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Does Alcoholism Run in Families?

Does Alcoholism Run in Families?

Alcoholism develops from a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors. If an individual is struggling with alcohol use, it’s not uncommon to look at their family history and find that they may have other relatives who share the same struggle. While having relatives that use substances does not guarantee that your teen will do so, it is a good reason to keep lines of communication open with your teen about the dangers of alcohol use.

How Environmental Factors Influence Alcoholism

The risks of your teen developing an alcohol addiction are increased if someone in their immediate family, like mom or dad, abuses alcohol. If alcohol is a prominent fixture in a child’s environment as they grow up, teens may see drinking as no big deal. If you or your partner have a history of alcohol use, it’s important to recognize that this will impact your child’s development and potential future substance use. It’s also important to be open and honest about your struggles rather than hide them, so your teen can understand how alcohol can negatively impact one’s health on a more personal level.

Many environmental factors can lead to the development of addiction in your teen. Teens who grow up in abusive, neglectful, or tense households in which the parents are always arguing may be more inclined to use alcohol to cope. Similarly, being exposed to substance use in peer groups may cause your teen to be curious about the effects of alcohol and want to experiment with it.

Is Alcohol Tolerance Hereditary?

Alcohol tolerance refers to the amount of alcohol a person has to consume before feeling its effects. Consuming large amounts of alcohol, or drinking alcohol regularly, can lead to an increase in tolerance. This means that an individual will have to drink alcohol in larger quantities to feel its desired effects. It may seem like high tolerance is linked to genetics, but alcohol tolerance is not believed to be an inherited trait.

Conversely, alcohol intolerance is believed to be genetic due to issues with metabolism. This is most commonly seen in people of Asian descent.

Alcoholism and Pregnancy

While genes play a role in determining alcoholism later in life, children of mothers who drink alcohol while pregnant or breastfeeding may experience long-term health consequences. There are established links between excessive drinking while pregnant and children born with brain damage or fetal alcohol syndrome. This can increase the likelihood of children developing poor motor function, learning disabilities, and alcohol addiction in later years. For mothers who drank through pregnancy, it’s unlikely that they will stop after birth. This means the baby will have prolonged exposure to alcohol through breastmilk.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

As addiction can develop in anyone at any time, it is important to be familiar with the warning signs that may point to alcohol addiction or alcoholism. Some common warning signs may include:

  • Having regular cravings for alcohol
  • Being unable to stop drinking once you start
  • Having to consume larger amounts of alcohol in one sitting to reach the desired effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal effects, such as mood swings, nausea, or tremors, when not drinking

If any of these symptoms apply to you or your teen, we strongly advise you to seek help right away. Talk to your doctor about your concerns or look into addiction treatment programs that can help you treat the underlying causes of your substance use.

How Can I Break the Cycle Of Addiction in My Family?

Breaking the cycle of addiction in your family is challenging but not impossible. Here are some ways you can actively prevent addiction from developing in your or your loved one’s lives:

Demonstrate Responsibility

If you plan to attend an event where you know alcohol will be present, explain the importance of having a designated driver to your teen. If you question your ability to say no to a drink at an event with an open bar, such as a wedding, consider not having a drink at all or even skipping the event. Recognize that your teen is always watching you, whether consciously or unconsciously. You are a valuable role model for your child.

Talk to Your Teen

Talk to your teen regularly about the risks of alcohol use and alcohol addiction so they can make good choices while out with their friends. Your goal shouldn’t be to scare them but instead arm them with facts so they can take charge of their health. Similarly, having regular conversations with your teen about alcohol use is valuable because if they begin to struggle with it, they can come to you about it with honesty. Then, you can work as a team to get your teen connected with a treatment program.

When alcoholism runs in families, it’s easy to feel hopeless about stopping the cycle. Perhaps you’re thinking that the challenge of getting and staying sober is too much. Maybe you’re afraid of your teenager making the same destructive choices that you did, or you are seeing signs of the addiction cycle repeating in your teen already. Clearfork Academy specializes in treating teens and adolescents with drug and alcohol issues. We are a treatment facility that offers therapies, detox, inpatient and outpatient programs, and summer programs to help young people conquer their addictions and live healthy, sober lives. Our combination of spiritual and innovative psychological techniques has been shown to change the lives of many young people and their families. Yours can be next! For questions or to learn more about our treatments, please give us a call at (888) 966-8604.

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How to Maintain a Relationship While in Recovery?

How to Maintain a Relationship While in Recovery?

Recovery is about creating a new life for yourself. It’s important to know that everyone’s journey of recovery is different. Such a path can impact a teen’s means to maintain relationships. For this reason, we recommend keeping relationships with people who support recovery. However, many teens may find it hard to find friends who understand or want to understand their recovery journey. Fortunately, there are steps that teens can take to ensure they find uplifting relationships and maintain those relationships.

Repairing  Relationships in Recovery

Healthy relationships are vital to a teen’s well-being and success. Similar to treatment, post-treatment care calls for prioritization. We recommend that teens develop and maintain a strong network of people who care and support their recovery. Failure to do so risks teens feeling isolated and alone, and these emotions could leave them vulnerable to relapse.

Addiction often causes severe damage to relationships with family and friends. There are ways to restore these relationships. To restore the relationships with your family or friends, consider these suggestions:

  • Make Time for Them: Spend quality time with your family or friends. It can be difficult when you have so much homework, but spending time with them can help your recovery. Engage in activities that you both find enjoyable, like going on a hike, cooking, or playing a game. Doing so will create positive memories.
  • Be Open About Your Struggles: Don’t hide what you are going through from your family members because they want to help and support you through this challenging journey. Maintaining an open line of communication allows them to avoid insensitive, detrimental comments or actions to your recovery.

Patience Is a Virtue

Sometimes, recovery can be difficult when friends and family don’t understand the realities of living with a SUD. People don’t know what to say or react when their loved one is managing addiction or mental health disorders. They may hold certain reservations due to the stigma around addiction and mental health issues. They may ask questions to help them understand what you are experiencing.

Listen and encourage them to do some research on their own. Don’t hesitate to provide a list of resourceful books or websites that help you understand SUD and mental illnesses. Try to mind that they might need time to process this information and adjust their perspective on substance use and mental health disorders.

Respond and Reciprocate

Respond positively to people who reach out to you during their times of difficulty. We must take care of ourselves and others in our lives. We should be there for each other and show compassion, even if we don’t always understand what someone needs at a particular time or how best to do so. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or colleague reaching out for support, the best thing that anyone can do is be there for them and offer help where possible.

Sobriety provides us with the gift to show up for others in need.

Be Aware of the Warning Signs

Some relationships and friendships are harmful to recovery. If you notice red flags such as increased jealousy, possessiveness, or unwillingness to share time, this indicates that this might not be a healthy relationship. They may also change their personality to be friendly only when they need something from you; this is a sign that they are trying to take advantage of you. These behaviors can be challenging to detect. Therefore, your friends and family must support you.

Surround Yourself With Healthy People

Before maintaining a relationship, you need to restore healthy, worthwhile relationships. Communities are full of support groups for teenagers who struggle with SUD. Look to your local recovery groups or online recovery groups for teens. These groups offer a safe place for teens to discuss problems in their lives without judgment or stigma. Often, these people will understand your struggles and triumphs since they are on the same journey. Moreso, engage in activities centered around recovery like volunteering, working at a program for teens in recovery, or participating in activities or events popular among teens recovering from SUD.

Take a break from social media for a few weeks and get back into being active in the real world. It will give you more opportunities to meet people and build relationships with people who choose sobriety. Furthermore, find someone with something in common with you besides substance use. Whether you are an artist, athlete, musician, or hobbyist, there are people that you can connect and build relationships with. You can look to your community for opportunities to participate in activities and meet other people.

Substance use and mental health disorders are difficult to manage alone. Developing healthy relationships are essential for recovery, and strong relationships will support your teen during the challenging times in recovery. At Clearfork Academy, we provide a safe and comfortable environment for your teen to develop the skills to cultivate healthy relationships. Our programs offer individual, peer, and family support groups to ensure your teen has the opportunity to develop strong relationships and understand that they are never alone in their journey of recovery. While we specialize in providing evidence-based therapies for teens addicted to drugs or alcohol, we provide various holistic therapies to help teens develop life skills necessary for sustaining recovery. If your child struggles to maintain healthy relationships and manage their recovery, then the time to reach out for help is now. To find out more about our treatment programs, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.

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Is Your Teen Vaping? What Are the Signs and Risks of Vaping?

Is your teen vaping? What are the signs and risks of vaping?

The growing popularity of vaping among teens occurs due to the easy accessibility of e-cigarettes. E-cigarette companies have been actively marketing their products as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, which has led to the rise of this new trend among teenagers. Many vape shops and online retailers sell flavored nicotine liquids that appeal to younger consumers who want something unique and fun.

Most teens are not aware nor do they understand the potential harms associated with vaping, such as developing an addiction and other health problems.

What Is Vaping?

Vaping is a method of inhaling nicotine through the mouth using an e-cigarette. The e-cigarette provides the sensation of a traditional cigarette but without the smoke, tar, and carbon monoxide. The user inhales nicotine from a liquid cartridge in the device through a mouthpiece that heats and vaporizes the liquid. It accomplishes this illusion of “smoke” by using heating coils to burn either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerol to create the vapor.

The liquid cartridges come in various colors and provide different flavors, such as fruit juices and cotton candy.

The Rise of Teen Vaping

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a recent study discovered an alarming increase in vaping among US teens grades 8-12. The number of 12th-grade students who reported vaping has increased since 2017, from 28 to 37percent. 12th graders who vape marijuana products also increased from 5 to 13 percent. Notably, more than 10 percent of eighth-graders reported that they vaped nicotine this past year.

According to Dr. Richard Miech, the lead researcher of this NIH study, “Vaping is reversing hard-fought declines in the number of adolescents who use nicotine.” The rise of vaping has led to increased nicotine use among teens. “These results suggest that vaping is leading youth into nicotine use and nicotine addiction, not away from it.”

These products may attract teens because they seem fun and harmless, but they can cause a lot of physical and mental health damage from long-term use. Teens and their parents must understand the risks associated with vaping.

Reasons Teens Vape

Teens are curious, and they enjoy exploring new things. So, what happens if they try smoking? It’s not only a bad idea, but it can also create physical and mental health issues. There are many reasons why teens vape and some common reasons include:

  • Affordability: Teens consider vaping cheaper than cigarettes. The cost of e-cigarettes has dropped since they came on the market.
  • Discreet: They are discreet; no one knows your doing it unless you tell them.
  • Flavoring: Vendors provide many flavors like strawberry milk and watermelon lemonade.
  • Different Vaping Features: New vaping features come out daily, including temperature control settings and downloadable software apps. Each allows customization options like changing colors, patterns, textures of coils, and creating custom liquids.
  • Alternative to Tobacco: Teens view vaping as healthier than smoking cigarettes because no tobacco products are involved.
  • Socially Acceptable: Many teenagers see vaping as socially acceptable among peers.

The Harmful Impact of Vaping

Teens might think that vaping is harmless, but the truth is that vaping is harmful to their health. Adolescents’ developing brains may permanently change due to vaping, just like other illicit substances can affect adolescents’ developing minds. It can create a nicotine addiction that lasts into adulthood. It could also cause:

  • Lung damage
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

How to Quit Vaping

To help your teen quit vaping, we suggest working with them to create a comprehensive prevention strategy. Such a plan should address their needs and goals. A good plan will also help them maintain motivation to endure challenging times. Furthermore, seeking professional help and treatments will allow them to learn about and manage their triggers, withdrawal symptoms, and cravings. For example, when cravings hit, a good plan consisting of professional and home support will incorporate activities that provide healthy distractions from vaping. Other ways that parents can help include:

  • Removing all vaping devices and liquids from the home.
  • Keep communication open and continue to talk to your teen about the dangers of vaping.
  • Seeking professional help geared toward teenage needs, such as the help we offer at Clearfork Academy.
  • Encouraging teens to build a network of support to aid them on their journey to recovery.
  • Educate yourself and your child that e-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals and metals that are toxic.

Counseling and behavioral therapy also help teenagers change their behaviors associated with vaping. Some teens may benefit from NRTs, bupropion, or varenicline medications.

If you think your teen needs any of these treatments, seek professional help today.

Teens are often unaware or lack the understanding of the potential harms of vaping, including addiction and other health problems. Therefore, the growing popularity of vaping among teens needs attention and action from parents and professionals to help eradicate this trend. If you’re concerned about your teen’s vaping habit, Clearfork Academy can help. Our treatment center provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure that you get the information and assistance you need. The team at Clearfork Academy specializes in treating teenagers struggling to manage their addictions to drugs and alcohol. We also treat teenagers struggling with mental illnesses including but not limited to, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders. Our professional and holistic therapies are evidence-based, and the variety of therapies we offer will ensure that you find the right fit to meet your teen’s needs. To learn more about our treatment program, call us today at (888) 966-8604.


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How to Help Your Teenager Make New Friends?

How to Help Your Teenager Make New Friends?

As parents, we want to ensure that our teenagers live a healthy, happy life of recovery. However, recovery is challenging and some teenagers may fall into toxic social circles and use substances to cope with challenges. Understand, part of accomplishing successful recovery involves forming healthy relationships. Let’s look at ways to help your teen develop healthier friendships.

Cut Ties With Friends Who Use Substances

Your teen should avoid associating with other teens who use substances. Research shows that having friends who use substances increases the likelihood of teens using drugs. Especially in early recovery, such associations increase the possibility of a relapse.

Still, teens may find it difficult to end such friendships because of their shared past or interests. Remind them that self-care and maintaining their recovery matter the most.  Building new friendships with other teens who support their recovery will help them eliminate toxic relationships in their lives.

Challenges of Making New Friends

Too often, teens struggle to cultivate friendships, especially healthy ones. Some experience anxiety when trying to find their place in high school. When suffering from a negative self-perception, they could see themselves as outcasts among their peers. When they see themselves as an outsider, they start to believe it and could isolate themselves and turn to substances to cope.

Parental support will make all the difference in such instances. Offer them encouragement and support during this time. Listen, offer positive reinforcement, be patient, and offer them guidance with creating an action plan that will serve them in the long run.

Benefits of Friendships for Teen’s Recovery

The main benefits of friendships for a teen’s recovery are:

  • They help teens to stay positive and feel better.
  • They provide support and encouragement.
  • They help teens build self-esteem.
  • They help teens reduce depression and other mental health issues.
  • They help teens develop social skills.
  • They increase the likelihood that teens will seek professional care for substance abuse or other mental health issues.

Six Ways to Make New Friends

When teens struggle with drugs, alcohol, or other substances, they need support from family, friends, teachers, and other positive influences. You will want to make sure that your teenager has a wide variety of friends so they can diversify their social networks and maintain healthy relationships.

Here are six ways that you can help your teenager do just that:

#1. Volunteer: Volunteering can be effective for teens to form healthy relationships. It is a great way for your teenager to increase their social skills. It could also help them make new friends, have a better sense of community, and feel important in their circle. Volunteering can even help them reduce stress, build a positive outlook on life, and improve self-confidence.

#2. Participate in Sports: Intramural sports are a great way to get your teen involved. Intramural sports focus on fitness, fun, and community. They’re an excellent alternative for teens to socialize with their peers and have some fun. With intramural sports, teens get a chance to make new friends outside of their school. In addition, intramural sports allow your teen to meet other teens who share the same interests. These friendships can develop into lasting relationships that will support your teen’s recovery.

#3. Seek Clubs and Hobbies: Participating in activities such as sports, art, or cooking can benefit teens in recovery because they interact with people who share their interests. It also allows them to explore interests without the pressures of using substances.

#4. Seek Recovery Groups: Support networks provide teens with a safe environment to share their experiences and concerns about life after addiction. Recovery groups, like 12-step meetings, provide teens an opportunity to make new friends, learn about recovery, and build self-esteem. Some 12-step groups focus on teens and their recovery, while others focus on family, friends, and work-related issues. Participants find it beneficial to share their experiences and learn to help each other stay sober.

#5. Maintain Friendships From Treatment: Many participants form friendships while undergoing treatment at a recovery facility. Maintaining these friendships post-treatment is essential for lasting sobriety. Peers from recovery meetings understand the challenges of recovery.

#6. Canvas Existing Friends: One of the simplest ways to help your teen maintain a sound support system is to reinforce their current relationships with their peers. Perhaps, your teen strained or broke healthy friendships because they were using. Now they can work on rebuilding these friendships. Additionally, they can reach out to these friends for further advice or networking opportunities. They can also help your teen tap into other social groups of healthy peers.

Teens thrive in a healthy setting; therefore, forming a healthy network of friends, family, and peers that support recovery is essential to maintaining success. At Clearfork Academy, our approach to care utilizes both conventional and holistic approaches to ensure your teenager gets the support and resources they need. Our programs work to help your teen understand addiction, restore confidence, social skills, and form healthy friendships. Our aftercare support encourages teenagers to stay active within the community by joining clubs, playing sports, and attending church and other community gatherings. All these options offer your teen an opportunity to form healthy relationships, maintain recovery and achieve their greatest goals. Our support staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so there is never a wrong time to reach out. To find out more about our teen male-focused programs, reach out to us at Clearfork Academy today by calling (866) 650-5212.