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Recovery: Sacrificing for the Better

Recovery: Sacrificing for the Better

Deciding to seek treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) is a big decision. It takes sacrifice and hard work to beat addiction. This article explores how we must go the extra mile to gain a happy and stable life in recovery.

Unique Struggle of Teens

When it comes to treatment for SUD, a few factors need to be considered for teens. First, they may not be ready to face their addiction and enter treatment. This can be due to various factors, such as denial, fear, or shame. Additionally, teens may not have the support of their family or friends, which can make treatment seem like an impossible goal. Finally, financial barriers can also prevent teens from getting their needed help. Treating SUD is an essential step in recovery, but it’s crucial to ensure all factors are considered before deciding to go to treatment.


Treatment for SUD, in terms of the individual and the family, often requires significant sacrifice. To effectively treat the disorder, the individual must be willing to give up the substance they are abusing. This can be difficult, as the substance often provides short-term relief from difficult emotions or situations. However, treatment is often essential to recover from the disorder and live a healthy life.

For families, treatment may require sacrificing time and energy to support the individual in their recovery. This can be difficult but necessary to help the individual recover from their disorder. Treatment is often only successful when people are willing to go the extra mile. This may mean making lifestyle changes, attending treatment sessions regularly, and staying in touch with treatment providers even after treatment ends. It’s also essential to be honest about what is working and what is not. Recovery from SUD is a lifelong process, and people willing to put in the hard work find that it pays off in the end.

What to Look for in a Treatment Center

Teens require individualized, evidence-based care and support from family and peers to succeed in recovery. In addition, it’s vital for teens to feel safe and supported throughout their journey to wellness. Here are some things to consider when seeking treatment for a teen with SUD:

  • Find a treatment center that specializes in teens. Treatment for SUD is most successful when it’s tailored to the specific needs of the individual. This is especially true for teens, who are still in the process of physical and psychological development. The best treatment programs for teens take this into account, providing age-appropriate care that addresses the unique challenges of this population. In addition to addressing the underlying causes of substance use, these programs also provide life-skills training and academic support to help teens transition back into society.
  •  Make sure the treatment center uses evidence-based practices. Evidence-based programs are effective in scientific studies. These programs typically use a combination of counseling, behavioral therapy, and medication to help teens recover. In addition, treatment should be tailored to the individual needs of each teen.
  • Ensure the treatment center has a robust family program. One of the most critical aspects of treatment for teen SUD is the involvement of family members. Numerous studies have shown that programs that include vital family components are more effective than those that do not. In addition, research has consistently shown that the best treatment outcomes are achieved when families actively participate in treatment. Conversely, without the involvement of families, treatment outcomes are significantly poorer.
  • Choose a treatment center that offers alumni or aftercare services. The most effective treatment for teen SUD often includes support for alumni or an aftercare program. These programs help ensure that teens maintain progress during treatment and abstain from substance abuse.
  • Programs that treat co-occurring disorders are more effective. Co-occurring disorders are defined as two or more disorders occurring in the same individual simultaneously. Common examples of co-occurring disorders include depression, anxiety, and conduct disorder. Many teens with SUD also suffer from one or more co-occurring mental health disorders. The best treatment programs for teen SUD treatment address the SUD and any co-occurring mental health disorders.

It Takes Willingness

For treatment for teen SUD to be successful, teens must be willing to make sacrifices for their future. This may mean giving up some of their free time or sacrificing their social life to focus on treatment. It’s also essential for teens to be honest with themselves and their treatment team about their goals and expectations for treatment.

Treatment for teen SUD is a process that requires time, effort, and commitment. Teens unwilling to make these sacrifices are unlikely to benefit from treatment. However, those willing to sacrifice for the sake of their future will find that treatment can be an invaluable tool in achieving their goals.

Deciding to seek treatment for a substance use disorder is one of the most important decisions a teen can make. Treatment for SUD is not a one size fits all process, it requires unique treatment plans that are catered to the individual. This process is not easy. Successful recovery often requires going the extra mile. This may mean having to travel for treatment, taking time off work or school, or making other sacrifices. Willingness to make these sacrifices increases teens’ chances of success exponentially higher. For more information on how to foster motivation for treatment in your teen, contact Clearfork Academy. We offer a robust program of healing for teens struggling with substance use and mental health disorders, including residential and intensive outpatient programs designed to target the unique challenges of this developmental stage. Call us today at (888) 966-8604.

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What Are the Current Trends in Teen Drug Use?

What Are the Current Trends in Teen Drug Use?

Parents of teens need to be aware that the fastest-growing drug issue in the United States may not be what they think it is. When most people hear the term substance abuse, they may consider the use of heroin or cocaine. However, the drug issues affecting teens the most these days are substances that can be found in their own homes. 

It’s common for teens and young adults to get high from prescription drugs found in family medicine cabinets. The data on prescription drug use shows that thousands of teens have used prescription pain relievers without a doctor’s guidance. This could involve taking a few of grandma’s pills that she is bound not to notice or taking them from friends’ houses. As a parent, there are steps you can take, both practical and educational, to protect your teen.

What Are the Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse on Teens?

The use of prescription drugs is popular among teens not only because they are easily accessible. There is a common misconception that these drugs are “safe” because they are legal and prescribed by a doctor. But many prescription drugs, especially painkillers, are prescribed with careful supervision because they can be dangerous if they are not taken appropriately. 

The side effects of many prescription drugs include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Changes in body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Seizure

The consequences of prescription drug abuse can harm any person’s body, but it’s particularly significant for teens as their brains are still developing. The frontal lobe, which is responsible for making decisions, controlling impulses, and impacting perception, is not fully developed until an individual reaches their mid-twenties. Damage to this part of the brain can impact teens’ ability to make good decisions, the consequences of which could affect them well into adulthood. Drug addiction in the teen years can impact them physically as well as socially for many years to come. 

How Can Parents Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse in Teens?

Here are a few ways you can prevent prescription drug use in your home:

Safely Storing and Disposing Medicines

Most teens who have abused prescription drugs sought them out from friends or other family members. In other words, the drugs they abused were not prescribed specifically for them. If you or someone else at home uses prescription drugs, be sure to keep them in a place your teen can’t access. For example, a lockbox, if necessary. The traditional medicine cabinet in the bathroom may no longer be an ideal place to store medicines. You may want to keep track of exactly how many pills are in each bottle so you will know if any go missing. 

Monitoring Prescription Drugs

Painkillers and other medicines are being prescribed by doctors at greater rates than they use to be. Many people are now asking doctors and pharmacies to have better monitoring systems in place when it comes to prescription drug registries. This can help medical staff know how often these drugs are being prescribed. Over-prescription can lead to misuse and potential overdose. 

Does TikTok Promote Teen Drug Use?

The social media platform, TikTok, is a place to share videos of everything from recordings of original songs to cute animals playing. It’s also a place where some people document their use of drugs, using the hashtag #TripTok. These videos are often made to be funny as users document how certain drugs make them feel and react, often garnering millions of views. Because this platform is popular among teens and young adults, many of those views are by teenagers who may be influenced to mirror the videos that they are watching. TikTok by itself does not promote drug use, as it is prohibited in the platform rules, but that doesn’t prevent other people from finding loopholes around these guidelines. 

It is essential to understand that videos showing drug use do not show drug use consequences. Though this content is prohibited by TikTok guidelines, these videos are still posted and widely shared because of clever hashtags that disguise the actual content. Parents must be vigilant about what teens are viewing on their smartphones and strongly consider setting some boundaries around the use of social media. It’s also important to have ongoing conversations with teens about what they’re viewing, what they’re posting, and what their friends are posting. Encourage your teen to report videos that show or otherwise glorify drug use. 

By opening up conversations with your teen, you can express your concerns regarding drug use. When you talk openly and honestly with your child, they will learn to do the same with you. If they find themselves struggling with substance use, it is essential to get them connected with treatment resources as soon as possible.

As a parent, it’s scary to think that your teen might be in danger in your home or at a friend’s home simply from ordinary things like prescription drugs. To avoid substance use affecting your teen, it is essential that you monitor them appropriately while having honest conversations with them about your concerns. At Clearfork Academy, we not only treat adolescent boys and girls for alcohol addiction and substance abuse: We are also a resource for information on how to protect your teens. This includes recognizing the signs of a possible drug problem, as well as providing information to keep parents informed about the current drug scene. If you think your teen may have a problem with alcohol or other dangerous substances, it is vital that you connect them with treatment resources as soon as possible. To learn about our treatment programs, call (888) 966-8604

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Is Alcohol a Gateway Drug?

Is Alcohol a Gateway Drug?

Gateway drugs are substances that are thought to lead to the use of more dangerous or addictive substances. The top three gateway drugs are thought to be nicotine (cigarettes), marijuana, and alcohol. The group of people that are most likely to develop an addiction from using gateway drugs is adolescents. Since the human brain is not considered fully developed until the age of 25, young people are especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of chemical substances.

Alcohol, in particular, is recognized as a leading gateway drug. Alcohol consumption causes abnormal inflammation in the brain, making it especially dangerous for young people. It is important to understand the harmful effects that alcohol use can have on the brain and to recognize the substance as a dangerous gateway drug.

How Does Alcohol Use Lead To Addiction?

Teens or young adults may initially choose to experiment with alcohol because they are curious about the substance’s effects. Since many families keep alcohol in their homes, it is one of the easiest substances for young people to access. While the decision to try alcohol may be voluntary, the chemical effects of alcohol hijack several areas of an individual’s brain.

Some of the ways that repeated alcohol use primes adolescents for experimenting with other substances may include:

Exposure to Dopamine Surges

Dopamine is a chemical that influences the brain’s reward center associated with identifying and motivating pleasurable behavior. Chemical substances like alcohol trigger abnormal surges of dopamine in the brain and body. The use of alcohol even one time triggers a dopamine surge, which the brain identifies as pleasurable. Then, the brain will continue to motivate substance-seeking and substance-using behavior as means of achieving repeated dopamine surges.

With repeated use, an individual will experience an increase in alcohol tolerance. This means that they will need to drink more each time to achieve desired effects. Eventually, the brain will recognize alcohol use as normal, and no longer trigger dopamine surges as intensely as before. This leads individuals to seek highs through harsher drugs.

Experiencing Increased Inhibition and Impulsivity

Being under the influence of alcohol can reduce inhibition and increase impulsivity, which can cause individuals to act in ways that they never would while sober. Some of those actions may include experimenting with harsher drugs, especially if they are not in the right frame of mind to consider the consequences or risks. Young people are especially prone to the influences of peer pressure and curiosity if they are already buzzed from alcohol.

Normalizing Party Drugs

If getting drunk with friends is considered normal for teenagers, it is only a matter of time before teens progress to other drug use. Teens may start to believe that “everyone is doing it” even if they aren’t, which may encourage experimentation. They may not yet see the consequences of long-term substance use among their friend group, which can lead them to believe that it is not harmful. Normalizing one type of behavior makes it easier to progress down a path they may not have anticipated.

Why Young People Are Especially at Risk for Addiction

The developing brain is uniquely vulnerable to both mental health disorders and substance use disorders, such as addiction. Eager to feel accepted by others, it’s relatively easy for adolescents to get involved in dangerous crowds and engage in risk-taking behaviors that they may not realize are harmful.

Unfortunately, adolescents tend to lack the foresight to see how the consequences of one decision can impact their future. A substance use disorder that develops from underage drinking can carry physical, emotional, and psychological consequences well into adulthood.

Additional Risk Factors

In general, some people are more likely to develop substance use disorders than others. Individuals that experience the following risk factors may be more likely to use alcohol as a gateway drug:


Genetics shed light on an individual’s unique, chemical makeup. If an individual has a family member or relative that uses substances or has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder, they are more likely to experiment with substances at some point in their life.

Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders

A co-occurring disorder is the presence of both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. If an individual is already struggling with their mental health or associated diagnosis, they are more likely to use substances. They may turn to substances as an attempt to self-medicate their symptoms or because they are genuinely curious about the substance’s effects.

Childhood Trauma

Unfortunately, not every family knows how to cope when trauma affects a child. This could be anything from a tragic accident, an illness, or abuse. Children who suffer from untreated trauma are also at increased risk of substance use and addiction later in life.

Alcohol is a harmful substance for the developing brain. As adolescents and teens age, they may become exposed to the effects of alcohol through their friend groups. It is essential to recognize that alcohol is a gateway drug that can cause young children to be curious about the effects of other substances. It is important to know what factors can increase an individual’s risk of using alcohol and other substances. If your child is struggling, understand that treatment is available. Clearfork Academy has evidence-based solutions for teenagers struggling with alcohol or substance abuse. Our outdoor, faith-based program is run by experienced, compassionate staff to help your teen on8 the road to recovery. We offer detox, inpatient, and residential treatment programs depending on the severity of your teen’s condition. To learn more about our treatment center, reach out to us today by calling (88) 966-8604.

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The Benefits of Going to an Addiction Treatment Center

The Benefits of Going to an Addiction Treatment Center

Choosing to go to an addiction treatment center and adjust to this abrupt change in your adolescent lifestyle can be overwhelming. This decision is not always easy and is often not the desired choice; however, attending an addiction treatment center at this time can have many life-long benefits.

Goals of Addiction Treatment Centers

While various methods and centers are available, they all have similar end goals and expectations. Addiction treatment centers work with you to establish new life habits that help you maintain sobriety. By eliminating substance abuse, treatment centers help individuals function to their desired level and refrain from needing the substance. Engagement in these practices and establishing these habits throughout treatment are implied to help reduce the chance of future relapse if the induvial continues to practice these habits.

Benefits of Addiction Treatment Centers

Attending an addiction treatment center as an adolescent can be a significant adjustment. It may seem like an inconvenient time to work through the process of recovery and straying away from your social life; however, this is one of the best times to go through recovery.

Potential Relapse Reduced

By working through addiction recovery at a young age and not allowing your addiction to further develop, you increase the chances of success in maintaining sobriety. Working through this at an early stage of addiction reduces the chance of future relapse.

The more chronic the substance abuse is, the harder it can be to stray away from. During the adolescence stage, our brain is still developing and working to create life-long habits. Eliminating this habit early on can help you maintain long-term success.

Keep Your Body Healthy

Substance abuse has a variety of adverse effects on your physical health. With prolonged abuse, these physical effects can become irreversible. Recovering at a young age can reduce the chances of irreversible damage occurring. These physical factors often go unnoticed for an extended period and are noticeable when it is already too late. Refraining from getting to this point will keep your body happy and healthy for a life full of success.

Creating healthy habits at this age and implementing new skills can help you maintain a well-balanced life outside of recovery. These skills can set you up for health in the future and can encourage you to continue living a healthy lifestyle. Starting this at a young age encourages the potential of these habits sticking and becoming continuous practices.

Increase Future Potential

Those who struggle with addiction long-term often struggle to maintain a family, job, and independence. The possibility of crime rates and imprisonment for those who do not try to recover from addiction is significantly increased.

Maintaining a stable income and positive relationships can also be challenging to manage with the refusal to recover. Quitting the abuse of substances and attending an addiction recovery center as an adolescent can help you overcome these obstacles before you are an adult and have these responsibilities to consider. This can help set you up for success in your adult life and keep you on track to success.

Peer Support

By attending treatment, you will likely meet various individuals your age who are struggling with similar problems. One of the major issues of recovery and admitting the need for help for adolescents is the fear of peer support. Through treatment, you will have the ability to meet individuals who understand your struggles and can relate to you. Having this peer support can benefit your success in recovery and can potentially create lifelong friendships.

Academic Success

Many treatment centers will either provide a class structure to maintain education or help the students in recovery to continue their academic success. Going to treatment does not mean you have to give up your academic goals. Many of the skills you will learn in recovery can help improve your study skills and desire for an education.

Care for Yourself

Using the skills you acquire from attending treatment will allow you to maintain sobriety and positively influence those around you for the rest of your life if you choose to apply these skills. Taking care of substance abuse disorder and eliminating your addiction early on will allow you to still create a successful future.

Pushing treatment away will only intensify the challenge of treatment and the long-term consequences. For yourself, your family, and your friends, work through the recovery process now and allow others to support you and provide you with the help you need. Looking back on this after obtaining sobriety, you will understand how impactful this decision can be.

Working towards sobriety and attending addiction recovery at a treatment center such as Clearfork Academy is very beneficial for an adolescent struggling with substance abuse disorder. It may seem like an inconvenience, but the benefits of completing this process early on make it worth the effort. Seeking treatment as an adolescent helps you avoid future relapses, maintain long-term health by avoiding irreversible effects, increase your future potential, provide peer support, and help you achieve academic success through recovery. These benefits can all play a positive, meaningful role in your future success and rates of recovery. Take accountability to support yourself, be a positive influence on those you care about, and get the help you need. To learn more about the benefits of addiction recovery treatment centers and working through the recovery process as an adolescent, reach out to us today and call (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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The Importance of Family Involvement in Teen Addiction Treatment

The Importance of Family Involvement in Teen Addiction Treatment

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

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

Teen Addiction Treatment

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

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

Co-occurring Disorders

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

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

The Importance of Family Involvement in Teen Recovery

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

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

Family-Based Treatment

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

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

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

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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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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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How to Know if Your Teen Needs Residential Treatment?

How to Know if Your Teen Needs Residential Treatment?

Residential treatment is a form of therapeutic care that provides an environment for adolescents with a substance use disorder (SUD) to heal from the effects of trauma, addiction, or mental illness. Such an environment offers a safe space for teens to develop the confidence and resiliency needed to sustain sobriety.

Residential treatment also helps teens and their parents understand addiction and develop ways to help them manage their disorder. Let’s explore residential treatment, and determine if this is a good option for your teen.

The Basics of Substance Abuse

Substance use disorders involve using any drug or chemical substance that alters one’s mood or behavior. Some of these drugs are legal, and others are not. When teens experience addiction, they may go through withdrawal symptoms when they cannot access substances.

A SUD can also lead to risky behaviors resulting in injury or death. If you think your teen has a problem with substance abuse, it’s essential to discuss this issue with them calmly and without judgment. Listen to their concerns and help them find the best residential treatment facilities.

Does My Teen Need Rehab?

Teens turn to drugs and alcohol for many reasons. Some turn to substances when they want to escape reality or increase their dopamine levels. Others turn to them for fun or because of peer pressure. Whatever their reason, addiction can take over. It’s crucial for you as a parent or guardian to look for any signs of drug or alcohol use in your child so that you can seek help.

Some of the most common signs of teen substance use include:

  • A sudden change in their behavioral patterns.
  • Changes in appearance or hygiene.
  • Poor performance or absences from school.
  • Increase in hostility and aggression.
  • Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed.
  • Frequent mood changes.
  • Lying about how much they use to hide their addiction.
  • Risky behavior such as unprotected sex with multiple partners when under the influence.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • The inability to meet their responsibilities.
  • Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down on alcohol or other drug use.
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depression, and cravings when they cannot use their drug of choice.

What Happens During Residential Treatment?

Research suggests that residential treatment significantly decreases teens’ chances to use substances. Treatment will not only help your child overcome their addiction but also manage any co-occurring mental health disorders.

Residential treatment provides stability for kids to focus on their recovery without the distraction of problems in school or with friends. The good news is that rehabilitation is successful for many teens addicted to substances. Residential treatment works because of the supportive environment and length of stay.

Residential treatment also helps teenagers:

  • Identify the problems they’re having with their substance use.
  • Learn how to make healthy decisions in the future.
  • Develop life skills such as coping skills.
  • Receive counseling to help them deal with their SUD and related problems.
  • They offer the means for your teen to continue schooling with academic support.

Early Steps of Treatment

The first step of treatment usually involves detoxification from drugs or alcohol before moving into a residential program where teens are monitored 24/7 while receiving therapy and learning new strategies for coping.

Their individualized recovery plan will also include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help identify triggers.
  • Educational counseling to help them avoid triggering situations that lead to relapse.
  • Learn positive coping skills that will allow them to manage their lives and recovery successfully.

Finally, treatment centers such as Clearfork Academy provide aftercare services that assist with post-treatment adjustments like outside therapy, support groups, and academic support.

How to Select The Right Rehab Center?

If you’re looking for a teen rehab center, it’s essential to choose one with an excellent reputation and fully licensed staff. Take into account how many years the facility has been around; this will give you an idea about its experience with teens dealing with addiction disorders. It will also be helpful if they offer both residential treatment programs and outpatient options so that your child can continue their education while undergoing treatment.

Some questions to consider include:

  • What services do they offer for teenagers?
  • How long can your child stay at a residential facility?
  • Do they offer individual or group therapy options, wilderness programs, or a variety of treatment modalities?
  • Are family members welcome to visit regularly?
  • Do they include family therapy to improve familial relations?
  • Will they offer academic support, so your child stays on track with their academics?

At Clearfork Academy, our residential treatment programs help teens develop better coping mechanisms to manage their mental health and substance use disorders. Our models of treatment and therapies improve self-esteem, social skills and build healthy support networks consisting of family, friends, and peers. With us, your teenager will have a comfortable space to explore their potential and develop the skills and enthusiasm necessary to go after their greatest dreams. Our strong presence within the community also ensures that your teenager has access to support long after initial treatment. While embarking on the journey to recovery can be intimidating, remember, it all begins with taking the first step. If your teenager is currently struggling with mental health and substance use disorders, get help today. With provided admissions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there’s no excuse not to reach out. To learn more about our programs, contact Clearfork Academy today by calling (888)966-8604.

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How Does Gender-Specific Treatment Benefit Teens?

How Does Gender-Specific Treatment Benefit Teens?

Teenage males are at a higher risk of developing an addiction and other mental disorders than their female counterparts. When working to improve their overall wellbeing, it is essential to provide them with treatment focused on improving their mental health. Doing so will help them manage mental health and substance use disorders (SUD).

Gender-specific addiction treatment is a treatment approach that focuses on gender-specific issues to help adolescents manage substance use disorders and other mental health challenges. Let’s further explore how gender-specific treatment can benefit teenage boys.

Treatment Approaches

Treatment to address mental health and substance use disorders can vary based on gender. For example, treatment for women may address body image, sexual assault or abuse, pregnancy complications, and other health concerns specific for females. Treatment may address emotional challenges, substance abuse, mental health problems, trauma history, behavioral problems, and other challenges specific to males.

Interventions focus on helping boys and young men develop healthy relationships with themselves, peers, and others. In addition to therapy sessions, gender-specific programs provide activities explicitly designed to engage teenage boys to learn more about self-control and positive coping skills.

What Are The Benefits of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment?

There are many benefits to treating teen boys with a program tailored specifically to their needs. These programs focus on understanding why young men tend to drink, use marijuana and cocaine more than young women.

Such a program is an excellent way for male adolescents struggling with substance use problems as it provides them an opportunity they may otherwise not get elsewhere. Male-specific addiction treatment will also focus on improving the mental health of adolescent males who have a higher risk of developing an addiction or mental disorder in the future.

Other benefits include:

  •  Improving outcomes and reducing relapse rates.
  • Addressing peer pressure or toxic masculinity within their community.

Higher Success Rates

Programs focused on male teenagers have higher success rates than those targeted at females because they target different areas of need, including:

  • Impulsivity
  • Aggressive tendencies
  • Family conflict

Gender-specific treatment also helps stop the stigma associated with addiction and mental health disorders often faced by young men and teens.

Recognizing Themselves in Each Other

One of the most critical aspects of gender-specific addiction treatment is that it helps individuals recognize their similarities with others. Additionally, gender-specific addiction prevention programs could help men avoid the stigma associated with mental illness or substance use disorders.

Seeing themselves in others will help dissipate the shame they may experience with having a SUD. They will also understand that they are not alone. It can also lead to greater self-awareness and understanding among teenage boys who feel marginalized. In turn, this could help them learn how to manage any potential addiction or mental disorders they may encounter in the future.

Sharing Honestly

One of the most important reasons to have a gender-specific addiction treatment for teen males is because it provides them with a safe space to be open and honest about their struggles.

Programs like these prevent additional problems in their lives and improve their mental health. If they can share openly with their therapist, they are also more likely to follow through with treatment that helps them overcome their mental health and substance use disorders.

It’s hard for men who suffer from addiction and mental illnesses to live up to society’s expectations. However, with gender-specific treatments for teen males, these individuals can get the help they need without feeling judged or different from other participants.

Men Experience Addiction Differently

One of the most critical aspects of addiction treatment is creating individual treatment approaches because each person experiences addiction differently. Additionally, male adolescents face higher risks of addiction and mental illnesses than female adolescents, suggesting that treatments based on gender can make all the difference. However, this does not mean that all teenage girls are immune from the same issues as some adolescent boys.

However, therapy must consider the unique interests and challenges teenage boys face. For example, adolescent males may share different interests from most females, and therefore certain therapeutic activities may benefit their recovery. Furthermore, their brains function and develop differently from teenage girls at this stage of their lives.

Males Are More Likely to Use Substances

Ultimately, males are more likely to use alcohol and other substances and often find it challenging to quit independently. At Clearfork Academy, our male-specific treatment programs center around the needs of teenage boys and young men. It helps them overcome addiction with a higher success rate than other treatments that incorporate both genders.

Adolescence is a time of uncertainty and change. Gender-specific treatment for teen males is conducive to your son’s treatment and recovery. By addressing specific challenges that male teens face, such as masculinity and peer pressure, gender-specific treatment centers such as Clearfork Academy thrive at helping teenagers struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. Treatment programs that address gender-specific issues lead to more success in reaching their intended audience than those that do not consider the unique needs of male teens. Clearfork Academy also offers a range of conventional and holistic treatment options to ensure teenage boys have the appropriate resources needed to overcome substance use disorders. Our gender-specific treatment also provides specialized and individualized care for young men. If your teenage boy is currently struggling with addiction, then it is time to reach out for help. Learn more about our gender-specific treatment programs by calling us today at (844) 387-8780.

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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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Top 7 Questions to Ask When Looking for Treatment

black and white photo of a teenager looking to the side

Many young men and teenagers gravitate to using substances because of mental health disorders. However, compared to girls, boys are less likely to get a diagnosis for mental health problems. Further, boys tend to externalize mental health problems, while girls internalize them. Excessive anger, aggression, risk-taking behavior, and substance use are all signs of externalized mental health problems. Therefore, finding the right fit for your son is crucial for their recovery. Clearfork Academy specializes in treating teen boys with trauma-specific behavioral issues and mental health disorders. Let’s take a closer look at the impact of substance use disorders (SUD) in young males and the best questions to ask when seeking help. 

The Impact of SUD on Teen Males 

Monitoring the Future 2019 study reveals a pattern of gender differences in teen substance use. Teen boys have higher rates of substance use than females. By the time students reach 12th grade, male substance use increases far more than female use. Research shows additional differences between male and female substance use:

  • Males, especially teens, engage in binge drinking at a much higher rate than females. They seek it for the supposed thrill, peer pressure, and to lower inhibitions.
  • Male teens are at a higher risk of using illicit or marijuana.
  • Compared to girls, researchers discovered boys become dependent on multiple substances.
  • Boys who use substances experience legal issues due to committing crimes like vandalism at a higher rate.
  • Males experience greater withdrawal symptoms than females, which makes it harder for them to stay sober.

Treatment for Male Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorders often stem from underlying trauma, attachment wounds, anxiety, and depression. Long-term care is the most effective treatment for teens with SUDs. Residential facilities or intensive outpatient treatment provides a safe, supportive environment where teen boys can heal and learn skills to avoid relapse. The following questions will help you determine the best fit for your teen. 

#1. Do You Specialize in Adolescent Treatment?

Consider a program that understands the specific needs of teenagers and has a tailored approach to treatment. For instance, a center that specializes in adolescent trauma should understand adolescent brain development regarding mental health issues. Clearfork Academy understands the importance of recovery for the teen’s brain development. Therefore our treatment properly addresses teen-specific issues. 

#2. Does the Treatment Facility Address My Teen’s Behavioral Issues?

A trauma-focused treatment center that specializes in mental health will best serve your teen. Behavioral issues often stem from a traumatic event or a mental health issue. A trauma-focused treatment center is uniquely equipped to handle mental health conditions that stem from trauma, distressing experiences, or chemical imbalances in the brain. At Clearfork Academy, we specialize in trauma therapy and dual diagnosis. 

#3. What Do They Offer in Terms of Detoxification?

The detoxification process assists the person’s body to release substances quickly and safely, with limited withdrawal symptoms. There are two main types of detoxes that are helpful for you to know. 

  • Medically Assisted Treatment: With a medically assisted treatment, a team of clinicians monitors the participants’ blood pressure and heart rate while they are in withdrawal. With such extensive monitoring, clinicians identify any potential issues, like a seizure, before it happens.
  • Medical Detoxes: A medically trained team will assist your detox. They will monitor symptoms 24/7, administering prescribed medications to help to ease withdrawal symptoms.

#4. Do They Accept Insurance?

It’s always best to ask upfront about all the costs associated with treatment and what your insurance may cover. If the insurance cannot cover everything, ask about payment plans or even a scholarship/financial aid. 

#5. What Is the Length of the Program?

Some people think that a 28-day program is enough to reach the desired sobriety. But addiction is a complex problem involving both physical and mental damage. Research suggests that the most effective treatments for teens last 60 days or longer.

#6. Is the Clinical Team Proficient?  

When your teen needs treatment, you want them to have access to the best care possible. We recommend you ask about the team at the facility. Ask about their qualifications, level of education, and experience. A treatment center, like Clearfork Academy, only keeps fully licensed, expert clinicians.  

#7. Do They Provide Life Skills Counseling and an Aftercare Plan?

When you experience a setback, job loss, or other stressors, make sure there is a plan in place to deal with it. Good drug rehab programs offer life skills training to empower those who struggle to find solutions and keep them from returning to substances.

The best facilities help you plan to avoid relapse after you finish your addiction-treatment program. You can talk to your rehab program staff about their post-rehab programs and relapse prevention plan that can help you stay on the straight and narrow.

Is your teenage son ready to start treatment for their substance use disorder? As a chronic illness, SUD affects many factors of a person, like their minds, body, and emotions. Many teen males with SUD experience triggers like genetic makeup, past traumas, mental health disorders, or peer pressure. The right treatment will help them resolve such issues. At Clearfork Academy, we recommend parents work to find the most suitable treatment facility for their son. Take the time to research the various treatment options available. Since Clearfork Academy provides tailored, specialized care, we will be there for you every step of this journey. As a multifaceted treatment center, we offer a continuum of care that includes residential and outpatient services to support the whole person. We tailor our services to fit the specific needs of each individual and their family members. Find out more by calling us today at (888) 966-8604.


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How Can Family Therapy Help During Substance Use Disorder Treatment?

family forming round by shoes

Substance use disorders (SUD) affect more than the individual with the disorder; they affect the whole family. SUDs can interfere with the family dynamic and create complications when it comes to communication. Therefore, when families cannot communicate healthily, family therapy can help. Family therapy works to alleviate dysfunction, encourage open communication, and foster empathy and understanding. Further, this model of therapy also helps families navigate the underlying problems that contribute to a SUD. At Clearfork, we understand that addiction can affect the whole family and offer support. Let’s start by taking a look at the benefits of attending family therapy.

Identify and Alleviate Dysfunction

While blaming the SUD as the culprit behind family dysfunction might be easier, it is not the healthiest way to address the issue. Often, there are underlying causes that contribute to dysfunction and stress within the family. Further, each family member suffers uniquely from a variety of issues. A substance use disorder is just one symptom of why some families have difficulty handling challenges together.

Understand that no child wants to have an addiction issue, just as no parent wants their child to struggle with addiction. However, unresolved issues often surface as addiction. With this in mind, family therapy can be incredibly helpful in identifying the root causes that drive addiction and therefore help educate and support all family members to improve the way they handle challenges.

Encourage Open Communication

When identifying the root of a teen’s addiction, open communication is crucial. The security of family therapy provides an open and safe forum for family members to communicate their issues in a healthier way. These issues are relative to SUDs but might be related to other family issues, which fostered the development of behavioral health issues. Remember, the development of behavioral health issues is nobody’s fault. Rather their development is the result of trying to cope with issues not well communicated previously.

Foster Empathy and Understanding

One of the effects of SUDs is not understanding the emotions of others in the family. Treatment involves understanding emotions and being able to empathize with and understand the emotions of others. Family therapy is beneficial as it promotes the forum for such openness and understanding.

Additionally, family therapy allows each family member to express their emotions in a constructive instead of confrontational way. It will enable the family to work on understanding each others’ points of view. This open-mindedness to the emotions of others will continue to support feelings of empathy and understanding between family members creating a stronger bond and a greater willingness to focus on solving the bigger problems.

Eliminates Isolation

Many teens believe that their emotions and experiences do not matter. However, this is not true, nor is this concept encouraged by parents. Still, many teens often feel isolated and therefore risk developing negative thoughts. If teenagers turn to isolation to escape their stress and anxiety, their negative thoughts could turn into negative behaviors. Soon, teens might develop the belief that turning to alcohol or other substances is the only solution to help them manage their problems and feelings of isolation. Understand, substance use is never a solution. Substances will only perpetuate feelings of stress, frustration, anxiety, and depression.

It is important to help teens express and proactively address their emotions. It is also important to address how the parent responds to their emotions. Sometimes a negative response can create more isolation between parents and teenagers. Therefore, it is essential to develop the necessary skills to navigate these challenges. Family therapy is very effective at helping guide parents and teens to understand the feelings of everyone in the family. Family therapy also helps teens to realize they are not alone and do not have to struggle alone.

Seek Help

Substance use disorder among teenagers is a growing problem in the United States. This behavioral health problem affects both young and old. However, effective treatment exists to manage SUDs successfully. It just requires the willingness to seek help. Further, relapse does not have to happen, and this is where families can help. Family therapy ensures solid quality communication between family members and promotes healing. Substance use disorder is often just a symptom of another problem being ignored or avoided.

Family therapy brings those problems out into the open and addresses them in a healthier way. No family member needs to feel alone in this battle. It is essential for parents to talk to their teens about getting help for substance use disorder. At Clearfork Academy, we offer family therapy to support parents and teens that struggle with SUDs.

Every family is unique in its struggle with substance use disorder; however, your family does not have to struggle alone. Family therapy is essential to helping you and your family recover from the challenges of a substance use disorder. At Clearfork Academy, we provide family systems therapy, which has been studied and shown to be effective in helping families recover from the trauma of substance use disorder. There is a way to create a new legacy for your family. Reach out to Clearfork Academy and learn how we can help you and your teen recover from the effects of alcohol or other substance use disorders. Remember, you are not alone. There is help available. At Clearfork Academy, we offer assistance through every step of the recovery process, including detox and aftercare. To learn how we can help you and your family develop healthier communication, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604

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How Do I Navigate Recovery Following Treatment?

woman in black outfit sitting on concrete railing

Preparing to leave your treatment facility is an exciting time because it will allow you to put your sober abilities to the test in the “real world.” It can also be an intimidating experience. While in treatment, your inpatient rehab center might help you with plans and goals following your treatment. However, it is ultimately up to you to find ways to stay proactive, focused, and motivated in your recovery journey. Understand, you are not alone. The support networks you develop in treatment will be the same support you have in recovery. Let’s take a closer look at how to navigate your recovery after treatment.

Find an Aftercare Program

A study published in the journal Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy looked at the recovery paths of 4,165 persons. Regardless of the severity of addiction, researchers discovered that all these persons benefited from aftercare programs. 

Some aftercare programs include: 

  • Sober living homes
  • Therapy
  • Counseling
  • 12-step programs

When attending an aftercare program, you continue to engage with others, check up on your health, and ensure that you don’t fall into the same addictions again. 

Find a Support Group in Your Community

Support groups are an essential part of the recovery journey. Having support within your community will help motivate and inspire you to keep moving forward, despite challenges and setbacks. With support, you will have access to guidance and advice from peers that will be helpful to your recovery. You will also meet new people, learn ways to overcome cravings, and have others who can hold you accountable. Having peers who share similar experiences will provide you emotional support because they will understand the challenges you face while managing addiction. It is reassuring to know that you are not alone in the process. 

You can find local support groups online or through telehealth services. These services can notify you of the various recovery-based activities and events happening within your community. If you cannot find anything local, there are supportive recovery communities online. 

Become a Part of the Alumni Group at Your Facility

Getting sober is a transformative experience. Many things might appear and feel different to you. Therefore, if you don’t have adequate support, it can become a challenging experience, and returning to your everyday life following treatment can be difficult. Alumni programs can help you acclimate back into your everyday lifestyle. Almost every rehab facility has its own alumni group that works as a helping hand for the people residing there. 

Alumni programs offer opportunities to engage with fellow peers and to motivate and help them through challenging times. Joining an alumni program and helping another at a different point in their recovery can instill a sense of leadership, empowerment and help you appreciate how far you have come in your journey. Being in an alumni program will also help hold you accountable as you will be a point of guidance for another. Therefore, once you’ve completed treatment, it’s important to understand what your treatment center offers and how you can take advantage of alumni programs.

 Find a Job Following Treatment 

Finding a job following treatment can be a difficult process. However, a job is necessary for helping you with financial stability. Having a job will also help you develop a strong sense of independence. Rather than relying on another to support you financially, you will support yourself, which is very empowering. If you are uncertain about where to begin, you can look to your support network. Peers, sponsors, and counselors can connect you with job opportunities. If they do not currently have something, they will always act as a great reference. Remember, it will take time and patience to establish everything you need. Attending support programs, group therapy, or pursuing volunteering opportunities are all great ways to continue building your network and can lead you to find a job you love. 

You can find additional support from these organizations: 

  • The Department of Labor’s One-Stop Career Center
  • America in Recovery
  • The National Hire Network

There are also many freelance opportunities offered online where you can create a flexible schedule to accommodate other obligations such as making meetings and appointments. 

Start Exercising 

Addiction changes your brain chemically over time; therefore, after heavy use or years of use, it will require time and developing healthy habits to rewire how your brain functions.  

One of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health is exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being active for at least 150 minutes per week can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of malignancies, and other chronic diseases. Regular exercise can also help the brain recuperate from the adverse physiological effects of frequent substance use by increasing the brain’s number of new nerve connections.

Rehabilitation centers have their advantages as one can stay under expert supervision in the absence of drugs. The environment and peer support are amazing and the activities performed are meant to prepare any addict to lead a healthy life. However, at some point, you will need to return to your everyday life. At Clearfork Academy, we understand the challenges that come with leaving treatment. However, just because you leave does not mean that your support stays behind. Recovery is an exciting journey that will offer you the ability to recognize all the opportunities you have waiting for you. We offer both a conventional and experiential approach to care to ensure that you are developing the skills necessary to face real-world challenges. We work with parents and teens to help the family understand addiction and set the teenager up for the best success. Find out more and reach out to us today by calling (888) 966-8604.

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The Top 5 Reasons Therapists Are Choosing Clearfork Academy



Your clients turn to you for guidance when they need substance abuse and/or mental health treatment. They ask you where to go, and who can help them and their family. We know you only want to refer your clients to treatment facilities you can genuinely trust. You want a place that’s equipped and qualified to handle each specific issue and diagnosis that your client is facing. 


If you’re looking for the best treatment facility to collaborate with, we are here to help! At Clearfork Academy, we offer gender-specific, faith-based, treatment for boys ages 13-18. We’ve successfully helped thousands of teen boys find a new path and create a new legacy.


Here are the top five reasons we are the #1 choice for many therapists:

1. Our Services

  • Residential Treatment
    Unlike others that only offer a 28-day treatment option, our program is a full 13 weeks long. We use that time to help our patients focus on their recovery, learn life skills, and learn how to lead a better life.
  • Medical Detox
    As patients begin to clear their body of substances, our medical staff customizes and oversees their care. The health and safety of our boys is always a top priority.

2. Qualified Staff

  • Master Level Clinicians
    At Clearfork Academy, we are well-equipped to treat multiple mental health diagnoses. Our masters level licensed therapists meet individually with each patient. They work to help these boys understand the underlying causes of their addiction, and find lasting change.
  • On-Site Nurses
    The health of our patients is of the utmost importance. For that reason, there is a nurse on-site 24-7. Our nurses oversee the detox process, and treat any other health concerns as needed.

3. Family Care

  • Family Therapy
    At Clearfork Academy, we have a full-time family therapist on staff. Substance abuse and mental health treatment is a family issue, so we care for the entire family. Additionally, the support of family plays a huge role in the success of many teens in treatment.
  • Family Support Groups
    Our family support group meets every Tuesday. It is our goal to be engaged with the families of our patients, and to stay engaged with them. This support group is for the families of current patients, and for the families of our alumni. We are here for the families of these boys for as long as they need us!

4. Treatment Modalities

At Clearfork Academy, we utilize a variety treatment modalities based on the patient and their specific needs. Through these different therapy options, we are able to successfully treat multiple diagnoses, including trauma and depression.

5. Aftercare

  • A Plan For Success
    On the first day of treatment, our team begins working on an aftercare plan for each patient. When boys leave our facility, we want them to be well-equipped to continue their recovery journey.
  • Alumni Team
    From the moment of admission, our patients become a part of the Clearfork family. We love inviting our alumni back to share their stories of hope with current patients. Our team is always available to assist with resources, guidance and recognition of important benchmarks no matter how long it’s been since graduation.


Over the years we have built relationships with many therapists. Our relationships are built on trust. When a therapist refers one of their clients to Clearfork Academy, they are able to rest assured with 100% confidence that their client and family are receiving the best treatment available. 


“My experience referring young men to Clearfork Academy has been positive. From the admissions process to returning to me for aftercare, I felt informed and engaged. More importantly, their active, intentional, & therapeutic approach helps teens work toward healing and living a life in recovery.” – Cristal Clark, LPC-S


If you’d like to learn more about the treatments available at Clearfork Academy, the first step is to connect with us and schedule a lunch or campus tour. Please give Missy a call at (214) 592-7012, email, or visit our website at