a belief that it is not an addictive substance. But it has been proven that is simply not the case, especially in teens.

Marijuana use disorder is when a person has grown a dependence on the drug and feels withdrawal symptoms after stopping use. Drug dependence occurs when the brain adjusts to large amounts of a drug, which causes the person to need higher amounts and use more frequently.

Signs Your Teen Could Be Using

Marijuana affects your teen behaviorally, cognitively, and physically. If you are concerned that your child is misusing marijuana, these are a few red flags you should be on the lookout for:

Behavioral signs

Marijuana addiction can cause behavioral changes that can be noticeable to other people, especially parents. There are many behavioral changes that are associated with the use of marijuana. Teens can become “spaced out” or seem very mellow and relaxed. This may come across as slower speech, lack of eye contact, or disappearing into their own bubble for long periods of time. For some teens, the behavioral effects can be agitation, irritability, or disorganization.

Cognitive signs

Teens who regularly use marijuana will often have foggy memory and have a hard time staying focused. They may not remember anything that happened while or before they used marijuana. Emotional regulation or a complete lack of emotions are very common in regular users.

The cognitive effects of continuous heavy marijuana use in teens can reflect academic performance. Poor concentration, time management, not being able to retain information makes it very hard for teens to perform well academically.

Physical signs

Physical signs are often the most prominent signs of marijuana use. When your teen is under the influence their eyes may become low, glassy, and/or bloodshot red. Their eyes can also become very dry causing them to rub at them. Slight weight gain can happen due to becoming extremely hungry, also called the “munchies”, after reaching the high. When under the influence of marijuana, THC tricks the brain into believing that the body is hungry instead of full. The smell of marijuana is very potent and lingers onto clothing for long periods of time which is an obvious sign of usage.

Impaired coordination such as stumbling around or slower movements can be seen after usage. A teen using marijuana may often appear to be intoxicated as if they have consumed alcohol. Delayed reactions and slurred speech may become apparent when under the influence.

How To Help

If you suspect that your teen is using or abusing marijuana, knowing how to take the proper steps to help them is key to recovery. As a parent, it can be easy to let your emotions get the best of you but offering a caring approach to addressing your concerns is best. Here are a few strategies to use when helping your teen deal with marijuana addiction.

Set boundaries. One key aspect of helping your child recover from substance abuse is setting clear boundaries for all parties to respect. Setting rules regarding their substance use places restrictions on what behaviors you will and won’t accept while setting a consequence for them. This could mean requesting that no form of marijuana or any other drugs be brought into the house at any given time.

Discuss peer pressure. During the adolescent years, friends typically have the highest level of influence on teens. They find their sense of self-worth and acceptance from who they hang around and interact with. Set aside time to have a conversation with them about making healthy and independent choices without the influence of peers. Teach them that it is ok to not want to partake in the actions of their peers and how to say “no” to something they don’t want to do.

Find professional help. Helping your teen physically quit using marijuana is only one part of the process. Marijuana and substance abuse often co-exist with a co-occurring disorder that the teen may be trying to mask. Many teens turn to drugs to cope with illnesses such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or ADHD. Allow their pediatrician or mental health professional to do a thorough assessment of your teen so that they receive the right form of treatment.

Provide support. Positive reinforcement in your teen’s life is crucial to helping them feel confident about themselves. It lets them know when you are proud and encourages them to do their best again. Creating a strong and supportive bond with your teen might help prevent potential drug use because they are more trusting of you.

If you are concerned that your teen is addicted to marijuana or other substances, know that there are resources available for help. Clearfork Academy offers treatment programs for various forms of substance addictions along with co-occurring illnesses. We safely assist our patients through the detox process with our medically trained professionals, where after completion they transition into our residential program. Drug use often manifests due to teens wanting to cope with internal feelings that bring them discomfort or sadness. Through our recovery program, we strive to teach your teen healthy coping strategies that they can carry with them throughout their life. We offer both residential and intensive outpatient treatment programs to best fit the need of your child and their schedule. It is never too late or too soon to get your child the help they need. Contact Clearfork Academy at (888) 966-8604 to find out more about our treatment programs today. 

Posted on

How Do I Talk to My Child About My Addiction?

father having a conversation with his teenage son

Many view parenthood as rewarding despite the challenges that come with the role. With substance use disorder (SUD) rates among teens on the rise, creating an environment for learning and growth has become increasingly challenging. Drug use often begins during the stages of adolescence. Substance use can take over important parts of your teen’s life without you even knowing it. The more you know about SUD and how to manage it, the better off you’ll be as a parent and as your child’s ally. 

Sometimes, parents’ knowledge of SUD evolves from their first-hand experience. Research reveals that SUD affects the entire family, especially children. Parents’ SUD leaves their children vulnerable to developing a SUD. As such, we recommend using your experience with SUD to discuss the impact of substance and drug use with your children, especially if they are struggling with substance use. Here are some helpful tips for talking to your teen about their SUD.

Don’t Hide Behind Shame

Along with the growing rate of drug use among adolescents, more and more teens have a caregiver who struggles with a SUD. According to the National Institute on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, nearly 9 million children live with at least one parent who struggles with substance use disorder. Don’t be ashamed of your history of use, have a discussion with your teen about your addiction. Talking about your former drug use or struggle with SUD can help challenge false ideas about SUD, build a deeper understanding of drug and alcohol use, and support your child in developing healthier behavior.

Family systems play a vital role in a youth’s life, particularly regarding their decision-making. Parents’ knowledge and experiences can serve the children’s growth. However, many parents experience some fear about discussing drug use and SUD with their teens. Yet, if you have dealt with a SUD, you can explain the process of SUD as a chronic condition. Consider the purpose, means, and context of sharing the information for your child’s betterment and safety. Apply your experience to discuss the ramifications of drug use, especially long-term use. Listen to what your teen has to say and speak from a place of honesty.

Having a Healthy Discussion

Having a discussion is a great opportunity to improve communication with your children. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) offers some suggestions to help you. Apply the following list as a reference point to improve communication:

  • Make sure to practice active listening by staying engaged and focused.
  • Refrain from using stigmatizing words like an “addict.”
  • Show that you accept and understand them.
  • Demonstrate compassion and respect through your words and actions.
  • Listen to your teen.
  • Hold these discussions in a quiet place with no distractions.
  • Place your focus on the positive.
  • Use studies and research that support treatment.
  • Give your teen time to process your words.

Consider the “7 C’s” as a Guide

Lies and half-truths about SUD often have a serious impact on teens. The truth serves them better in the long run. A guide or plan can help prepare you and offer some comfort as you go into this discussion. The  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created a guide to assist parents and caregivers in discussing their condition, SUD. They refer to their guide as the “7 C’s.” 

They are as follows:

  • I didn’t cause it.
  • I can’t cure it.
  • I can’t control it.
  • I can care for myself.
  • I can communicate my feelings.
  • I can make healthy choices.
  • I will celebrate myself.

Ultimately, help your children understand that SUD is not a moral failing but rather a chronic condition. Like other chronic conditions, treatment exists to help people with SUD recover. If you are currently in recovery, this is a good time to express your journey of healing. It will give them insight into SUDs and hope if they also have a SUD. 

Encourage Positive Behaviors and Treatment

Take time to discuss the path of recovery. Such a discussion offers you another opportunity to encourage the benefits of treatment and positive behaviors. Recovery from SUD calls for action. 

Such action includes: 

  • Going to therapy.
  • Attending recovery group meetings.
  • Seeking professional treatment or entering a residential treatment program.
  • Following the treatment facilities program and aftercare plan.
  • Practicing acceptance regarding having a SUD or co-occurring mental health disorder.
  • Taking one’s prescribed medication appropriately and diligently.
  • Establishing a healthy routine that consists of relapse prevention activities that support long-term sobriety.

Use this discussion as an opportunity to take an active role in your child’s treatment. It ensures that they have a healthy support system around them. Such steps will facilitate positive behaviors in your teen and help them achieve long-term recovery. 

SUD is a chronic condition that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or socioeconomic status. Help your teen deal with the realities of drug use by taking the time to discuss the matter. At Clearfork Academy, we understand that supportive family systems matter in the development and decision-making of adolescents. We work with families to encourage an environment where you and your teen work together to learn about addiction. Doing so helps build a positive relationship with your children. Our approach to care encompasses both conventional and holistic therapies to ensure that your teen has the best resources to care. Our primary goal is to help your teen gain the education and confidence necessary to overcome the challenges of everyday life. If you are having difficulty discussing SUDs with your teen, then get help today. Find out more and reach out to us today by calling (866) 650-5212.

Posted on

How Can You Break the Familial Cycle of Addiction?

father putting his shoulder around his son

In every question about our experience and behavior, we question nature versus nurture. In the cycle of addiction, both nature and nurture play a role. However, the cycle does not have to keep going. You can break the family cycle of addiction and create a new legacy. There is hope for a better and more sustainable future. You might wonder, what does it take to create a new legacy? Let’s find out. 

Six Ways to Break the Cycle of Addiction in Your Family

There are many methods to break the cycle of addiction, but all methods require a combination of honesty, coping skills, treatment for underlying conditions, support, education, and abstinence. These are just six elements of effective treatment and hope for change.

#1. Honesty

The beginning stages of treatment require an intervention both with your family and with yourself. Absolute honesty is necessary for healing. The effects of alcohol or other substances are intergenerational and affect everyone in the family. So, healing is necessary for everyone in the family, and that requires honesty. 

You need to face addiction and admit its existence and how this affects you and your family. When you avoid the subject and do not face addiction openly, you give the problem room to grow. Therefore, honesty is required for the family to begin to heal successfully.

#2. Learning Coping Skills

As you begin the process of healing and being honest about your family’s problems with alcohol or other substances, you need to begin learning different ways to cope with your problems. While relapse might happen, relapse is less likely to occur if you stick with the program, practice effective and healthy coping skills, and lean on your Higher Power. 

Learning and using effective coping skills will equip you to face the underlying problems of your addiction to alcohol or other substances. You might learn these coping skills from the research you do on your own, trying new coping methods, or asking for help from a professional.

#3. Treatment for Comorbid Conditions

Underlying mental health conditions often accompany addictive behaviors. There might be depression, anxiety, anger, or other mental health and behavioral health conditions that form the root of the addiction to substances. While mental health conditions can be genetic, learning how to cope with mental health conditions requires support from your family and professionals. Do not be afraid to ask for help. You are not alone.

#4. Family Support

The cycle of family addiction does not end with one person. Ending the cycle requires the support and focus of the whole family system. Again, there is a nature and nurture aspect to addiction. Given the overlapping nature of addiction, there needs to be an overlapping of support from every family member as you attempt to break the cycle. Addiction is experienced by all who are affected by the one struggling. Therefore, working together is the key. If you have trouble establishing good communication skills and support among family members, you should consider family therapy. Family therapy is an environment that will offer each family member the opportunity to express their needs and concerns in a healthier way.  

#5. Education About Substance Use

To begin the process of being honest about your addiction to alcohol or other substances, you need to understand the disease. Whether you research on your own or ask for information from professionals, you need to understand how this disease affects your mind, spirit, and body. Effective intervention requires information. Having this information helps build the foundation for an effective intervention, which will lead to effective treatment and outcomes for abstinence and avoiding relapse.

#6. Complete Abstinence

Abstinence is difficult in the beginning stages of recovery, but not impossible. Be patient with yourself and your family as you navigate this time. To ensure the success of everyone in the family, each person needs to abstain from alcohol and other substances. As stated earlier, addiction does not affect just one family member but the entire family unit. Given this truth, supporting your family through abstinence helps ensure the health and well-being of everyone in the family. 

Breaking the cycle of addiction in your family takes time and effort. Effective intervention happens early and with the whole family being a part of the process. Another element of effectively breaking the family addiction cycle is strong community involvement. Your involvement may take the form of sports, church, or creative endeavors. However your family can plug into the community, you should make a strong attempt. Having a strong supportive community helps ensure your success in overcoming addiction. Remember, you are not alone. There are options for help and support in your family, your community, and through professional assistance. 

Addiction shares a relationship with both genetic components and family-based nurture components. Addiction is not a failure, but a result of flawed attempts to cope with underlying problems. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use or mental health disorders, Clearfork Academy can help. At Clearfork Academy, we offer assistance to teens and their families who are struggling with the effects of addiction. We offer hope and help for every step of the journey into freedom. We offer Christ-centered healing with a focus on the individual and the family. We believe in the family’s ability to successfully heal. We also believe that you can create a new legacy for yourself and your family. You do not have to struggle alone. Therefore, if you need help, don’t wait. Get help for you and your family today. Learn more and reach out to us at Clearfork Academy today by calling (888) 966-8604

Posted on

How Outpatient Rehab Can Help You Overcome Addiction

man in gray hooded jacket walking on gray bricks pavement

Residential drug rehab is a significant source of support and means of overcoming addiction. While residential rehab offers a fantastic opportunity to overcome addiction, often overlooked is the effectiveness of intensive outpatient rehab. In some situations, residential is not ideal, and outpatient is necessary for families who do not have the time and space in their schedules for residential treatment. Outpatient addiction rehab is an excellent resource for just these situations. 

Three Benefits of Outpatient Addiction Treatment

#1. Flexibility

While there are specific hours of treatment for outpatient rehab, there is the possibility of continuing your education and elective opportunities in your community. Outpatient addiction treatment provides resources and support while maintaining your daily life.

#2. Support in Real-Time

In recovery, sometimes, the act of leaving inpatient or residential treatment can lead to relapse. One of the benefits of outpatient rehab treatment as an adjunct to residential or as a treatment on its own allows for support and assistance in real-time as you face the struggles of the natural world while balancing recovery. 

#3. Connection to the Community

Often outpatient treatment also provides alternative resources to help plug you into the community at large and connect with others in a way supportive of your recovery. Whether the connections be through 12-step meetings or group therapy, you will have the option to connect with others who face addiction while maintaining an active role in their lives outside of treatment. 

What to Expect in Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Often used in the beginning stages of addiction, intensive outpatient treatment can provide an effective intervention to assist teens in avoiding more severe consequences from addiction. Intensive outpatient treatment involves therapy multiple times a week, for numerous hours each day, comprising individual, group, and family therapy. Outpatient treatment is just one way of turning your lives around and developing a new legacy for who you want to become. 

Face Stressors In Your Daily Life

Recovery takes hard work, and even in outpatient rehab, the experience can be grueling. Addiction recovery takes time and effort. While the residential experience may seem more intense, outpatient addiction treatment is intense in its own way. Not only are you expected to put forth full effort at every treatment meeting, but you will also face stressors and triggers present in your daily life. 

Facing these stressors and triggers will be difficult, but you have the support of your outpatient treatment team, your family, and your group therapy cohorts to assist you in learning how to cope with these triggers. You will also learn how to balance recovery with your life.

Practice Skills to Avoid Relapse  

Outpatient treatment for addiction to alcohol and other substances or behaviors is effective. While relapse sometimes happens, relapse does not have to happen when you work the program and practice the skills you learn in treatment. Leaning on your Higher Power for help will also assist you in avoiding relapse.

Many people believe the only effective treatment options for addictive behaviors exist within an inpatient or residential setting. However, there are multiple options for treatment. While inpatient detoxification and residential treatment are incredibly effective, so is outpatient therapy. The critical elements to successful treatment and overcoming addiction is a willingness to overcome your addiction and a spirit of perseverance for when recovery becomes difficult. 

Provides Support and Structure

Outpatient treatment provides support and structure while still giving clients the freedom of maintaining their lives in the larger community and at home with their families. You have the comfort of home after treatment and the structure and push of therapy to help you overcome your addiction to alcohol and other substances or behaviors. 

There is hope for a brighter future, a future without addiction. You have to be willing to work hard and focus on what you want. Whether you are in a residential or outpatient treatment setting, the work to overcome addiction is challenging. You will have to learn new skills every day and learn how to avoid people, places, and things that might cause you to relapse

Choosing Treatment

Choosing which mode of treatment will work best for your family is an individual process. Consider the obligations you and your teen experience in your community, school, and home. Residential treatment is not for every family, nor is outpatient. Both treatments are effective and provide methods of support. Choosing the right therapy for your teen and family is essential and critical to helping you create a new legacy for your teen’s life. Do not discount the effectiveness of outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment may be perfect for you and your family. Believe in the possibility of healing and reach out to ask for help today.

More often, outpatient rehab is overlooked as a potential treatment for addiction. However, outpatient rehab is ideal for those in the beginning stages of addiction, needing an effective early intervention, and those who cannot commit to residential treatment due to outside obligations. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to alcohol or other substances or behaviors, then the time to seek help is today. At Clearfork Academy, we offer residential and outpatient services for teens and their families struggling with the effects of addictive behaviors. Our approach to care works to ensure that your teen is getting the best care in the most comfortable way. Remember, recovery is always possible with help from your Higher Power and professionals. To learn more about our programs and how we can serve you, reach out to us at Clearfork Academy by calling (888) 966-8604. We are here to listen and help. 

Posted on

Navigating The Holidays With A Struggling Teen

The holiday season is a stressful time of year for many families. If your teen is struggling with substance abuse, that stress can multiply exponentially. We understand, and you’re definitely not alone! You may have a kid at home that is fighting addiction on a daily basis. Or maybe you have a teen already in treatment. Whatever your situation, here are some practical tips to help you get through this holiday season.

 

For the family with a teen at home struggling with addiction:

If your teen has a problem with drugs or alcohol, the holidays can be especially hard on you as a parent. You want to celebrate as usual, but the stress and worry about your teen can take over quickly. Here are some ways you can still find joy this holiday season.

 

Tip #1: Let go of your expectations. 

This holiday season may look different than last years, and that’s ok. Don’t pretend that everything is ok if it isn’t. Be present in the moment with your teen and give them space to feel their feelings. (And allow yourself space to feel your feelings too! Feelings can be uncomfortable, but they are a normal part of the human experience!)

Tip #2: Accept your current reality. 

No matter who  sits around your table this year, try to find peace and joy in what you have. 2020 has been full of surprises! Navigating through the holidays with an addicted teen can be equally unpredictable. One day at a time, your family will get through this!

Tip #3: Find gratitude in the small things. 

Oftentimes, our minds gravitate to what isn’t right about a situation. This year, I challenge you to intentionally look for the good throughout the holidays. Thank God for the little blessings. You have been blessed for many years, and substance abuse cannot take that away! 

 

For the family with a teen already in treatment:

If your teen is in treatment for substance abuse, we know it’s especially painful being separated during the holidays. Looking back on holiday traditions that your teen is missing this year is hard! We empathize with you, and we want to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Remember when we mentioned that feelings are good and normal- despite being uncomfortable at times? Allow yourself the space to feel the uncomfortable stuff, while also reminding your brain of what’s true. When you feel down, remind yourself that the truth is that your child is in the right place, getting the help they need so that they CAN be a part of all of the holidays to come! Here are some tips to help you through this difficult season.

 

Tip #1: Be encouraged.

Know that your teen is right where they’re supposed to be! They are busy doing the work that must be done to restore their health. It’s hard, but it is worth it! The ultimate goal is for your teen to be sober, full of joy, and back on track. That’s exactly what they’re working on while in treatment! 

Tip #2: Relax while you can.

You don’t need to worry about your teen. They aren’t sneaking off to get high, or going to parties with kids that are a bad influence… Not this year! Take a breath, and realize that the responsibility isn’t on you this holiday season to keep them out of trouble. You don’t have to monitor their every move. You can rest easy, and know they are safe in recovery. 

Tip #3: Stay the course.

We know it may be tempting to pull your child out of treatment during the holidays. You miss them, and you want to be together. It’s so important to remember that leaving treatment too soon can result in huge setbacks. (Even if you’ve seen improvements.) The health and recovery of your teen likely depends on them staying in treatment. They must complete the course set before them! Remember, you’re sacrificing this holiday season so your family can have the next 20, 30, 40+ years of holidays together!

 

If your son is in treatment at Clearfork Academy, know that he is loved and well taken care of here! Our boys are being treated to some delicious holiday meals, and fun activities. Your son is putting in the recovery work, and finishing what he started. He is busy learning, growing, creating new habits, and ultimately- getting healthy!

 

If your teen needs help, don’t put it off any longer! Don’t wait until after the holidays, time is of the essence! At Clearfork Academy, our clinical admissions counselors are on call 24/7, even during the holiday season! Please reach out and let us help you take the necessary steps to get your teen on the road to recovery! Give us a call at 888-966-8604, email us at [email protected] or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

Posted on

Shame “Less” Recovery

SHAME – How often in addiction do we hear people say, “You should be ashamed of yourself!” or “Look what you’ve put us through!”? It is likely more often than we should.

Shame is a real, raw and painful emotion. It brings in alliance the ideas of regret, self-hate, and dishonor and boils them together into a chaotic muddling with often devastating results and sometimes even addiction. People tend to align guilt and shame jointly, however, they are vastly different. Guilt says, “I did something wrong,” while shame says, “I am something wrong.”
Theologically shame has been around since the first humans, Adam and Eve, roamed the lush fields in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were both warned not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and after Eve was so easily tempted by the serpent they indulged, thus resulting in the first sin. The writer of Genesis tells us “At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness…” (Genesis 3:7a, NLT.) Later, when they heard God, they hid (as if the all-knowing, all-powerful God could not see them.) God called out to Adam, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9, NLT) To which Adam replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” (Genesis 3:10, NLT) In that very instant the sin that so easily entangled them led to the shame that is now woven into the thread of, not only this story but religion, culture, society, and even our belief system.

Adam and Eve after they were banished from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God. The beginning of shame.
Adam and Eve after they were banished from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God. The beginning of shame.

Shame has become the mushy, pliable foundation on which we construct lies, develop secrets, and contrive facades of who we pretend to be. If unaddressed it continues to increase slowly and persistently in our psyche; establishing itself with one singular internal insult at a time. It then has the capability to cultivate itself into an incredibly sized festering monster of self-hatred, doubt, depression, and worry that will demolish everything in its path.

The shame cycle states that if shame is not addressed it will continue to worsen.
The shame cycle states that if shame is not addressed it will continue to worsen.

Recognizing shame within oneself is a critical part of the process to overcome the negative impact on the live’s of our clients here at Clearfork Academy. We are affording them the opportunity to step out of the Shame Matrix: Attacking Self, Avoidance,  Attacking Others, and Withdrawal using a simple awareness assessment.

  • I physically feel shame in/on my…
  • It feels like…
  • I know I’m in shame when I feel…
  • If I could taste shame, it would taste like…
  • If I could smell shame, it would smell like…
  • If I could touch shame, it would feel like…

One step for defeating shame is to “break the silence.” Becoming transparent and exposing the secrets and lies that were so flaw-fully fabricated provides open channels to gaining freedom. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, NIV) Accepting emotions is also a pivotal part of ridding one’s life of shame. Shame is afraid of exposure, however, providing the opportunity for a client to contain their guilt while also releasing the shame can prove to be difficult if you are not prepared.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, NIV)
“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, NIV)

Strategically, addressing shame is similar to addressing trauma and often it is directly connected to trauma. It is always expressed as a present event in its exposure. Applying an empathetic approach is the catalyst for the continued sharing of the shameful thought processes. Empathy continues to establish, confirm, and solidify the safe environment in which shameful thoughts can be revealed. Providing positive reflection of how you presently view the client should always be introduced into the process.
We teach our client’s to be appreciative of what they do have and to develop a sense of gratitude. Each morning as the clients gather around for their morning devotional we begin asking them three questions to start the day:

  1. What is good about today?
  2. What are you grateful for?
  3. What is your goal for the day?

The most amazing part of asking the “3 G’s” is that the answer does not have to be eccentric or elaborate. This simple exercise teaches the client to be grateful for the small things first. They are now aware of and able to acknowledge a shared experience of receiving things of worth. More importantly, this proves to them that they are worthy recipients of positive things. Worthy enough to receive the blessings and glorious riches that can only be given by a redeeming father, God. A process that we call Belief Transformation, rather than Behavior Modification.

We believe that shame becomes unbelief that materializes as a God-shaped-hole in the heart. But by applying these methods and practices we can begin to see the developmental adjustments of the belief system.

 

If you know a teen that is struggling with substance abuse. Call us today. 817-382-8463
If you know a teen that is struggling with substance abuse. Call us today. 817-382-8463

In recognizing and becoming aware of shame and its damaging effects, there has to be a full transformation. Pathologizing states, “I am bad” and “Something is wrong with me” and “I screw everything up.” On the other side normalizing enforces a separation between the individual and the event, “I did a bad thing” and “I’m not the only one” and “I made a mistake this time.” This transfiguration develops and eventually becomes shame resiliency.

Shame resiliency allows for a client to recognize their shame triggers (person, place, statement, or event) and see the personal vulnerabilities that led to the feelings of shame much like doing an accountability inventory. After this, they can grasp an awareness of the external forces that introduced shameful thinking into their life. Accessing empathetic support such as a mentor or sponsor then allows the individual to voice the shame (it cannot survive exposure.) This approach diffuses any avenue that shame will take to manufacture and introduce negative thoughts and feelings back into the individual’s belief system.

Developing compassion for those individuals that are suffering in shame shows applied empathy and further nurtures the person’s identity. Our counselors use all of these techniques while concurrently developing the clients through teaching/education and mindfulness to show them that they can learn new acceptable behaviors to counteract the shame and other behavioral disorders. By design, over the course of 90-days the walls come down, the shame comes out and the clients are ultimately provided with a safe environment to embrace the redemptive grace of Jesus Christ and journey on to a #NewLegacy.
If you know a teen that is struggling with substance abuse please contact us today at 817-382-8463 or go to our admissions tab.
Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

LinkedIn

Posted on

5 Self-Care Tips

Self-care is very important! We can often get overwhelmed at what life can throw at us and with the hurried mentality that the world has today we made this infographic of tips. Enjoy!

Here are 5 Self-Care tips to help you center and regain your energy: 5 Self-Care Tips

Prayer

1. Pray -It’s no surprise this is first. Jesus prayed constantly. He prayed at his baptism, he prayed alone on a hill, he prayed for Peter’s faith, he prayed for forgiveness, and he even prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, a moment of suffering, praying for his Father’s will. Prayer connects us to the Healer whose loving presence ought to be a part of our self-care practices. Since prayer is often reflective, it allows for inner healing as we become attentive to the movements within us, how our day to day experiences (and even burnout) are affecting us.

Prayer is that place we can grapple with the pain but also where we can find inner peace. This is why making a retreat can be so helpful. Luke 5:16 says, But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Set healthy boundaries. Connect spiritually for the journey ahead. Even if your prayer is as simple as, God, thank you for blessing me. This simple task will adjust your perspective on things and help you to slow down and focus on the present.

Expectations

2. Lower Your Expectations – The higher your expectations the lower your serenity. If happiness and compassion are your sole goals, lower your expectations. Through the floor. Expect no good things to come to you, from you, from circumstances or from others and you’ll be eternally delighted, grateful for any good things that happen. No expectation of a pony means no risk of disappointment. Find peace in lowering your expectations and you will become happier in difficult situations and know how to handle them.

Not only does lowering expectations help you to become happier but it also allows you to lower your anxiety and depression as well.

Meditation

3. Practice Mini-Meditation – One minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole. Incorporating this simple self-care exercise into your day can transform your relationship to yourself, to others, and the world around you. While the practice of meditation dates back centuries, it has recently gained newfound popularity. Why the sudden popularity boom?

Meditation is accessible to everyone and can be tailored to accommodate a variety of time constraints, demanding responsibilities, physical disabilities, and lack of space. Meditation is a healthy form of self-care and both experts and meditation enthusiasts say it’s a valuable antidote to the fast pace of our technology-driven culture. Taking this short period of time out in your day will help you to become more effective and productive.

Rest

4. Find Some Rest – Catch a few extra Z’s. Unwind before you conk out. Go to bed early one night a week and see the difference it can make for your stress levels. Studies have shown that children and teens need the most amount of sleep. From 1-5-years old 10-14 hours is sufficient, and from 6-17-years old 8-11 hours of sleep per night is more suitable. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least 7 hours of sleep. Since older adults often have trouble sleeping this long at night, daytime naps can help fill in the gap.

Relaxation

5. Goof Around A Bit – Stop taking yourself so seriously. Schedule in five minutes of non-directed activity several times throughout your day to make yourself smile. Laughter has a wealth of unexpected wellness benefits. Laughter has a ways to go before it becomes formally accepted by the medical community as a legitimate form of treatment and therapy. But do we really need a gold stamp of approval before embracing it more? Laughter feels good and is an immediate mood booster. That alone justifies adopting it and incorporating it into your self-care routine.

So, If you know a teen that is struggling with substance abuse please call us today: 817-382-8463

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram