Many rehab centers make the mistake of separating younger people from the general population which creates an unnatural environment and deprives them of being around mature role models. Our experience suggests that it is far more beneficial to build an inclusive community as younger people tend to behave more appropriately and respond to the nurturing available from older clients.
A young adult’s addiction treatment is important. Teenagers and young adult’s brains are still in the process of development and do not fully develop until age 30. So the chemical hijacking of the reward system by addiction may result in earlier and more serious problems. Also, psychological factors such as trauma and stress are significant in substance abuse in young people. A damaged sense of self and breakdown in the family system are acknowledged as being strong influences too.
Genetics is a tendency, not destiny: Many experts believe that approximately 60% of addicts are genetically predisposed to the disease of addiction although an environmental factor is usually required to trigger the addiction.
In addition difficulties like fitting in, lacking confidence, academic skills, dyslexia, or lack of direction, simply chronic boredom or ADHD can be enough to make a young person reach for drugs or alcohol. Once they take the drug or drink, the discomfort is relieved. That relief is valuable, and so the drug or alcohol becomes valuable. This value is the only reason the person uses substance again and again. Peer pressure may come from friends or family or through advertising, television, movies, or music videos. When peer pressure combines with relief of the discomfort or problem, drug use becomes acceptable and even desirable. When a downward spiral takes hold, your loved one starts compromising their family, friends, school, and future. So re-socializing with positive role models can be an important benefit of addiction and alcoholism treatment to reverse this.
Smart drugs: Many young people experience pressure to achieve high grades and certain drugs enhance their ability to study and pass exams. Performance-enhancing substance use can be a trigger for long-term addiction. These drugs are often diverted medication used to treat ADHD. At Hope Rehab Center we get you to explore all these factors in detail.
Hope Rehab is a secure yet comfortable environment for younger clients to work in. Our program workbook explains all assignments clearly, and help is always on hand to complete tasks. We concentrate on developing a smooth transitional planned move back into the world. Emotional intelligence is essential for all clients to recover and we use real life, here and now experiences while in treatment to explore reactions and attitudes. Young people are also prone to rebellious behaviour. So, another goal of treatment is to inspire them to join in and be positive. They are in a “make or break” transitional phase of life.
Many young adults appear to be fully developed, however, for various reasons such as financial dependency, are still living as children which may hinder their progress in treatment. For this reason, duplicitous behaviour is common and a manipulative pattern of self-centered dishonest characteristics to feed the addiction take hold.
The link between ADHD & Addiction: Adolescents and adults with ADHD are at a significantly increased risk of developing a substance abuse problem and in fact, there are many similarities between the two conditions. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurobehavioral condition characterised by difficulties of hyperactivity and impulsiveness, struggling to follow instructions, boredom and a lack of focus which impairs the ability to learn. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) Symptoms include:
- Being easily distracted
A lack of focus
Becoming bored with tasks
A struggle to follow instructions
Becoming easily confused
Hyperactive-impulsive type symptoms may include:
Being constantly in motion
Blurting out inappropriate comments
Showing emotions without restraint
The Neurology of ADHD: One interpretation is that the brains reward mechanism works for those with ADHD only when the task performed is inherently motivating. Low levels of dopamine raise the threshold at which someone can maintain focus on a task that is otherwise boring. The reason for this is due to abnormalities in how the dopamine system in the central nervous system responds.
Executive functions are specific mental activities that allow self-control, managing frustration and problem-solving. The core symptoms of ADHD which are hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention, may all arise due to problems with executive functions.
There is evidence that people with ADHD have a low arousal threshold and compensate for this with increased stimuli, which in turn results in disruption of attentional capacity and an increase in hyperactive behaviour. The reason for this is due to abnormalities in how the dopamine system in the central nervous system responds to stimuli.
Studies have shown that people with ADHD have different levels of ‘neurotransmitters’, such as dopamine and noradrenaline, both these are involved in executive functions. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain that’s believed to control ‘executive functions’. Activities controlled by the executive function are: managing frustration, restraining outbursts, problem-solving, memory recall, and focusing.
Dyslexia is also a brain condition that mainly affects language skills, comprehension or decoding, the word’s Greek roots means “language problems” It’s a problem with mastering information rather than low intellectual performance. Although it originates in the brain, it’s not a medical problem in the sense that a physician can cure it, much like an addiction. Dyslexia is regarded as a learning difficulty and can cause many problems from being misunderstood and feeling stupid that can lead to severe frustration, low self-esteem, dropping out of education and developing an addiction.
Family therapy is key to motivating your loved one to change and then supporting them after treatment. It is designed to support the recovery of the client by improving the family understanding of their situation. At Hope Rehab Center we invite you to submit written feedback and attend meetings at the right time during the treatment process. Al-Anon and families anonymous are 12-step family support groups we direct our client’s family members to. As we say, “addiction is a family illness”. By this we mean it affects everyone in the family.
Financial dependence can promote an attitude of not taking responsibility for the addiction behaviour. i.e. “Why change if you don’t see the need to?” We strongly advice encouraging financial independence in your family member.
Positive peer group pressure is all part of the group process and role modelling; this helps reverse negative behaviour and attitudes, it also improves social skills and encourages productivity.
The importance of rehab treatment for young people shouldn’t be underestimated. Though there can be a number of different reasons a young person can become an addict, the rehab treatment for young people at Hope teaches individuals how to effectively manage the triggers and dispute the core values about self and others that can lead us down the path of using. These life skills prevent relapse and make for a healthier, happier life without drugs or alcohol. Hope provides young adult’s addiction treatment tailor-made using a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the 12 Step Program. For more information or to book, please contact us.
Rehab Treatment For Young People – By Simon Mott