Healing from an addiction often takes place in a step-by-step format, with each movement building on the movement that took place in the past. For teens with addictions, that path to healing begins with the help that a drug detox program can provide. Here, they’ll have access to medical assistance and therapeutic interventions that can soothe pain and prepare the teen for the work that’s yet to come.
Teen Detox Basics
Addictions may be supported by habits, but they’re triggered by chemical changes inside the brain. When people attempt to stop taking in drugs or alcohol, those chemical changes can result in significant discomfort. There’s some evidence that suggests that teens have even more pain upon withdrawal, when compared to their addicted adult counterparts. For example, in a study in the journal Addiction, researchers found that the number of withdrawal symptoms teens experienced was greater than the number researchers expected, particularly for teens who used alcohol and/or cigarettes. If left on their own, teens might return to drug use simply to make their discomfort fade. Detox programs ensure that the discomfort doesn’t rise to such a level that serious medical complications take hold. With this help, teens may be able to get sober for the very first time.
Some teens with addictions go through the drug detox process at their local hospitals. These teens typically have some other medical problem that merits intensive attention, such as:
- Injuries due to an alcohol-fueled car crash
- Heart palpitations due to drug use
- Infections due to injectable drugs
- Seizures due to at-home alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal
Some teens need detox help before they obtain a serious medical problem, however, and they may find that an addiction treatment program provides a better fit. In an outpatient program, they may continue to live at home while accessing medications and therapy in a series of daytime appointments. In an inpatient program, they may have access to around-the-clock care. Either method could be helpful for teens in need.
Finding a treatment program like this might be as easy as running an intensive search on the Internet. Most treatment facilities that offer detox programs for teens are happy to publicize their work, and they might even provide counselors on the phone who can explain the process and the availability of care. This is the format we follow at Muir Wood, for example, and we’re happy to answer any questions you might have as soon as you call us.
Almost all drugs cause some type of withdrawal symptom. Even cannabis, which some teens swear is not addictive, was associated with withdrawal symptoms in two-thirds of the teens included in a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Helping teens to get through withdrawal can put them on the road to recovery, but it’s not considered a treatment for addiction. When detox is through, teens still need to work on therapy and develop intensive skills that can allow them to preserve their sobriety in the future. Unlike hospital detox programs, which might discharge a client as soon as sobriety arrives, our program at Muir Wood provides intensive therapy and skills training, allowing teens to make comprehensive changes. Find out more by calling us.