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What Is Your Legacy?

What Is Your Legacy?

For teens recovering from substance use disorder (SUD), legacy can mean many things. For some, it serves as a reminder of what they’ve been through and how far they’ve come. For others, it may be a source of motivation to stay sober and help others achieve recovery. Legacy can also be a way of honoring those who have helped teens on their journey to sobriety.

However individuals define it, legacy can be essential to teen recovery. It can help them remember their past, celebrate their present, and inspire their future.

What Is a Legacy?

A legacy is defined as something that’s handed down from one generation to the next. For example, a family’s legacy might be their love of music or their tradition of always helpings others. A legacy can also be something someone leaves behind after they die, like a charity fund in their name.

In the context of teen SUD recovery, a legacy is a positive impact an individual leaves on their community after overcoming their addiction. This could be through working with others who are still struggling, sharing their story to raise awareness, or simply living a sober life and helping to break the stigma around addiction. By doing this, individuals in recovery can help make lasting change in the world around them and ensure that their legacy lives on long after they’re gone.

The Need for Meaning

Recovering from SUD is hard work. Teens often struggle to make lasting changes.  Often, this is because they lack meaning in their lives. Without a sense of purpose, it can be challenging for teens to stay motivated to stay sober. This is why it’s so important for parents and loved ones to help them create meaning in their lives.

There are many ways to do this. Some of the most effective include helping them find a hobby or passion, encouraging them to serve in the community, and helping them develop strong relationships with family and friends. By creating meaning in their lives, we can give teens the motivation to stay sober and build a foundation for a successful future.

Service to Others

Teens recovering from SUD often struggle to find a sense of purpose. In many cases, their previous identities revolved around drug use, and they may feel lost without that defining element in their lives. Service to others can be an important way for teens in recovery to create meaning and find a sense of purpose. Through service, they can learn new skills, make friends, and feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves.

Additionally, service can help teens in recovery to stay sober by providing structure and positive peer support. Teens who participate in service activities are often more likely to remain involved in their recovery program and less likely to relapse.

Positive Relationships

Teens in recovery from SUD face many challenges. In addition to overcoming their addiction, they often must deal with issues such as poor mental health, trauma, and homelessness. One of the critical factors that can help teens succeed in recovery is positive relationships.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), SUD recovery is a process that includes making significant changes in one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This process is critical to developing and maintaining positive relationships with others. Positive relationships provide teens with a sense of support and belonging. They can help individuals feel valued and appreciated and remind them that they’re not alone in their struggles.

In addition, positive relationships can provide teens with practical assistance, such as help with schoolwork or transportation. These relationships can also offer guidance, encouragement, and accountability. In addition, positive relationships model healthy coping skills and provide opportunities for practicing new skills. Finally, these relationships can be with family members, friends, mentors, counselors, and other supportive adults.

Creative Pursuits

The teen years are often a time of experimentation. Sadly, this can sometimes include experimenting with drugs or alcohol. When substance use becomes a problem, it can profoundly affect every aspect of a teen’s life. One crucial part of recovery is finding activities that give life meaning and purpose. For many teens in recovery, creative pursuits such as writing, painting, or making music can provide a much-needed outlet for emotions and help to boost self-esteem.

In addition, creative activities can help teens connect with others who share their interests, providing valuable social support. Pursuing creative interests can also be a fun and enjoyable way to spend time, helping reduce stress and promote positive mental health. For all these reasons, fostering creativity can be vital in supporting teen SUD recovery.

By pursuing these and other activities that bring them joy and a sense of purpose, teens in recovery can create rich, fulfilling lives, leaving a legacy of commitment and honor.

Recovery from substance use disorder offers teens a chance to create their own legacy. Creating a legacy involves forging a life of meaning and purpose. In many cases, sober teens’ previous identities revolved around drug use, and they may feel lost without that defining element in their lives. Service to others can be an important way for teens in recovery to create meaning and find a sense of purpose. Through service, they can learn new skills, make friends, and feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves. Service can help teens in recovery to stay sober by providing structure and positive peer support. Positive relationships formed through service activities can give teens a sense of belonging and accountability. Additionally, teens who participate in hobbies are often more likely to stay involved in their recovery program. For more information, call Clearfork Academy at (888) 966-8604.

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How Dangerous Are Inhalants for Teens?

How Dangerous Are Inhalants for Teens?

Inhalants are ordinary, readily available products that can be used as drugs when the contents or chemicals in the substance are inhaled. It’s a common way for teens to get high without having to acquire alcohol or illegal substances. Inhalants are legal, everyday products, such as spray paint and hairspray, that can produce harmful chemical vapors.

The recreational use of inhalants is a growing problem for teens. It is important to bring awareness to the harms that can result from inhalant use and to recognize ways that parents can prevent inhalant use for their teens.

Understanding Inhalants as Drugs

Chemicals in household products can produce toxic vapors that, when inhaled, can produce short-lived intoxication. Like illegal substances, prolonged use of these drugs can have significant effects on the nervous system and brain activity. In teenagers, using inhalants can cause lightheadedness, slowed reflexes and reaction times, loss of coordination, and distorted or slurred speech. In some cases, teens can hallucinate or black out while under the influence, similar to the effects of alcohol use.

Inhalants are dangerous for anyone, especially for teenagers, as their brains are not yet fully developed. Damage sustained from inhalant use can sometimes be reversed, but some effects can last into adulthood. Inhalants can cause long-term damage to the lungs, heart, kidney, and liver. Just because inhalants are common household products does not mean they are safe to use in place of “hard drugs.” They can be just as harmful.

What Are the Main Types of Inhalants?

Not all inhalants are alike. The main types of inhalants include:

  • Solvents: This refers to products common in arts and crafts projects or office supplies, such as glue or markers. Other common household solvents include nail polish, nail polish remover, paint thinners, and lighter fluid.
  • Aerosols: Aerosols include hair sprays, oil sprays for cooking, spray paints, certain deodorants, and fabric protectors.
  • Gases: The most common gas used as an inhalant is nitrous oxide, also known as whippits, which can be found in pressurized cans. Other common gases found at home include refrigerants, propane tanks for grills, and butane lighters.
  • Alkyl nitrites: Also referred to as “poppers” or “snappers,” this product is used in leather cleaners, room sprays, and other products that eliminate foul odors.

How Are Inhalants Used?

The three primary methods for using inhalants are

  • Huffing: Breathing through a towel or other rag that has been soaked in some substance and is placed directly over the nose and mouth
  • Sniffing: Similar to huffing, except it involves directly breathing the substance through the nose from the bottle or can rather than a rag or towel
  • Bagging: The substance is inhaled through a bag that has been placed over the nose and mouth

Can Inhalants Be Fatal?

Just because a certain substance is legal and commonly used at home does not make it safe to get high on. In some cases, inhalants can lead to death. Sometimes inhalant-related deaths are called “sudden sniffing death.” This happens when the chemicals stop the heart. It can happen in otherwise healthy people, even those who do not use inhalants intentionally. Death can also happen by suffocation if a person inhales a substance using a bag in an enclosed area.

Why Do Teens Use Inhalants?

There are plenty of reasons why some teens may be inclined to use inhalants over illegal drugs:

  • They are easily attainable. It’s not against the law to have cleaning products, oil sprays, glue bottles, etc. These products all have practical uses for cleaning, making crafts, cooking, and more. They also don’t require buyers to be a certain age to obtain them.
  • The effects are felt instantly. Other drugs and alcohol take time to feel the effects. However, inhalants can work in less than ten seconds.
  • They’re inexpensive or free. Street drugs can be costly, and teens often lack financial independence. Still, they don’t typically use their allowance to buy household products. Instead, their parents do.
  • The “high” can be difficult to detect. The high that can result from inhalants happens quickly and fades just as fast. That can make it hard for parents to tell if their kids are using.

What Are Common Warning Signs Of Using Inhalants?

While it may not be obvious at first if your teen has gotten high from inhalants, over time, you may notice the following signs:

  • Acting drunk or lightheaded
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination, stumbling, and lack of balance
  • Red eyes and nosebleeds
  • Sores around the mouth, which is commonly called “huffer’s rash”
  • Breath smelling like chemicals
  • Loss of appetite, nausea

How Can Parents Prevent Teens From Using Inhalants?

To protect your teen, first, understand that drug use can happen to anyone. No parent wants to imagine their child becoming addicted to drugs, but no one is safe from drug use. You may want to ask your teen if they know of anyone in their social group using inhalants. Be sure to let your teen know that using common household products to get high can be just as damaging as illegal drugs and alcohol. Let them know you are available to talk if they need to. Pay attention to who your teen hangs out with and where, especially on weekends and after school. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries to protect your teen.

It can be scary to think that your teen may not be safe in their own home. Clearfork Academy doesn’t just help teens with known substance abuse problems: we are also here to equip parents with facts and knowledge for prevention. You may not need to put all your cooking and cleaning products under lock and key just yet. Keep the dialogue open with your teen and be honest about the risks. Let them know that they can come to you if they suspect a friend is using inhalants or if they are tempted to use inhalants themselves. However, if you suspect your teen has been getting high off of inhalants, don’t wait; seek help today. Contact Clearfork Academy at (888) 966-8604. We have helped many teenage boys and girls conquer the effects of addiction and go on to live healthy, sober lives.

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How Time Management Helps Addiction Recovery

How Time Management Helps Addiction Recovery

Time management is an essential skill for anyone in addiction recovery. When used correctly, it can help individuals stay on track with their goals and improve overall productivity. A few critical components of good time management include setting realistic goals, creating a daily schedule, staying organized, and taking breaks throughout the day.

Setting Realistic Goals

Individuals in early addiction recovery may have spent a great deal of time chasing the high or intoxication they experienced while using substances. Unfortunately, this can lead individuals to develop grandiose plans and goals that can make it difficult to complete their sobriety journey.

Sober living requires a certain level of structure and planning that can be foreign to someone new to recovery. Realistic goal setting helps provide this structure while also teaching how to identify what is truly possible given one’s current circumstances.

Teens in recovery must learn how to set realistic goals for themselves as it will be a crucial skill needed for success in all areas of their life. In addition, once sober, teens will need to learn how to plan for work, school, and social activities appropriately.

If unrealistic goals are set, it can lead to feelings of disappointment and even relapse. But by learning how to set small, achievable goals, teens in recovery can begin to build a foundation for a successful future.

Creating a Daily Schedule

Teens in recovery from substance use disorder face many challenges. However, one of the most important things they can do to stay on track is to create a daily schedule. A daily schedule gives structure to the day and helps teens stay focused on their goals. Creating a plan can be daunting, but a few simple steps can make the process easier.

First, sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil. Then, write down all activities that need to be done each day, including school, work, therapy, and other obligations. Then start assigning times to each activity. Again, it’s essential to be realistic. If an activity typically takes two hours, don’t try to squeeze it into one hour.

Once all of the activities have been scheduled, place the schedule in a place where it will be seen every day. This may be on a refrigerator, in a planner, or on a bulletin board. Teens in recovery should also share their schedules with their support system, including parents, teachers, or therapists.

Lastly, it’s vital to have some flexibility in the schedule to adjust as needed. Recovery is a journey, and the teen’s needs may change over time. By having a flexible schedule, your teen will be able to adjust their daily routine as necessary. Additionally, daily schedules can help teens ensure they’re using their time effectively. It’s important to include time for therapy, exercise, and relaxation.

Staying Organized

As any teenager recovering from SUD knows, staying organized is key to maintaining sobriety. Unfortunately, it can be easy to let things fall through the cracks with school, extracurricular activities, and social life.

There are a few simple tips that can help teens stay on track. First, as stated above, it’s essential to make a daily schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This can help ensure that all obligations are met and that there is time for self-care.

It’s helpful to create a system for tracking appointments, meetings, and other important events. This can be done with a physical calendar or an online tool such as Google Calendar.

It can be helpful to declutter regularly. This includes physical clutter, such as clothes and papers, and digital clutter, such as old emails and unused apps.

Taking Breaks

Taking breaks throughout the day is crucial for avoiding burnout. Not only does it help to reduce the risk of relapse, but it also provides a chance to recharge and refocus.

However, knowing how to take a break can be a challenge, especially when the person is used to using substances to cope with stress. Here are some tips for how to take a break:

  • Find a relaxing activity. This could be something as simple as reading, listening to music, or spending time in nature.
  • Take short breaks throughout the day. When feeling overwhelmed, encourage your teen to take a few minutes to themself to regroup.
  • Set aside time daily for a more extended break. This could be an hour-long walk or watching a favorite movie.
  • Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks. Recovery is hard work, and your teen deserves some time to relax and rejuvenate.

By following these tips, teens can create a sound time management system to help them recover. Remember, everyone is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to time management. Instead, find what works best for your teen, and stick with it!

Teens in recovery from substance use disorder face many challenges, and time management is one of the most important skills they can learn. By creating a daily schedule, staying organized, setting realistic goals, and taking breaks throughout the day, teens can develop time management skills that will help them in their recovery. Time management skills are especially important for teens in recovery from SUD because they often have to juggle school, work, treatment, and other obligations. Creating a daily schedule can help them keep track of their time and make sure they are using their time wisely. Staying organized is also key. A cluttered environment can be overwhelming and lead to anxiety and stress. By taking the time to learn these skills, they can set themselves up for success. For more information on teens and time management, call Clearfork Academy at (888) 966-8604.

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How Teens Can Set Successful Recovery Goals

How Teens Can Set Successful Recovery Goals

The teenage years can be challenging. Teenagers are often dealing with the challenges of school, friends, and family, as well as the hormonal changes that come with puberty. Add to that the pressure to conform to peer groups and the ever-present temptation of drugs and alcohol, and it’s no wonder that so many teens struggle with substance use disorder.

Goals Are Vital in Recovery

The good news is that recovery is possible. One of the most important things for teens in recovery to do is set goals. Goals benefit recovery in several ways:

  • Goals give direction and purpose. Teens in recovery need to know what they’re working towards, and setting goals can help them stay focused on the future.
  • Goals inspire motivation. When teens see the progress that they’re making towards their goals, it can provide the incentive they need to stay on track.
  • Goals promote accountability. Checking in with a trusted adult or sponsor about goal progress can help teens stay accountable for their recovery.

Without a goal, it can be easy for the teen to become discouraged and give up on their sobriety. Goals also help keep the teen accountable and can provide a way to measure progress. For example, if the goal is to stay sober for one year, the teen can celebrate each milestone. But ultimately, the goal is to help the teen build a foundation for a successful and lasting recovery.


Goals give teens something to work towards and provide motivation to stay on track. However, not all goals are created equal.

SMART goal setting — which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based — is an effective planning tool. A SMART goal’s specifications help ensure that the goal is clear, attainable, and relevant to the individual or team. In addition, the time frame associated with a SMART goal helps keep the goal on track.

Ultimately, the purpose of SMART goals is to improve the likelihood of achieving the desired outcome by providing a clear and concise roadmap. When used correctly, SMART goals can be an invaluable tool for teens.

Here are some tips for teens to set SMART goals in recovery:

  • Be specific about what you want to achieve. Vague goals are more challenging to accomplish than specific ones. For example, rather than setting a goal to “exercise more,” try setting a goal to “work out for 30 minutes three times per week.”
  • Make sure your goals are measurable. This will help you track your progress and see how close you are to achieving your goals. For example, rather than setting a goal to “eat healthier,” try setting a goal to “eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.”
  • Set achievable goals. It’s essential to set goals that you can actually achieve. If your goals are too complicated, you will likely get discouraged and give up. On the other hand, if your goals are too easy, you won’t see the need to put in the effort to achieve them.
  • Make sure your goals are relevant to your recovery. This means setting goals that support your sobriety and help you stay on track. For example, rather than setting a goal to “drink more water,” try setting a goal to “avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs.”
  • Set time-bound goals. This means developing a deadline for yourself to achieve your goal. This will help you stay focused and motivated. For example, instead of saying, “I will clean my room,” try setting the goal of “I will clean my room by 5 p.m. on Thursday.”

When You Don’t Meet Your Goals

What happens if you don’t reach your goals? It’s not failure, it’s a learning experience, and you can adjust the plans as needed. For teens in recovery, try again. You may not have reached your goal the first time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try again. Be flexible with your goals, and remember that they’re intended to be living, breathing things that can change as you change.

Allow yourself to be fluid to learn what works best for you in treatment and what doesn’t. There is no shame in trying and failing, only in not trying. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. People care about you and want to help you succeed. You can reach your goals with hard work and dedication. Please don’t give up on yourself because you’re worth it.

Therapy Can Help

Teens in recovery from SUD face many challenges. One of the most important things they can do to increase their chances of success is to set goals and develop a plan to achieve them. Professional help can be critical in this process.

Therapists can help teens in recovery identify their goals and develop a plan to achieve them. They can also provide support and guidance as teens work to meet their goals. In addition, professionals can help teens identify barriers that may prevent them from achieving their goals and develop strategies to overcome these obstacles.

If you’re a teen recovering from SUD, professional help can make a big difference in your ability to meet your goals. Therapy and counseling can provide the support and guidance you need to make lasting changes in your life.

One of the most important things for teens in recovery from substance use disorder to learn is to set goals. Goals give direction and purpose to the challenging and sometimes confusing process of recovery. They provide a sense of accomplishment and pride as the teen meets each milestone. Additionally, goals help the teen to see the progress that they’re making and to stay motivated on the road to recovery. Without goals, it’s easy for teens to become discouraged and give up on the hard work of recovery. SMART goals provide a framework for measurable and achievable results. Therapy can be helpful for those new to recovery as a professional can help your teen get clear on what they want to accomplish. For more information on how to help your teen set goals in recovery from SUD, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.

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Honoring Teens’ Stories With Narrative Therapy

Honoring Teens' Stories With Narrative Therapy

Teens battling substance use disorder often find themselves in a cycle of negative thoughts and behaviors. Narrative therapy can be an effective way to help teens break out of this cycle. 

In narrative therapy, teens are encouraged to tell their stories and identify the positive aspects of their lives. This helps teens see themselves in a more favorable light and develop new meaning for their lives. As teens learn to tell their stories more positively, they gain empowerment and are more likely to make positive choices for their future. 

The Basics of Narrative Therapy

The development of narrative therapy in the 1980s was an attempt by New Zealand-based therapists Michael White and David Epston to empower people. It seeks out counseling that’s non-blaming or blaming with no pathology involved.

The concept was to help people feel better while giving them control of their lives. This counseling style helps people become — and embrace being — experts in their own lives. The emphasis is on the stories you develop through your life’s experiences; each event leads to another and so forth until they come full circle back with new meaning for what has happened before.

Elements of the Therapy

There are several main elements that therapists use in narrative therapy, including: 

#1. Externalizing the Problem

This means that the therapist works with the person to help them see their problems as separate from themselves. This can be done through different activities and exercises, such as story-telling or journaling. This separation helps prevent individuals from identifying too closely with the issue and pathologizing themselves. Instead, they learn that they are not the problem. They are people with problems.

#2. Breaking It Down

Deconstruction is breaking down a personal story into smaller pieces to understand it better. This can be done by looking at individual events or experiences and examining them in detail. Through this process, people can often see their stories in a new light and better understand themselves. This can be an incredibly powerful tool for helping teens make sense of their lives and experiences. It can provide a space for individuals to share their stories and be heard and understood. Deconstruction can also help people identify patterns or themes in their lives that they may not have been aware of before. 

#3. Choosing Different Endings 

Part of narrative therapy is choosing different outcomes for our stories. In narrative therapy, we work with the idea that our stories are composed of various components, including plot, characters, setting, etc. By rewriting the outcome of our stories, we can change how we think about ourselves and our lives. This can lead to feelings of hope and empowerment. Choosing alternative endings also helps us understand the role our past experiences have played in shaping our current lives. 

How It Helps Addicted Teens

Narrative therapy is an effective treatment modality for teens struggling with substance use disorders. It honors their individual journey and puts experiences into their own words.

Substance use disorders can be incredibly overwhelming for teens. Not only do they have to deal with the struggles of addiction, but they often feel like they have lost control of their lives. This therapy modality allows teens to tell their stories and be heard. It also empowers them to make healthy decisions and regain control of their lives. Narrative therapy can be a life-changing experience for teens facing substance use disorder, giving them the tools they need to recover and live healthy, happy lives.

Narrative therapy honors their stories by listening to them and using their own words to help them understand their experiences. This type of therapy can help teens feel heard and respected and provide them with a new way of looking at their lives. 

In narrative therapy sessions,  the therapist does not tell the teen what to do or how to feel. Instead, the therapist asks questions and encourages them to explore their own thoughts and feelings. This type of therapy can be beneficial for teens who have been through traumatic experiences, as it can help them make meaning of their experiences and develop a new perspective. Narrative therapy can also help teens to build self-esteem and to set goals for their future.

Teens who struggle with substance use disorder often feel lost and alone. Traditional therapies can be helpful but can also be daunting and alienating. Narrative therapy offers a unique and effective approach for teens struggling with addiction. This therapy emphasizes the individual’s story, helping teens make sense of their experiences and find hope for the future. 

Through narrative therapy, teens can learn to identify and change the negative patterns in their lives. This can lead to greater self-awareness and understanding and ultimately to lasting recovery.

Narrative therapy can have a number of benefits for teens struggling with substance abuse disorder. Narrative therapy focuses on the stories that we tell ourselves about our lives, and how these stories can shape our behavior. Through narrative therapy, teens can learn to identify the negative stories they tell themselves about their substance use and can reframe these stories in a more positive light. This therapy can also help teens to understand the role that substances have played in their lives, and can provide a space for them to share their experiences with substance abuse. In addition, narrative therapy can help teens to develop a sense of control over their lives and can empower them to make positive changes and set goals for the future. To learn more about how this therapy can help teens struggling with substance use, call Clearfork Academy at (888) 966-8604.

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The Connection Between Energy Drinks and Addiction in Teens

The Connection Between Energy Drinks and Addiction in Teens

Energy drinks are advertised to children as a means to boost energy, decrease fatigue and enhance concentration for those that consume their products. Many teens say they consume energy drinks for various reasons, including staying up late to work on a school assignment, wanting to perform better in sports, and most disturbingly, mixing with alcohol while partying.  

Energy Drinks

There has been an interest in the performance-enhancing effects of energy drinks since their introduction in the late 1980s. Popular brands contain around 80 mg of caffeine per 250 ml which places them above colas but similar to coffee. However, some minority brands can contain higher doses, as can other preparations of coffee. Other key ingredients include taurine, carbohydrates in the form of sugars and glucuronolactone (a sugar metabolite), and B complex vitamins.

Teens, Energy Drinks, and Substance Use

A new study suggests teens who drink high-caffeine energy beverages such as Red Bull or Monster may be more likely to use alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes. For the study, published in the January/February issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the researchers analyzed data from nearly 22,000 students in grades eight, 10, and 12. The study found that about 30% said they consumed caffeine-laced energy drinks or shots, more than 40% drank regular soft drinks each day, and 20% drank diet soft drinks daily.

Boys were more likely than girls to consume energy drinks. Research has found that the use of the beverages was also higher among teens without parents at home and those whose parents had lower levels of education.

Students who consumed energy drinks were two to three times more likely to say they used alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs than those who didn’t consume energy drinks. While soft drink consumption was also linked to using these substances, the association was much stronger for energy drinks.

Mixing Energy Drinks and Alcohol

Mixing energy drinks and alcohol is widespread among young adults and teens. In 2017, 10.6% of students in grades eight, 10, and 12, and 31.8% of young adults aged 19 to 28 reported consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks at least once in the past year.

There is the incorrect belief that energy drinks negate the effects of alcohol and other drugs, causing users to drink more alcohol to get the desired effects. Teens often think they can drink or use more and for longer periods of time if mixing with these beverages. However, there is little scientific research to support this hypothesis. 

Teens who mix energy drinks with alcohol are at a higher risk of experiencing negative consequences, including being the perpetrator or victim of sexual assault, suffering an alcohol-related injury, and riding in a car with someone under the influence.

Energy Drinks and Heart Health

Much research has been done on the physical effects of energy drink abuse. Energy drink abuse among teens has been found to cause an increased risk of cardiac events, especially in those with underlying heart conditions. There were even some cases of energy drinks causing changes in heart rhythm among teens with healthy hearts. This risk increases when the child engages in sports or exercise.

Energy Drinks and Mental Health

The effects of energy drinks on mental health are also evident. There is a relationship between energy drink consumption and mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and increased feelings of stress. 

further, adolescents who consume energy drinks may frequently experience decreased alertness and depressive mood as caffeine withdrawal symptoms. This withdrawal can often cause users to seek relief in other substances, such as amphetamines. If you suspect that your teen is combing such substances, it is crucial to seek help immediately. 

Mental Health and Addiction

The initiation of substance abuse occurs between the ages of 14 and 18, often preceded by emotional problems such as depression or anxiety. Often, teens lack the emotional maturity and life skills necessary to navigate serious mood disorders. Substance abuse can become a maladaptive coping mechanism for many teens if their mental health issues go unchecked. 

Teens who use energy drinks in excess are at a greater risk of developing emotional and mental health disorders. Teens who struggle with mental health issues like anxiety, stress, and depression are at an increased risk of developing a substance use disorder. Substance use disorders lead to addiction when left untreated.

For these reasons, it is essential to monitor your teen’s use of energy drinks and watch for signs of abuse. It is crucial to know when to seek help. Recovery is possible; early intervention increases the odds of success. 

Energy drink use is rampant among teenagers. Major brands tailor their marketing to these younger audiences with promises of increased focus, energy, and performance. At Clearfork Academy, we understand that frequent use of energy drinks can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. This is because energy drinks impact mood, and can cause highs and lows that are similar to those experienced with other substances. We offer programs such as individual, group, and peer activities to allow your teen the opportunity to learn healthy ways to manage their substance use and mental health disorders. As a parent, it is vital to be aware of the potential risks associated with your teen’s energy drink use and intervene when necessary. If you are concerned about your child’s energy drink use and possible addiction, help is available. Call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.

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How Can I Prevent Drug Abuse in the Modern World With Young Teens?

How Can I Prevent Drug Abuse in the Modern World With Young Teens?

Today, teenagers see drug use glorified in music, movies, and television shows. Such media and even peers tend to promote drug use to escape or feel good. Yet, many young people who experiment with drugs often become addicted. 

A parent might wonder, what are some of the reasons for the growing rise of drug use, and what strategies can they adopt to protect their children? 

Reasons for the Growing Drug Use Among Teens

More children are being exposed to drugs than ever before. Some of the reasons for the drug abuse among teens include:

  • Rebellion and status: Teens may engage in drug use because they feel bored with their lives or need something new to do, so they try it out as an act of rebellion against their parents or society. 
  • Exposure to drugs at a young age: Many parents have little control over their child’s exposure to drugs. Most children will encounter drugs before reaching high school. With the growing rise of prescribed medications, doctors continue to prescribe stimulants, opioids, or opiates to the youth. Furthermore, young people have easy access to these medications through their parents’ medicine cabinets, online pharmacies, or peers.

Increased Stressors and Trauma Cases 

Children today must deal with many stressors that were less common 30 or 40 years ago. Such stressors include:

  • Living in a violent home or in a community where drug use is prevalent
  • Living in a neighborhood where unemployment and poverty are widespread
  • Experiencing a traumatic event such as an accident, the death of someone close, a natural disaster, or violence
  • Experiencing physical or sexual abuse
  • Widespread bullying, especially cyberbullying
  • Experiencing familial insecurities like mental health disorders, abuse, financial insecurity, neglectful parents,  and marital disputes

Popular Culture Glorifying Drug Use 

Many mainstream films, television shows, and musicians glorify substance use. Movies like 21 Jump Street, The Hangover, and Pineapple Express have promoted drug abuse. In contrast, television shows like Skins, Breaking Bad, Euphoria, and Party Down have also been criticized for glorifying illicit substances. 

Lack of Parental Supervision in Family Unit

A child’s first line of defense against drug abuse is parental supervision, communication, education, guidance, and love. However, for various reasons, many parents do not pay enough attention to their children’s behaviors and actions. Thus, these teens are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as using drugs

Strategies to Prevent or Minimize Drug Use

Although more and more teens are exposed to drug use, there are measures that parents can take to prevent them from becoming addicted to drugs. Here are some tips for preventing drug abuse in teens:

  • Know your teen’s friends. Teens tend to emulate their friends as they try to find their identity. If your teen has a friend who uses drugs, they are more likely to start using them. If you suspect that one of your kids’ friends uses drugs, you should talk about the issue with your teen and try to convince them to make new friends. Check out their social activities and whereabouts when they’re not at home. The best way to do this is by establishing a safe environment for them to confide in you about these details.
  • Maintain open communication. Parents will find it easier to monitor their teens if they have open communication. You can have an honest conversation about drugs by discussing real-life stories on television or the Internet or sharing some of your own experiences in your teenage years.
  • Set clear rules and consequences. Communication about rules and consequences is a must for every parent who wants to protect their teen from drug abuse. It would help if you made it clear that using drugs will not be tolerated under any circumstances and that adults in the home will be treated as role models and authority figures.

Talk About Drugs Early and Often

Kids notice everything, including ads for alcohol on television and movies that make drug use look cool. Maybe your child hasn’t asked you any questions yet. That doesn’t mean he isn’t listening. You can still introduce the topic by bringing up an ad or a music video they have watched. So be sure to talk openly about what they see when they’re young so that they understand that these images don’t tell the whole story.

Involve Your Child in Extracurricular Activities

Teenagers involved in sports, art, and other extracurricular activities are less likely to get involved with drugs. Taking part in these activities also helps teenagers develop good friendships with people who do not do drugs. This gives them a positive influence, which helps prevent them from falling into a life of addiction.

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Why Do We Need More Addiction Specialists Focused on Teens?

Why Do We Need More Addiction Specialists Focused on Teens?

The rising trend in teen drug use has spurred a need for more addiction specialists to specialize in working with this demographic. Many experts feel that these treatment clinics will be more effective at treating teen addiction due to their specific experience and knowledge of the demographic.

What Is an Addiction Specialist?

Addiction specialists hold qualified training in addiction recovery. Yet, one specializing in teen addictions has necessary training regarding adolescent development. This includes being familiar with the brain’s development through adolescence and age-appropriate topics such as sexuality and body image. They provide the best possible care for teens seeking recovery. 

Addiction specialists can work in many different environments, such as treatment centers, rehabilitation facilities, community health centers, and substance use clinics. Addiction specialists can also work in private practice or provide counseling services online. It’s essential to understand the differences between these professionals before choosing a specialist to help your teen with addiction recovery. Such knowledge can help you find the most suitable treatment program or team for your child. 

The Challenge Teens Face Finding a Treatment Program

People with substance use disorders (SUDs) typically respond well to treatment, but according to reports, “1 in 10 people with a substance use disorder receive any specific treatment.” This is particularly true for teens, who are often less likely than adults to seek help for their issues. Unfortunately, teen addiction is common and often goes untreated, and most young people who need treatment are not getting it.

Most rehabs or specialists appeal to older people who have years of substance abuse behind them. Still, teens have shorter histories of substance abuse and tend to be more impulsive than adults, so they need different services and approaches from their addiction specialists.

Understands Unique Stressors and Challenges of Teens

As experts in the field at Clearfork Academy, we don’t treat teens like adults and then expect them to stay in recovery. It is essential that teens work with addiction specialists who understand their stressors and challenges. Based on research, teens experience unique stressors and challenges, including:

  • How trauma and stress affect teens
  • How teens learn
  • How peer pressure, especially in social media, affects teens
  • How family dynamics affect teens
  • The unique interaction between teens and their family, friends, and peers  
  • The feelings and issues they face
  • The importance of structure for teens
  • The impact of negative self-image, such as low self-esteem or body dysmorphic disorder
  • Social pressures often come at this age, including bullying

To complicate matters further, teenagers undergo rapid physical and mental changes while going through puberty. This causes stress hormones such as cortisol to spike during adolescence. High levels of cortisol make teen brains prone to addiction and make withdrawal symptoms harder on teenage addicts than on adults. We recommend specialists who can relate to the unique situations and problems teens face. A go-to person trained in adolescent development can make all the difference.

Meets the Unique Needs of Teens

Teens tend to fear seeking treatment because their needs vary from what most centers or specialists can provide. For many teens, they seek the following to benefit from treatment or addiction counseling:

  • A safe space for expressing themselves. This is especially true when discussing sensitive topics like SUD, trauma, and stressors. If the specialists fail to develop a rapport and trust between themselves and the teen, it could cause a block to the teen’s recovery. An addiction specialist with the proper training will hold the tools to connect with a teen. 
  • Someone who will listen without judgment. Everyone knows that teens sometimes make questionable decisions, but no one wants to be judged for their past mistakes, especially not by someone they don’t know that well. A youth-focused specialist will understand this and emphasize their progress. Plus, they can create space to help teens face their past mistakes with compassion, not shame. 

Skilled in Relapse Prevention

Teens often struggle with life skills and coping skills. These skills are often underdeveloped in teens since they lack the opportunity to have cultivated them. Notably, teen addiction specialists understand these particular circumstances for teens, especially relapse prevention.  

Relapse is a possibility during the recovery process for all addicts. Still, teens who do not receive specialized treatment during their initial recovery period can experience a greater likelihood of relapse after completing therapy than their adult counterparts. A qualified specialist can assist with the following for relapse prevention:

  • Help them develop coping mechanisms to withstand triggers and stressors before entering the “real world”
  • Teach adolescents how to deal with conflict resolution within relationships
  •  Help teens establish their core values to make good decisions later in life

Adolescent addiction specialists such as the specialists at Clearfork Academy focus on teens. We have a clear understanding of the developmental needs of this age group and the mental health issues that may arise. We are equipped to help teens build resiliency and healthy coping skills to reduce the risk of relapse. Teens who see seek help from us are more likely to feel comfortable expressing themselves. Our specialists offer support tailored to teenage development, school-related stressors, family dynamics, peer relationships, and childhood trauma that a general specialist may not address. Fortunately, there are many treatment programs designed specifically for this age group, but our team of licensed clinicians offers specialized training in helping adolescents develop healthier coping mechanisms. Our treatment programs will help your teen recover from drug abuse in a safe and healthy environment. For more information about our program, call us today at (888) 966-8604.

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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.

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The Use of Art Therapy for Teens in Recovery

The Use of Art Therapy for Teens in Recovery

Teenagers benefit from a variety of unique approaches to addiction recovery and therapy, including art therapy. Art therapy is a therapeutic intervention that integrates external symptoms with internal struggles of the heart and mind. The active, creative process can help with recovery from substances and mental health issues. 

People have a natural inclination to cope with stress and express themselves through creativity. If you’re looking for an alternative and creative way to help your teen through recovery, consider a program that utilizes art therapy.

What Is Art Therapy?

Art therapists describe art therapy as a type of psychotherapy that uses art to communicate. Art therapy is frequently used in treating children; art therapy helps psychologists interpret what their client isn’t saying. It typically helps clients improve their cognitive functions, reduce feelings of distress, and improve social skills. Through the creative process, people can express complex feelings and develop healthier coping skills.

Clients may be reluctant to try art therapy. A common misconception is that you have to be an artist for this practice to be effective. That could not be further from the truth. Art therapy has nothing to do with creating art. It’s all about expressing yourself and expressing whatever feelings you struggle to communicate. In addition to expressing emotions, teens will learn to resolve internal and external conflicts, increase self-esteem, reduce stress, and improve communication.

Benefits of Art Therapy

The benefits of art therapy vary for people. However, it is beneficial in treating substance use disorders (SUD) among teenagers. Suffering from addiction is typically accompanied by other mental disorders, and such disorders are co-occurring and referred to as dual diagnoses. If untreated, co-occurring disorders can wreak havoc. Art therapy could help your teen accept their struggle, understand their triggers, and learn about this response to trauma safely and comfortably.

Deciding to try art therapy is a conversation you, your child, and their mental health professional should have. Through this alternative treatment, your child will gain more control and awareness of their emotions. They will also improve their social skills and increase overall feelings of self-esteem. The inability to cope with these feelings causes SUD to become significantly worse. Art therapy effectively treats dual-diagnosis, improving your teen’s overall well-being.

Methods of Art Therapy

Clients may be reluctant to try art therapy, especially if they have no artistic talents. We can’t stress this enough; art therapy is not about creating art; it’s about expressing complex feelings. Art therapy can be implemented through several art forms, including but not limited to painting, drawing, writing, and photography. The most effective method will depend on you.

Different forms of art help individuals in different ways. For example, individuals suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may benefit from painting. Painting requires a level of fluidity. By your teen trying their hand at putting paint to canvas, they will learn the importance of letting go and letting obsessive thoughts dictate themselves. 

Some creative outlets are easier to implement than others. Taking up drawing or painting requires purchasing the supplies. Taking up photography can be as simple as pulling a smartphone out of your pocket and learning the art of photography.

Reasons to Consider Art Therapy

In addition to the benefits of art therapy on SUD, art therapy helps to improve symptoms associated with SUD. That may include depression, overall mood, or help in handling trauma. Your teen is probably trying to cope without a lot of complex emotions. Growing up is hard enough, and SUD will make a teen’s emotions more complex.

Healing from trauma is difficult for everyone. However, art therapy treats all kinds of trauma. It’s been instrumental in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by offering an emotional outlet, allowing clients to externalize their trauma and resolve those painful memories or emotions. 

Successfully implementing art therapy into your teen’s life will help them manage long-term recovery and make the transition from treatment to recovery smoother because they’ll have an effective coping skill to fall back on.

The Clearfork Difference

Here at Clearfork Academy, we prioritize helping teens recover and heal from struggles with addiction. We implement many programs, such as individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. We also believe in the importance of fun and adventure, which we incorporate into more of our unorthodox programs like art, music, and adventure therapy.

If your teen is suffering from substance use disorders and other co-occurring disorders, we encourage you to seek help. Clearfork Academy can help create a new legacy for them today. 

Art therapy has several benefits for treating addiction, substance use disorders, and several mental disorders your teen may be experiencing. Art and creative processes provide a positive outlet, teach healthy coping skills, decrease denial or objection to treatment, and provide a way to communicate complex feelings. Within treatment, your teen will experience a decrease in anxiety, an increase in emotional self-awareness, and gain more control over thoughts and behaviors related to their illness. They don’t need to be an artist either; they just need to be open-minded. If you are struggling to help your teen find addiction treatment, reach out to Clearfork Academy today. Our intensive program provides teens with the clinical tools needed to recover and a support system required to maintain recovery. Let Clearfork Academy help your teen recover from addiction and change their legacy. To find out more about our programs, reach out to us today by calling (888) 966-8604.

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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.

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What Are the Benefits of Group Therapy Program for Teens?

What Are the Benefits of Group Therapy Program for Teens?

Group therapy can make all the difference in your child’s treatment. Communal approaches to treatment have helped numerous teenagers change for the better, leading happier, more productive lives.

Our group therapy program focuses on support, structure, and help. Let your teen take advantage of a more communal way to address their issues, build interpersonal skills, and lead happier lives.

The Structure of Group Therapy for Teens

Group therapy, a type of psychotherapy,  involves sessions with a counselor and other people facing similar issues. During the group therapy sessions, the counselor or therapist will guide the discussion by introducing a topic and sharing their insights to facilitate the learning process for all members. A group therapy session usually consists of 8-12 members.

Family Relationships

Teens will explore their relationships with their parents, siblings, and extended family members. They may discuss how these relationships impact their emotions and behavior. The therapist will facilitate the teens to discuss topics like:

  • Peer relationships and pressure: Teens will discuss their interactions with friends and classmates and how these relationships affect their moods and even substance use.
  • Academic performance: This topic entails exploring academic achievement and organization, time management, and study habits.
  • Physical health: The group may discuss fitness routines or specific health concerns such as weight management or eating disorders.
  • Sexuality: Though a sensitive topic for many teens, it can encompass various issues such as dating and romantic relationships.
  • Relapse prevention and identifying triggers: The therapist will review methods to prevent relapses. Teens can share their triggers and strategies to cope or avoid those triggers. Teens in the group may offer suggestions on how they deal with these same issues when they arise.
  • Fears about the future: This is an opportunity for them to talk about their worries regarding recovery or life goals and receive encouragement from others who understand.

These topics serve as significant components of the group goals to help the teens progress in their recovery. The therapist must take specific steps to ensure the safety and benefits of each group session. For example, the therapist will make sure:

  • Most participants have a chance to share.
  • The group stays on topic and does not become a social hour.
  • Reduce any angry outbursts and maintain a cohesive atmosphere.
  • Guide other teens in the group to listen and offer support, suggestions, or advice based on their own experiences.
  • Keep the zone judgment-free.

The Purpose of Group Therapy

The purpose of Group therapy for teens is to provide a safe, supportive environment where they can explore their thoughts and feelings and learn social skills. Other benefits to participating in a group include:

  • Practicing social skills: Teens can try out new ways of communicating with others and receive feedback from the therapist and other participants on how it went. Teens can model out family dynamics or friendship dynamics with each other. Additionally, teens practice how to ask for help when needed and how to develop positive relationships with others.
  • Conflict resolution: Teens with mental health issues may experience conflict with friends, family members, and school. Group therapy helps them learn how to manage conflict healthily by providing a model for effective conflict resolution and strategies for preventing and managing it when it does occur.

Learn From Others

Teens can learn from their peers about handling situations and problems in life. For example, if one teen has struggled with self-harm, another teen might share techniques that have helped them stop. Such techniques include:

  • Gaining confidence: As teens begin to feel better about themselves through group therapy, they can feel more confident about socializing with others.
  • Developing trust: Trust is an essential part of any relationship, especially those you’re trying to develop with others in your support system. By talking freely in group therapy without worrying about what others will think or say, teens can start to build trust in others and themselves.
  • Practicing coping skills: Group therapy can teach young people how to cope with stress and make important life decisions without reverting to drug use. Teens in group therapy can practice new coping skills with their peers, which helps them become more comfortable using these skills in other situations, such as with family members or at school.
  • Incorporating the family: Some group therapy may include the parent. They may invite parents as part of family education groups. Family education groups help parents understand adolescent SUD, learn about effective communication strategies, and understand relapse prevention strategies that will help their child maintain long-term recovery from drug or alcohol abuse.

Group Therapy at Clearfork Academy

At Clearfork Academy, we provide group therapy for addicted teens to address their SUD and co-occurring mental health issues. Our trained and licensed clinicians help teens develop new coping skills, work through family issues, and learn new ways to interact with others. Our group therapy sessions have helped teen participants:

  • Increase social functioning and self-esteem.
  • Help teens understand how their behavior impacts others.
  • Provide a sense of support and community.
  • Provide an opportunity for teens to practice what they learn throughout the treatment program in a safe, supportive setting.
  • Encourage positive behavior changes.

Group therapy can serve as a powerful forum for teenagers struggling with mental health or SUD. At Clearfork Academy, we make every effort to help your teen navigate challenges by providing a holistic approach that focuses on the whole person. Our clinicians specialize in treating adolescents who have SUD and co-occurring mental health issues. Our cutting-edge therapeutic approach, which we have developed over the years, has been used to help boost self-esteem, develop coping skills and enhance social interactions. We have helped hundreds of teens gain coping strategies and become their best selves. If your teen is currently struggling to manage their mental health or SUD, then the time to get help is now. Our admissions staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Help your teen begin the process of healing today. To find out more about our programs, reach out to Clearfork Academy by calling (888) 966-8604.

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What Is Dual Diagnosis or Co-occurring Mean?

What Is Dual Diagnosis or Co-occurring Mean?

One of the most common diagnoses in the mental health field is dual diagnosis. For people who have a substance use disorder, there is a high chance that they have an underlying mental health disorder. 

Teens often use substances for many reasons, and sometimes they use them to cope with symptoms of an underlying mental disorder. If you are a teen or a parent of a teen with a dual diagnosis, you must seek treatment that acknowledges both diagnoses. 

What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

A person with a dual diagnosis has both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. You may also hear clinicians refer to them as co-occurring illnesses or comorbidity. Roughly half of the people with a mental health disorder will have a substance use problem and vice versa. Often there may be a misdiagnosis or one disorder diagnosed before the other. That could be because some symptoms are easier to identify than others, or substance use suppresses certain symptoms that would otherwise be present. 

Both disorders have their own set of symptoms that may often overlap, making it hard to find diagnoses. Both disorders can impair a person’s daily functioning and live a fulfilling life. 

What Causes Co-occurring Illnesses?

All classifications of mental health disorders and substance use disorders can co-occur. Many mental disorders are common with substance use, such as borderline personality disorder, ADHD, and schizophrenia. These mood and anxiety disorders include:

One of the most common causes of a dual diagnosis is that drugs become a coping mechanism. However, using drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism can do more harm than good and turn substance use into addiction

Teens who engage in self-medication through substances will often consume high amounts to reach their desired effect. It can develop a high tolerance and a dependency on the drug to function through uncomfortable symptoms. Regular substance use can also lead to developing additional disorders during adulthood, thus making it much harder to overcome if they do not seek help now. 

Warning Signs of Co-occurring Disorders

Symptoms of mental health disorders and substance use are different for everyone. Self-medication is when a person uses substances to suppress or mask underlying symptoms of another disorder. While substances may cause temporary relief, the relief is short-lived and is not substantial for short or long-term health. You should be on the lookout for a few warning signs if you believe your teen is experiencing co-occurring disorders. These warning signs include: 

  • Partaking in alcohol or drugs in a social setting or when emotional
  • Sudden changes in behaviors
  • Extreme or drastic mood swings
  • Neglecting hygiene and health 
  • Social withdrawal
  • Mentions of suicide or self-harm
  • No self-awareness of behaviors
  • Physical changes
  • Sleep difficulties such as insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Difficulty with concentration or attention
  • Drop-in academic performance

Getting Help for a Dual-Diagnosis

If you or someone you love has a dual diagnosis, it is imperative that you have a treatment plan that addresses and treats both disorders. Sometimes one disorder is diagnosed before the other, and treatment may begin for that illness. Once the second diagnosis happens, your treatment plan needs reevaluation to fit the needs of both disorders. Due to the high use of substances and exacerbated mental health symptoms, seeking professional help is the best route for receiving proper treatment. 

Seek Inpatient Care 

Attending an inpatient treatment center is highly recommended for someone with co-occurring disorders because of the close level of care. When looking for a treatment center, make sure that they treat the specific addiction and mental health disorder in need. 

If you are a teen or have a child going to an addiction treatment facility and believe you may have an underlying mental health condition, make sure to get an evaluation by a pediatric psychiatrist first. Once inpatient services have begun, the detoxification process may begin for those who need it. From there, therapy services, medication, and group activities will begin once the detox and withdrawal process has started. 

Family Involvement

Family involvement is a crucial aspect of teen recovery. It can be hard knowing that your child is experiencing addiction and mental health symptoms, but getting help is their best option for living a healthy and fulfilling life. Make sure to support them as they put the hard work into sobriety and be their support system along the way. 

When deciding on which treatment center will suit your teen, the programs offered must meet all of their needs. If your teen has received a dual diagnosis, they must seek treatment for both disorders. Here at Clearfork Academy, we believe in treating not only addiction but getting to the root cause of our patient’s addiction. We offer a full detox and inpatient treatment option for our clients who need more intensive 24-hour care. We also provide outpatient and therapy services for those who do not require inpatient care. If your teen needs a safe and compassionate addiction and mental health treatment center, the time to get help is today. Our center provides a highly trained staff committed to helping our patients achieve a sober-free lifestyle. Our goal is to assist teenagers in managing their substance and mental health issues and realize their greatest potential. To learn more about our programs, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.

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How to Spot a Depressive Episode in Teens

How to Spot a Depressive Episode in Teens

Depression in adolescents has been on the rise in recent years. Teen depression is a serious condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly by those around them. Teens experience unique life stressors and biological factors that can trigger or put them at risk for developing depression. 

It is important to identify any warning signs that your teen may be experiencing a depressive episode. If you begin to notice a frequency of depressive episodes in your teen, it could indicate that they have a depressive disorder. 

What Is Depression?

Depression is a common mental health disorder that impacts your mood. Depression causes an invasive feeling of sadness and overall loss of interest in once pleasurable activities. It impacts how you think, act, feel, and process the world around you. While depression can occur at any point and time in someone’s life, symptoms may look different in teens than adults.  

Depression continues to rise in the US, especially among teenagers. Many variables contribute to depression, such as academic expectations, family issues, trauma, peer pressure, and changes in the body. 

Types of Depression Common in Teens include:  

  • Major Depression: Major depressive disorder is an intense form of depression that lasts for most days of the week. It completely impacts the life of the person experiencing it. Symptoms must be present every day for at least two weeks to be considered major depression. Teens with major depression may find themselves completely withdrawn from social activities, have a constant feeling of despair and hopelessness, and can find it difficult to keep up with daily hygiene.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder: Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, is a form of low-grade depression. To meet the criteria for dysthymia, your teen must experience a low mood for two years or more, accompanied by two other symptoms of depression.  
  • Bipolar Disorder: People with bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, experience dramatic shifts in moods that can disrupt everyday living. Mood episodes range from mania/hypomania, depression, and mixed states. Manic episodes are extreme highs that often feel euphoric with accompanying symptoms. Depressive episodes are symptoms of major depression. Although not everyone with bipolar disorder experiences mixed episodes, they are periods of experiencing both manic and depressive symptoms simultaneously.    

Signs of a Major Depressive Episode

It can be challenging to spot the difference between the normal ups and downs of a teenager’s mood. There are specific symptoms of depression that can indicate that something is wrong. 

Emotional Changes

  • Crying spells 
  • Intense feeling of sadness
  • Anger or hostility
  • Suicidal ideations or frequent thoughts of death
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Low self-esteem 

Behavioral changes

  • Lethargy or loss of energy
  • Changes in eating habits resulting in weight loss or gain 
  • Poor academic performance
  • Lost of interest or pleasure in things that were once enjoyable
  • Concentration or attention issues
  • Sleep difficulties such as insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Complaining of aches and pains
  • Angry outbursts or aggression
  • Social isolation

If you notice any signs or think that your child may be engaging in self-harm behaviors, seek help immediately. Self-mutilation in regards to depression could include: 

  • Cutting specific body parts such as the wrist or legs 
  • Hitting oneself
  • Burn marks on the body 
  • Banging their head on walls

Suicide shares a relationship with depression. If your teen mentions suicide, do not take this lightly. Contact their pediatrician or local emergency center if they mention a suicide plan or engage in any acts towards going through with it. 

Risk Factors

There are many biological and environmental factors linked to depression, including:

  • Being a victim to any form of abuse such as domestic/physically, verbally, or emotionally
  • Imbalance in brain chemicals 
  • Having other co-occurring mental disorders like anxiety disorder, personality disorder, PTSD, or ADHD
  • Substance use or addiction
  • Traumatic childhoods or experiencing a form of violence 
  • Having a family history of relative’s who experienced or were diagnosed with depression
  • Having a dysfunctional or broken family
  • The loss of a loved one or someone close to them 
  • Unsupportive family members or friends in regards to sexual orientation

 How Can I Help My Teen With Depression?

As a parent, you play a vital role in getting your teen the help they need with depression. Scheduling an appointment with your child’s pediatrician or seeing a pediatric mental health professional is necessary for a proper assessment. They will assess how severe their symptoms are and what type of depression they may have. From their treatment options should be discussed along with resources that can help. Treatment for depression could require antidepressants or antipsychotics for bipolar disorder. Psychotherapy is also one of the most effective treatment options for people and teens with depression. 

Depression is a growing concern in today’s society, especially in teens. Clearfork Academy is an addiction treatment center that specifically care’s for teen boys with substance use and mental health disorders. Adolescents and teens experience different mental health disorders and addiction symptoms than adults. Therefore, they should receive treatment options appropriate to their age. Clearfork offers medical detox and intensive inpatient care, outpatient treatment, and a variety of conventional and holistic therapy options. Depression can often be a silent struggle for many people, especially teens. Waiting too late to reach out for help can have serious consequences that only bring more pain to you and your teen. If your child is struggling with the weight of depression, don’t wait any longer to get help; get help now. To find out more information on how our treatment programs can benefit your teen’s recovery, contact Clearfork Academy today by calling (888) 966-8604. 

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Common Mood Disorders in Teens: Signs and Treatment

Common Mood Disorders in Teens: Signs and Treatment

The teen years entail some of the most mood-related changes a person will experience in life. Whether through the blossoming of hormones, navigating new worlds and people, or childhood trauma, the mood is an ever-changing phenomenon for teens. 

Some young people may experience extreme fluctuations in their mood, which can raise a flag that professional help is needed. Mood disorders can happen at any age yet are challenging to diagnose in teens. 

What causes mood disorders in teens?

Mood disorders are a form of mental health illness that clinicians use to describe depression and bipolar disorder. Mood disorders affect a person’s emotional state, where they can experience extremes in moods such as happiness, sadness, or both. There is no known specific cause of what leads to having a mood disorder; instead, professionals believe that it is a combination of factors. Risk factors include:

  • Brain structure and chemical imbalances 
  • Family history
  • Trauma, major life changes, or stressors
  • Physical illness or use of medications
  • Developmental, learning, or conduct disorders

Types of Mood disorders

Although mood disorders describe a range of illnesses between bipolar disorder and depression, they all have their unique features. 

Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression or unipolar depression, is characterized by persistent sadness. It is not related to the occasional low mood or depression that most people may experience in their life. Major depression severely disrupts a person’s daily functioning, such as lack of hygiene, sleep patterns, neglecting responsibilities, and loss of pleasure in activities. 

Bipolar Disorder 

Formerly known as manic-depression, bipolar disorder consists of extreme mood swings between episodes of mania/hypomania and depression. To receive a diagnosis for bipolar disorder, the person must show symptoms that meet the criteria for mania or depression. 

There are different forms of bipolar disorder: Type I, Type II, cyclothymia, rapid-cycling, and unspecified. Some people with bipolar disorder experience mixed episodes, characterized by experiencing both manic and depressive symptoms. 

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Persistent depressive disorder, or dysthymia, is a form of mild to moderate depression that is long-term. It involves experiencing a low or dark mood for most of the day, and for teens, these symptoms must occur for two years or more. Symptoms of dysthymia are similar to depression but are experienced at a less intense level.  

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a serious condition that affects young girls and women of child-bearing age in the weeks before their period. People with PMDD experience a spike in hormones before their period starts which their body becomes extra sensitive to and goes away when it starts. Symptoms include depressed or low moods, crying spells, mood swings, irritability or anger, and other physical symptoms such as cramps and body aches. 

Symptoms of Mood Disorders

Anyone of any race, gender, or age can develop and find a diagnosis for a mood disorder. However, symptoms in children don’t always look the same as adults – which can make finding a diagnosis in adolescents trickier. Symptoms include: 

  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Low-self esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideations
  • Loss of interest in daily activities 
  • Anhedonia or the loss of pleasure
  • Self-harm
  • Sleep difficulties such as insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Attention or concentration difficulties
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Physical complaints or pain
  • Sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Outbursts or hostility 

Diagnosis and Treatment for Teens

Proper diagnosis and treatment for a mood disorder require a professional assessment from your child’s pediatrician or a pediatric mental health physician. Their doctor may first try to rule out physiological causes such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies that may cause symptoms. 

Diagnosis for mental health disorders requires a comprehensive exam conducted by a psychiatrist. Your child’s pediatrician will ask your teen a long series of questions that examine their mood, behavior, and other possible indications of symptoms. 

Treatment for teens will look specific to their individual needs and their age. The best option for receiving the right care is talking to their pediatric physician and developing a treatment plan. Some teens may need medications such as mood stabilizers or antidepressants to help balance brain chemicals. 

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is one of the most used forms of treatment as it has proven effective for most mental health disorders. For teen treatment, family involvement through family therapy is important because that is one of the major relationships in a teen’s life. During therapy, you and your family will work on ways to best support your child and help heal any wounds or trauma that may be causing behaviors.

Clearfork Academy provides safe and supportive treatment programs for teen boys with addiction and mental health problems. Often, substance use disorders share a connection with other mental health disorders that need addressing in order to recover fully. We offer the opportunity for your teen to take the first step towards sobriety through our medical detox program. We also guide them through different forms of therapy. Family involvement is essential to teen recovery and we incorporate family therapy in our teen’s treatment when desired. For both addiction and mental disorders, time is a crucial component for reaching a better quality of life. Symptoms can worsen over time and can potentially become treatment-resistant. Don’t wait until it is too late to help you or your teen get the needed and necessary help. Call Clearfork Academy at (888) 966-8604 today to get started on the steps towards living a healthy and sober lifestyle. 

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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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Going Back to School After Addiction Treatment

Going Back to School After Addiction Treatment

Returning to school following addiction treatment can be jarring. Certainly, you are a different person than you were upon entering treatment, but your peers might not understand this, and that can be intimidating. However, with the right support in place, returning to school doesn’t have to be such a scary thought. View it as a fresh start towards achieving your goals, improving your academic performance, and the opportunity to meet new people.

Here’s what you can do to go back to school with confidence:

Address Your Fears

Addiction causes people to act and behave in ways that damage themselves and others. It could cause you to hang around the wrong people, experience traumatic situations, and it can cause you to lose focus on your academic goals. Certainly, admitting you have a substance use disorder takes courage. Doing so could make you feel like an outsider; it could also make you feel like you betrayed the peers that used substances with you.

There is no shame in admitting you are a little fearful of returning to school. Try to think about all the hard work you put into returning to everyday life. Think about how life is better now that you are sober, and think about how you are no longer the person you were when you used substances.

The beautiful part of graduating from recovery is that you have the chance to start fresh, and sometimes adjusting back to every day takes a little planning.

Have an Aftercare Plan

After your recovery program graduation, you still have options for aftercare programs to support your transition back into the real world. Aftercare provides a plan for what to do after treatment to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. You and your therapist can work together to create an aftercare plan. The plan can include:

  • A list of people to contact that can help you after treatment, including family, friends, professionals, and peers
  • Coping strategies you can use to face cravings
  • Programs you can participate in that offer continuing care

Staying successful in school will be an important part of your aftercare plan, too. You and your therapist should incorporate into your plan resources and strategies that will help support you academically. Some of these resources and strategies might include:

  • Having a list of your school’s guidance counselors and health service providers
  • Creating a mental health team specific to your needs
  • Meeting with your therapist regularly to talk about your triggers and how to avoid them
  • Having a relapse prevention plan
  • Finding local support through community support groups or other activities

Recovery Continues After Treatment

Returning to school is just a new step in your recovery process. It may feel like you are stepping back into an environment that will lead to drug use. However, after treatment, you will look at school with a new perspective. The first step to returning could include speaking with your teachers to restore your relationship with them. Ask about what you need to do to catch up with assignments?

The lifestyle change required after treatment also includes making adjustments at school. It’s time to have those hard conversations with old friends about who you are now that you are sober. You may have to consider ending the friendship so you can focus on recovery.

Alternatively, you can form new friendships that aren’t potential triggers for relapse that support your sobriety. Finally, once you get acclimated into school and balance your new sober lifestyle, don’t be afraid to get involved in new hobbies or sports.

Create A Routine

After leaving treatment, everyday life might feel foreign to you. Creating a routine to help you get back into the swing of things can help the transition feel less overwhelming. Classes typically start around the same time every day, so go ahead and set your schedule around this. A schedule will help you plan what to do with your time before and after class. Consider the things you do in the morning that can help you start your days off on a positive note.

After school, take time to time study and practice self-care. While taking care of your responsibilities should be a priority, making sure you are nourishing your mental and physical needs, too. After you study, get into the routine of doing something nice for yourself that helps you relax, such as reading, taking a hot bath, or exercising. Remember, stress can be one of the biggest triggers for relapse, so having self-care options can help prevent that.

Returning to school can be a rewarding experience when you have the right tools to help you succeed. Before you go back, dedicate some time with your mental health professionals and treatment staff towards making an aftercare plan. Don’t be afraid to reach out and lean on the people who have supported you during your recovery. They still want to see you succeed even after completing intensive treatment. At Clearfork Academy, we recognize the importance and challenges of returning to school following recovery. Our program combines a structured therapeutic atmosphere with the academic lifestyle necessary for teen development. We also partner with the University of Texas Charter School to offer classes that allow teens who manage sobriety to maintain school work. If your child struggles to manage sobriety and academics, get help today. To learn more about our programs and how they can meet your teen’s needs, reach out to Call Clearfork Academy by calling (888) 966-8604

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How to Spot Alcohol or Drug Activity?

Mother embracing her teen daughter to comfort her

Parents play a huge role in the lives of their children. They know their kids better than anyone else and are on hand to notice when something isn’t right. That’s why every parent needs to be aware of the signs to look out for regarding alcohol or drug abuse in teens.

Here are some ways to spot alcohol or drug use to help your teen stay safe and healthy.

How to Detect Alcohol or Drug Activity

Alcohol or drug use can be challenging to detect. However, there are some tell-tale signs that your teen is struggling with substance abuse. One of the best ways to detect alcohol or drug use in teens is to look at their space, including their room and postings on social media. Their activity on social media may tell you about your teen’s problems.

Another way to detect alcohol or drug use is to monitor your teen’s behavior. If your teen has sudden mood swings, seems more withdrawn, and starts hanging out with people they don’t usually hang out with, these are all indicators that something might be wrong.

Communicate With Your Child

You and your teen need to establish an open dialogue about subjects like drugs and alcohol. Listen to your child and withhold judgment when they speak. Doing so will build trust and help your child understand that you support them.

Together, you and your child can address what is bothering them and find ways to help manage the symptoms they are experiencing. You should consider seeking professional care to provide additional methods to help your child overcome the challenges of school and life that may trigger them to use substances.

Tell-Tale Signs of Drug Use or Consumption of Alcohol

The effects of alcohol and drugs vary depending on the person and how often they use them. It’s not always easy to spot a person using these substances because some don’t show outward signs. Some of the most common symptoms include changes in behavior, appearance, and emotions. The following list highlights the tell-tale signs:

Mental Health Related Signs of Substance Use:

  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue and decreased motivation
  • Increased paranoia and hallucinations caused by high doses and intense periods of substance use
  • Have difficulty focusing on the tasks at hand
  • Exhibit antisocial behavior such as aggression or increased impulsiveness
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Suspiciousness of others, including you as a parent
  • Inability to focus or concentrate a decrease in short-term memory

Physical Signs of Substance Use:

  • Constant bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils (than usual)
  • Rubbing the nose frequently because of a continuously running or irritable nose
  • Redness of the skin around the mouth
  • A lack of coordination with movement due to impaired brain function
  • Dilated nostrils or mouth due to snorting or inhalation
  • An odor, like alcohol,  on the breath or clothes
  • Decrease in appetite with consequent weight loss over time
  • Track marks on arms or legs from intravenous drug use
  • Needles and syringes are lying around
  • Small baggies with white powder lying around their stuff
  • Withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, agitation)
  • There are more scabs or bruises from picking at skin compulsively (common among people who abuse stimulants)

Behavioral Signs of Substance Use:

  • A sudden change in friends or hanging out with a new crowd
  • Anger issues such as rage attacks (breaking things)
  • Exhibit antisocial behavior such as aggression or increased impulsiveness
  • New or more significant secretive behavior
  • Sudden changes in grades
  • Staying out late, withdrawing from the family, or wanting to isolate
  • Problems with the law, such as frequent run-ins with police
  • Stealing objects in the house that they can sell or asking you for money
  • Vague responses when asked what’s wrong or how they feel; their answer is always “fine” or “good”
  • Lack of motivation or interest in activities once enjoyed by the individual
  • Increased absenteeism from school or extracurricular activities

If you see any of these signs in your teen, it’s essential to talk to them and get them help.

How to Help Your Teen?

Parents can help their teens recover from drugs with treatment, including counseling, drug education, medication, and family therapy. Parents can also provide support by participating in their child’s recovery process via counseling and by continuing to strengthen the lines of communication. The more resources for help you provide your child, the better chance they have at a successful recovery.

At Clearfork Academy, our treatment programs involve therapy, holistic services, education on relapse prevention, and peer support to reduce the urge for substance use.

If you find yourself questioning whether your teen is drinking or doing drugs, take action. Talk with them, educate yourself about substance use, and get them the help they need. At Clearfork Academy, we encourage and help parents lookout for any signs of alcohol or drugs. Our programs help educate parents and teens about substance use. Having an understanding of substance use will also allow parents, teens, and health professionals with diagnosis and find appropriate treatment. We provide evidence-based treatments, various therapeutic options, and holistic services that serve your teen’s recovery goals. Our goal is to help your teen overcome substance use and establish the confidence necessary to live life to its fullest potential. Stop your teen’s struggles with substance use from worsening by contacting our specialists at Clearfork Academy. Our admissions are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn more about our programs, contact us today by calling (888) 966-8604.

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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

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5 Ways to Regain Your Parents Trust

5 Ways to Regain Your Parents Trust

The weight of addiction can cause you to break promises, neglect loved ones, and isolate yourself. A crucial element to sustaining lasting recovery requires repairing relationships damaged by active substance use.

How SUD Breaks Trust

Addiction does not only affect you; it affects your family, too. For most teens, substance use is generally not allowed by parents. Parents may create rules to prevent substances from entering the household or prevent their children from being around peers who use substances. Despite having parents who have strict rules surrounding substances, you may use substances and hide your habits from your parents. You might hide your substance use and sneak off to places where you can use substances as a way to avoid your parents finding out. Or, you might sneak substances into the house as a way of rebelling against the boundaries and rules set by your parents.

Ultimately, when you repeatedly betray the trust between you and your parents, it will take a lot of effort to restore the relationship. Here are five practices you can utilize to help you regain your parents’ trust:

1. Be Open and Communicate

Lack of communication between you and your parents is sure to deteriorate trust within the relationship. However, when you work with a therapist, you will learn to develop healthy communication skills. Once you and your parents acknowledge that you would like to repair your relationship, ask them what you can do to regain their trust? Doing this shows that you care about repairing the relationship and are willing to listen to them.

Open communication means speaking up when you feel like expectations are too much to achieve. Even after recovery, you are still learning to navigate a sober lifestyle without professional guidance. You may make mistakes, and it will also take time for you to adjust. When you feel like your parents are too demanding, voice your concerns and let them know that it might be much for you to live up to at the moment.

2. Show Through Your Actions

The saying “actions speak louder than words” is true. Certainly, you can promise not to miss curfew or pick up a bottle of alcohol again, but until you see through that promise, it is unlikely that you will have the trust of your parents. The best way to prove that you have changed and are working towards getting their trust again is through changed action.

3. Be Patient

Forming relationships takes time; therefore, it will take time to repair them. Your parents support you and should support the recovery process. You and your parents should understand that recovery is about starting over and forming new bonds. It is crucial during this process to remember that repairing relationships is part of the process and will take time. You have to be patient. Not only do you have to be patient with them, but you also have to be patient with yourself. Your parents must also be patient.

Long-term sobriety is a difficult but worthwhile process that will require you to be cautious of how you treat yourself, how you treat others and how others treat you. Patience is the crux to achieving this kind of trust in your relationship.

4. Have Accountability

Substance use can cause you to blame your actions on others instead of taking accountability for your actions. For example, you might blame your substance use on the friends you hang around with because they use it.

Taking Accountability for your actions and mistakes is a key component to showing the change in your behaviors and self-awareness. Accountability also allows you to think before your act. Taking responsibility and thinking before you act will help you look inward and better understand yourself and your situation. Over time you will develop the resilience to overcome impulses and triggers and endure challenging situations.

5. Stay Consistent

Mistakes are bound to happen in life, and they will definitely occur during the journey to recovery. You may even have a few slip-ups here and there; however, focus on staying as consistent as possible. If your parents set a curfew that you one day find you may be late for, go ahead and let them know rather than avoid not telling them. Behavior like this allows your parents to know that you still are respectful about their role. If you know that you may slip up, address these thoughts through open communication. Remember to be consistent, and you will improve your relationships.

Substance use can diminish the trust between teens and parents. With hard work and commitment, restoring trust is possible. Restoring trust between teens and their parents requires help from mental health professionals and substance counselors who specialize in treating mental health and substance use disorders. Clearfork Academy understands the importance of the parent-child relationship when it comes to recovery. We offer various group, family, and individual treatment options to help teens develop the skills necessary to restore relationships with friends, family, and themselves. We also provide a comfortable space for teens to connect with healthy activities that speak to their needs. Your teen has a bright future waiting for them, so don’t wait any longer to get help, take action today. Our staff is here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn more about our treatment options and how to get started on the recovery process call Clearfork Academy at (888) 966-8604

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What Is an Effective Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Teens?

Mental health and addiction

The number of adolescents diagnosed with mental health disorders and addiction is increasing. Dual diagnosis treatment is an effective way to help teens address mental health issues and substance use disorders (SUD). This comprehensive guide will help you learn how to identify your teen’s symptoms, what treatments are available, and effective dual diagnosis programs.

The Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis in Teens

The symptoms of dual diagnosis in teens can vary depending on the type and severity. Some common signs include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Trouble concentrating

In addition to this list, other possible symptoms may present themselves, such as:

  • Increased drug use
  • Withdrawal from friends and family members
  • An inability to maintain healthy relationships with those around them
  • Self-harm behaviors such as cutting or scratching oneself
  • Suicide attempts or suicidal ideation
  • Your teen’s grades have been dropping off
  • Their work performance has become erratic

Common Co-Occurring Mental Disorders

The prevalence of co-occurring mental disorders and SUD among teens is becoming problematic. Over 17 percent of young people have an emotional, mental, or behavioral disorder. The most commonly diagnosed conditions are substance abuse, followed closely by anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. The risk for co-occurring mental disorders increases significantly if an individual experiences trauma or neglect during childhood. The most common co-occurring mental illness with a SUD are:

  • Bipolar Disorder: One of the most common mental disorders among adolescents is bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder causes emotional highs and lows. Some may experience symptoms related to mania or hypomania, including increased energy levels.
  • Depressive Disorders: Young people with depressive disorders may experience hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, and guilt. These feelings may lead to an obsession with self-harm. Depression makes it difficult for individuals to function.
  • Anxiety Disorders: This condition is the most common mental disorder in children and adolescents. Symptoms of anxiety disorders can include panic attacks, fear of social rejection, and chronic worrying. Anxiety disorders commonly co-occur with other mental health issues like depression, substance use disorder, or eating disorders.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):  OCD can cause teens to spend hours on activities that will bring them relief from their symptoms. However, it’s not as common as other anxiety disorders.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD develops after a person experiences a traumatic event, such as abuse, neglect, or witnessing violence. Symptoms of PTSD include anxiety and flashbacks.

Treating a Dual Diagnosis

Teenagers with mental health issues can improve their health by seeking a qualified professional who can provide treatment options. As with all mental health conditions, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Treatment for dual diagnosis requires mental health treatment like counseling or therapy and substance use treatment like detoxification or addiction rehabilitation. Some common treatments include:

  • Intensive Inpatient treatment: Treatment at residential facilities or psychiatric hospitals provides the best option for teens with serious mental and addiction disorders. It provides care that effectively addresses both disorders. In an intensive program, teens will live onsite at a facility that has 24-hour professional support. Teens also receive individualized therapy and medication as needed. Another benefit of intensive inpatient treatment is that it provides daily structure.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):  CBT helps teens recognize negative thoughts and emotions that may trigger a relapse. This type of therapy can help teens build their self-esteem, improve their moods and feelings of shame. When CBT combines with dual diagnosis treatment, the effects are more impactful. This kind of treatment gives teens the tools to make positive life changes.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy: DBT is particularly effective for teens struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, or borderline personality disorder. DBT focuses on teaching teens how to effectively recognize and manage their emotions to improve their behaviors.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a popular and effective therapy for treating trauma. EMDR helps alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and trauma. EMDR therapists guide the patient through bilateral stimulation using eye movements over some sessions. The treatment helps the teen process traumatic events and any trauma-related memories.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs): IOPs are a treatment that aims to help teens with SUD and mental health disorders. They provide adolescents with the ability to have treatment in an outpatient setting while still pursuing other commitments. It allows adolescents to work with counselors, psychiatrists, therapists, and other specialists with more flexibility. It also includes group therapy as well as individual sessions. IOPs work in a way where your teen can practice or attend treatment on their time. IOPs generally do not last as long as residential treatment.

Co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders affect many teens across the US. Therefore, dual diagnosis treatment is vital. Dual diagnosis programs provide appropriate ways to treat teens’ co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. At Clearfork Academy, we utilize a comprehensive approach that addresses the needs of teens with a dual diagnosis. Such programs allow teens to heal from their struggles. We accomplish this by designing a comprehensive treatment plan to help teens manage symptoms and develop healthy coping skills. Our treatment includes therapy, familial support, medication management, and intensive treatment at an inpatient psychiatric hospital or residential facility. While finding the right help for a dual diagnosis can be difficult, there is help for you and your teen. If your teen has been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, the time to get help is today. To learn more about our treatment programs, reach out to us today by calling (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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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

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Understanding Self-Harm: A Guide for Parents

Understanding Self Harm - A Guide for Parents

Teenage and young adult years are often when self-harm behaviors develop. Mental health challenges, navigating emotions, and environment each contribute to such behavior. It can be disheartening and painful to find out that your child is inflicting harm upon themselves.

If you are concerned that your child is engaging in self-harm, there are a few things that you should understand that will guide you to take the proper steps towards helping your child.

What Is Self Harm?

Self-harm is the act of a person intentionally causing physical damage to their body. Self-harm is not an illness but a maladaptive coping mechanism for an individual with emotional distress. Mental disorders such as depression, body dysmorphia, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder can co-exist with self-harm.

During the adolescent years, many stressors can weigh on your child. Teens typically deal with stress from school, family issues, peer relationships, and hormonal changes. Upon graduation, teens come closer to the reality of having to figure out their next step after high school.

Why Do Teens Self-Harm?

There are many different reasons teens may harm themselves, and there is no discrimination across race, socioeconomic status, or culture. As a parent, you may ask yourself why teens want to harm themselves? Although every child has their reasons, here are a few of the most common:

  • They want to bring punishment to themselves
  • To show a sign of needing help
  • Bring a feeling of something other than numbness, even if it is a pain
  • Have control over one’s body
  • Release intense feeling

Risk factors that can serve as potential engagement in self-harm include:

  • Children abused or have intense trauma
  • Low-self esteem
  • Bullying
  • Mental health issues
  • Substance use

Self-harm is not always a sign that your teen intends to kill themselves. Non-suicidal self-injury is deliberately inflicting physical damage to one’s own body without the intention of suicide. It is important to note that although self-harm is not always a sign of wanting to commit suicide, those who do engage in self-harm are at a higher risk for suicide. For most individuals, it is a way to bring physical pain reflective of their emotional pain.

Warning Signs

People who self-injure are often discrete and have specific ways of hiding their scars or injuries. The most common areas of the body that people tend to self-harm are the arms, wrist, legs, and torso. Teens may wear specific clothing to hide scars, such as wearing long-sleeve shirts to cover their arms. Other warning signs include:

  • Burn or cut marks that are consistent on specific areas of the body
  • Bruises from head banging or self-hitting
  • Their peers or friends engage in self-harm behaviors
  • Finding sharp objects in their possession
  • Explosive anger that leads to them taking it out on themselves
  • Mood changes
  • Making excuses to explain visible injuries

Individuals may have a specific preference for how they prefer to self-injure. If you notice any unusual behaviors displayed by your teen that cause concern for self-harm, know that there are treatment options available.

Treatment Options

If you are worried or know that your child is self-harming, it is important to take the appropriate measures toward getting the right help for your child. Try not to be judgmental or overly critical of their behaviors. Self-harm is a sign that the child is in pain or emotionally stressed. Addressing the situation with empathy will help your child feel comfortable opening up to you. Some treatment options include:

  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is used to help individuals work through and verbalize their feelings and emotions. It can help identify what triggers them to self-harm and identify any underlying conditions that may influence their behavior. The therapist will also help by teaching healthy coping skills, developing self-esteem and problem-solving skills.
  • Intensive Treatment: If the self-injurious behaviors are more severe and appear to be frequent, your teen may require an intensive form of treatment. Short-term hospitalization or psychiatric care provides a safe and professional care setting to help monitor and treat your teen. If your child has an underlying mental health disorder, inpatient treatment will help find an appropriate medication.
  • Support Groups: Talking to others who share similar experiences offers your child a sense of connection and relatability. Support groups provide the opportunity to hear other techniques that people use, and it opens up the space to verbalize and communicate feelings to other people. Continuing to build strong support systems will reassure you and your child that they always have help in times of challenge.

Seeing your child bring harm to themselves can be a painful reality, and you shouldn’t have to face this challenging circumstance alone. At Clearfork Academy, our qualified staff offers a measured and empathetic approach to helping teens recover from substance abuse and mental health disorders. We accomplish this by offering individual therapy that allows your teen to identify the pain related to their substance use and impulse to use self-injurious behaviors. As we work with your teen to identify their feelings, we teach them healthy coping skills to use in times of distress. Remember, teenagers experience stress unique to them, and such stress can weigh heavily on them and lead them to find unhealthy ways to cope. Please don’t wait until it’s too late to seek help for your child. To learn more about our programs and how they can benefit your teen’s recovery process, Call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.  

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How Can You Help Teens Struggling With a Parent’s Divorce?

Parents help their teens through a divorce

Divorce is hard, especially for children. Teens often face many negative consequences following their parent’s divorce, including loss of identity, emotional turmoil, and difficulties in future relationships. Yet, parental guidance and support can make all the difference during this period.

Here are some ways parents can help their teens feel better after a divorce.

Teens and Addiction Risks

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) define trauma as “an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that an individual experiences as physically, emotionally harmful or life-threatening. Trauma has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.” Most youths experience their parents’ divorce as a trauma. Notably, teens who experience trauma are more susceptible to turning to substances.

Subsequently, we suggest that parents pay attention to any signs of their teen struggling to handle the divorce and other related changes in their lives. Some divorce-related changes include:

  • Moving and selling of their childhood home
  • Changing schools
  • Having to make new friends because of moving
  • Division of time between parents
  • Schedule changes that negatively impact their time with friends or extracurricular activities

Such significant changes resulting from childhood trauma can impact their mental, emotional, and physical health. Though SUD is a complex condition, data shows a strong link between trauma and developing addictions.

How Does Divorce Affect Teens?

The effect of divorce on teens is complex and varies from person to person. However, it impacts youth emotionally, relationally, and mentally including:

  • Fearing the Future: Following their parent’s divorce, teenagers might feel like nothing will ever work out for them or their family again.
  • Disappointment: Teens might feel disappointed with themselves or their parents because of poor communication and past interactions with their parents.
  • Lack of Self-worth: They might also have difficulty believing that they’re worthy of love and happiness, especially if they blame themselves for the parent’s divorce.
  • Lack of Identity: Teens need a strong sense of self to develop confidence and self-esteem. When they lose that identity, it can create confusion and doubt.
  • Emotional Turmoil: Divorce can be an overwhelming experience for teens, especially when figuring out their own emotions and how to deal with challenges. Your teen might find themselves going through cycles of sadness, anger, and even depression as they try to cope with the changes happening in their life.
  • Difficulty Forming Relationships: Divorce can make it difficult for them to develop healthy relationships in the future. They might not feel ready to put themselves out there because they still feel vulnerable.

Despite these consequences, there are ways for parents to improve the odds and conditions for their children.

Help Your Teen Feel Better

Though challenging for all involved, you can find powerful options to make the best out of this situation for your children. Some options include:

  • Being Emotionally Supportive: You can’t fix your teen’s feelings after a divorce, but you can help them accept the situation. Take time to listen, empathize, and talk through their feelings. We also suggest spending more time with your teen, guiding them to make healthy choices in food and lifestyle, and offering emotional support.
  • Improving Their Social Life: Most teens consider extracurricular activities meaningful and a place of belonging. Such activities serve as outlets to release stress and emotions. We suggest parents look for activities that might help their teens feel better about themselves, such as volunteering or joining extracurricular activities like sports, art lessons, or church youth groups.
  • Seek Counseling: If your teen is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, they may need professional counseling or psychiatric help from a mental health professional. Treatment centers, such as Clearfork Academy, specialize in helping teens with post-divorce trauma.
  • School Support: You can also work with your teen’s school counselor, teachers, or social worker to ensure they’re getting the care they need.
  • Create Familiarity: Make sure your teen has comfortable and familiar places in your home that lend support and security. It’s essential for them to feel like they have a “home” where they can relax after a tough day.
  • Seek Input: When possible, involve your teen’s decisions regarding specific life changes. Consider holding discussions with them before and after you make your final decisions. Doing this will let them know what’s going on in their life.
  • Therapy: Consider individual or family therapy for your teen. Family therapy helps teens struggling with any number of personal or familial issues, including anxiety, depression, anger management, and learning coping skills. Evidence-based treatments like CBT also provide comprehensive support for your teen.

Divorce is one of the most challenging decisions a person can make. The emotional and psychological impacts can be devastating to a teen’s emotional well-being. However, there are ways for teens to cope with divorce. To start, consider family therapy, acknowledge their feelings, and create a safe space for them. At Clearfork Academy, we utilize comprehensive treatments to help parents and teenagers resolve teen trauma or divorce-related behavioral issues. We also provide the space where teens can discuss their feelings and receive support from professionals, family, friends, and peers. Our goal is to address and treat any underlying mental health and substance use disorders, including co-occurring disorders. If your child is currently in need of professional support, don’t wait; get help today. Our admissions staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To find out more about our programs, contact Clearfork Academy today by calling (888) 966-8604.

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How to Help Teens Abusing ADHD Medications?

How to Help Teens Abusing ADHD Medications?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological condition that affects concentration, focus, and impulse. It can cause problems with self-control in both children and adolescents. ADHD could also interfere with teens’ education performance and social relationships because of impulsivity issues.

While medication can help, some teens develop an addiction to these medications. Therefore, understanding the addictive process and medication management can prevent teenagers from developing a substance use disorder (SUD).

What Is ADHD, and How Does It Relate to Addiction?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects approximately 10 percent of children in the United States. ADHD creates hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention among those with this disorder. Further, ADHD develops more frequently in males than females.

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, it’s important to remember that this disorder is not a “moral or character flaw” or a sign of weakness. Successful treatment exists to help improve your child’s quality of life.

Effective treatments for ADHD include:

  • Medications
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Educational interventions such as tutoring

Many children outgrow the symptoms and learn how to cope with them as they get older, but for some kids, treatment may need to continue into adulthood for them to live up to their full potential.

Developing a Substance Use Disorder

Youth with ADHD experience an increased risk for addiction and other psychiatric issues such as anxiety or depression.

ADHD can also lead to addiction because of the following:

  • Inability to regulate themselves during periods of high-stress levels.
  • The inability of individuals with ADHD to regulate their emotions or moods leads them to self-destructive behavior.
  • Have a hard time resisting impulses, which leads them toward risky behaviors like substance use and gambling.
  • Struggle with impulsiveness or lack of self-control when faced with temptation or stressors.
  • Difficulty in delaying gratification or resisting temptation.
  • Impulsiveness leads to a lack of self-control over one’s actions.

The Ramifications of Teens Developing an ADHD Medication Dependency

Teens use the stimulant medications that have been prescribed to them for their ADHD to get high. Stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin are used as a “study drug” by students who need help staying focused on studying or cramming for tests.

How Do ADHD Medications Work?

ADHD medications work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, and these drugs can provide a sense of motivation that increases their focus and ability to complete tasks. Once teens feel like they need more and more of their ADHD medication to keep these good feelings, they become dependent on their ADHD medications to get by and feel good. As such, some teens may take more than prescribed to maintain the effects of the stimulation.

Other activities or therapies cease to work unless they receive proper treatment for this SUD. We recommend that parents monitor their child’s intake of ADHD medication. Such precaution will reduce the likelihood of their teen abusing prescription medicines and become mindful about what activities their teen might be engaging in while using these substances.

Signs That a Teen Is Addicted to ADHD Medication

The first signs of a SUD might involve teens spending too much time on their medication, missing activities they once enjoyed and needing to use substances more frequently.

Further symptoms include:

  • Legal Trouble: Teens may get into trouble with the law if they take their medications “too much” or share them with others. Teenagers who misuse ADHD drugs could get into fights or participate in criminal behavior.
  • Depression: Many teens report feeling depressed when they abuse their ADHD medication. It can happen because the drug changes brain chemistry and can reduce dopamine levels in the brain.
  • Other Substance Use: There is a chance that teens abusing their ADHD medication will start using other substances like alcohol or marijuana. Such behavior could lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

How Can You Help?

At Clearfork Academy, we recommend talking to your child about the dangers of using ADHD medications from the get-go. If you notice any changes, it’s essential to speak with your child’s doctor to determine whether the medicine should be changed or stopped. Early intervention can also prevent co-occurring disorders from developing.

It is essential to encourage your child to seek professional help when struggling with addiction. Educational counseling and therapy are incredibly beneficial for learning how to manage ADHD without relying on meds. A reputable treatment center like Clearfork Academy will offer these options in a structured plan.

ADHD is a condition that affects a person’s ability to focus and control impulses. If not appropriately managed, teenagers can develop a dependency on the medications prescribed for their ADHD. At Clearfork Academy, we can help you and your teen learn ways to manage their ADHD and medication before developing a dependence. We offer a variety of treatment programs and therapies to address the needs and challenges specific to teens. Our treatments and therapies include residential care, outpatient therapy sessions, group counseling sessions, and individualized care. With us, teenagers will attain the skills necessary to develop the confidence and resiliency needed to manage their mental health and substance use disorders. After treatment, we also remain a point of support to ensure your teen always has access to help. If your teenager is currently struggling to manage their ADHD and is developing a dependency on medication, it is time to get help. Find out more by calling (888) 966-8604

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Reasons for Teens to Start Treatment During Winter Break

Reasons for Teens to Start Treatment During Winter Break

Winter break is a time away from school for teens. With the excitement surrounding the holidays and being free from academic obligations, this break may mean something different for teens with mental health and substance use disorders.

An abundance can mean two things for teens dealing with mental illnesses or substance abuse. It can either mean more time to continue self-destructive behaviors or deal with untreated symptoms. Or, it might mean putting off treatment. However, the advantages of starting treatment during winter break help teens start the New Year off on the right track and regain control of their life. 

Advantages of Starting Treatment During Winter Break

#1. No distractions. Winter break offers an ample amount of free time for your teens. Since school will be out, their academics won’t be in the way of their schedule. They won’t have any school obligations that need to come first, nor will their peers be around to distract them. 

#2. Supervision. Leaving your teen unsupervised with lots of idle time can be a recipe for disaster. While teens need their freedom and space to be themselves, they also require supervision and close guidance. For teens with substance use, free time without adults is typically the perfect opportunity to use. They can hang out with their friends or other people that influence their drug use. 

#3. Insurance. At the beginning of the year, most insurance plans reset their out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles. If you have already met those maximums, your insurance may go ahead and cover the rest of the cost for your treatment. Treatment services can often be very expensive for families, which is why using all the opportunities to lower the cost is important. 

#4. Winter break can trigger other problems. The holidays and colder weather can trigger other symptoms like depression or anxiety. Seasonal affective disorder, also referred to as the winter blues, is most commonly triggered by the approach of the colder season and the holidays associated with it. The best way to prevent your teen from entering this form of depression is to get treatment for it before the time rolls around. 

#5. New year, fresh start. One of the biggest aspects of recovery is unlearning all of the unhealthy habits that lead to substance abuse in the first place. As your teen goes through the treatment process, they will be taught new coping strategies and learn healthier habits to carry with them for the rest of their lives. 

The Harm of Waiting Too Long to Seek Treatment

In the same way, there are benefits to starting treatment during winter break; you should not wait too long to get help.

Symptoms Can Worsen Over Time 

Addiction is such a complex disease because it can ultimately gain control of a person’s overall well-being. As use gradually increases, the body, mind, and spirit begin to suffer at the hands of the substance. Drugs and alcohol also have a major effect on the brain. With increased use, parts of the brain begin to change, resulting in long-term damages. 

For many mental illnesses, symptoms can also worsen over time. With more aggressive illnesses like bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder, getting evaluated and potentially starting medication should be done as soon as possible to prevent worsening of psychosis symptoms. It is what makes getting treatment for your teen’s illness at the right time so crucial.

Self-Harm or Suicidal Thoughts May Increase 

Self-harm or suicidal thoughts are more common in mental disorders and substance abuse than people know. Many people who abuse substances have co-occurring disorders due to coping with one disorder by using drugs. Disorders like depression often create unusual thinking patterns that involve harming oneself or ending their life. For teens, suicidal ideations and self-harm tend to be higher at their age. With the help of therapy and medication, these symptoms and thoughts can be relieved. If you notice any form of self-harm or your teen mentions suicide, you must get help right away.

Continued Damage to Relationships and Life 

Addiction is an aggressive disease. It causes people who use the drug to grow dependent on it, causing a need for higher drug levels and more frequent use. The cravings can grow so intense that your teen can start to neglect daily responsibilities and relationships over the need to get intoxicated or high. The need to be under the influence becomes a priority over grades, work, friendships, and other activities that were once important to your teen. 

A part of addiction treatment is repairing relationships and other areas of life affected by your teen’s substance use. Waiting too late to get help can cause your teen’s substance use to increase to the point that their world strictly revolves around drugs and alcohol. 

If your teen is currently dealing with substance abuse or a mental illness, know that the sooner they get help, the sooner they can get relief. Often teens become very good at hiding their pain and symptoms, causing them to use any time alone as a way to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Our goal at Clearfork Academy is to help male teens form a healthy identity and discover who they are without the need for substances. We serve as a recovery center for substance abuse, mental health disorders, and any co-occurring issues. Through our inpatient and outpatient services and our belief in the power of Christ, your teen can turn their lives around. Your teen needs the best opportunity for recovery, and Clearfork Academy is that opportunity. Therefore, if you are currently in search of a safe, secure, and caring treatment facility, contact us today by calling at (888) 966-8604

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5 Dangers of Vaping

Is vaping dangerous? Should parents encourage their teens to quit vaping during or after recovery? The standard argument against this is that vaping “isn’t as bad” as cigarettes, marijuana, or worse. And while this is technically true, it’s also not good for your child either. We’re here to discuss five dangers of vaping for you and your teen to be aware of before it’s written off as harmless and cool.


1. Unknown Chemicals

We aren’t advocating for tobacco leaves, but at least it is an organic compound that we can see, touch, and feel, right? On the other hand, the chemicals inside vapes and e-cigarettes are unknown to us. Not only are we putting a foreign chemical into our body when we vape, but it’s also hard to definitively say the amount of risk it poses. Each cartridge is different, as is each brand and flavor. 


2. Illicit Substance Additives

Besides the nicotine and unknown chemicals, we get in typical vape cartridges, the risk of adding illicit substances to the blend is high. THC can be added to the vape in higher-concentrated doses (which is risky enough alone), but what makes this even worse when vaping is the flavored vapor that masks the smell and taste. This creates a perfect storm for concealed use and overuse of THC.


3. Vaping Impacts Brain Development

Nicotine is harmful to brain development in large amounts, especially in adolescents when this development is at its highest. Areas of the brain like neurotransmitters are slowed down and can even be broken with regular smoking or vaping. Since nicotine is addictive, it makes the slide to regular and overuse even more risky. Once you pick up the habit, it’s hard to stop–even when it’s hurting your brain. 


4. Long-Term Lung Damage

Vaping comes with adverse health effects to the lungs after continued use. Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath can all start to affect your teen after a few weeks or months of vaping, and these symptoms worsen over time. Lungs should be clear of excess substances to allow for proper airflow. Filling them with chemicals and water vapor causes an excess strain as they expel the foreign materials. 


5. Marketing and Media Influence

The sleek pod, the multitude of flavors, the “tricks” kids can do with vapor–all of these things create the perfect storm of unhealthy marketing to young adults. The visibility isn’t placed on the dangers of vaping and nicotine like a pack of cigarettes; the market focuses on the aspects that draw in younger and younger wallets. The misconception and misinformation surrounding vaping are some of the most dangerous aspects of it today. When it’s the cool thing to do, kiddos don’t realize the harm. 


So, when discussing vaping with your teen, keep these five dangers in mind: unknown chemicals, illicit substance additives, impaired brain development, long-term lung damage, and the marketing and media of vaping. The goal is to provide knowledge so that your family can have an informed conversation. It’s time to discuss the harmful parts of vaping that are so often left out and that your kiddo may not even have considered. 

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


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

Are you concerned that changes in your teens behavior may be the result of drug use? It can be difficult to understand your teenager’s actions in the best of circumstances; we know it’s even harder if you have real concerns about their health and well-being. To help you determine what could be cause for concern, we’ve put together a list of the top five signs of teen drug use. 


1. Physical Symptoms

Physical changes can vary depending on what drugs your teen may be using. When the body is being suppressed by a substance, there can be a variety of consequences. Here is a list of specific things to look for, but keep in mind that your child may only show one or two from this list: 

        • Bloodshot eyes

        • Bruises or marks on their arms

        • Shaking or tremors

        • Unusual sores or rashes

        • Frequent nosebleeds

        • Lingering cough, runny nose or flu-like symptoms 

2. Severe Fatigue

After coming down from a high, teens may feel very fatigued. This leads to long periods of sleep, constant drowsiness, and a lack of focus. If your teen is experiencing these symptoms, without a medical reason, take note. This could be a sign of substance use. 

3. Personality/Mood Changes

Again, depending on the type of substances being used, these symptoms can vary. Pay attention to anything that seems out of character for your teen. Here’s a list of the most common ways these mood changes present themselves when substance use is involved:

        • Depression

        • Anxiety

        • Sudden rage

        • Violent outbursts

4. Change in Priorities

When teens begin using drugs, they tend to lose interest in things they were once very involved in such as sports, hobbies, or clubs. Even their grades can begin to suffer as they withdraw from regular activities. If your child is beginning to pull away from the things they once loved, pay attention. This is a huge red flag!

5. Getting Into Trouble

Are you getting calls from school about behavior problems? Or maybe your teen is involved in some sort of illegal activity, such as theft. Teens can act out when withdrawal or cravings hit, and are willing to do nearly anything to get their hands on whatever substance they’ve been using. If your child is getting into trouble, it’s important to get to the bottom of it. Drug use could definitely be a contributing factor.


If you’ve noticed any of these signs or symptoms in your teen, please get them the help they need. At Clearfork Academy, we offer intensive outpatient and residential treatment for teens struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. Our admissions specialists are available 24/7 to discuss your child’s unique situation and provide guidance on your next steps. Call us at 888-966-8604, email us at, or visit our website at


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