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Adolescence is a time for young people to experiment, explore life, test boundaries, and limits, and figure out their place in the world.

Of course, this can lead to poor choices, and mistakes, but it can also result in learning important life lessons and a strengthened sense of self. Alcohol is widely available, and though it is legal for consumption by adults over the age of twenty-one, it is present in many American households and easily accessible to young people. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) reported findings from a survey that found 58.8% of teenagers had consumed alcohol by their senior year in high school. Alcohol is currently considered to be the most frequently used drug by teens in America. While some teenagers’ experimentation of drugs and/ or alcohol will consist of engaging in substance use infrequently, others may depart from the experimenting stage and embark on an unhealthy path that involves frequent use. Alcohol is a toxic drug, and as such when abused can lead to detrimental long and short-term consequences on the developing brain of an adolescent, if left untreated. 

What To Look For

If a young person has developed alcohol dependence, the first step in the treatment process will be to undergo detox, which cleanses the body of all abused substances. Depending on the needs of the teenager, continuing the recovery process by attending a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program may be beneficial. There are a variety of treatment centers available, which can make the selection process seem overwhelming. To make sure you select a high-quality treatment center consider the following:  

  • Level of licensure clinical staff members, group leaders, and residential staff members hold: When looking at a teenage alcohol treatment center, it is important to know who makes up the therapeutic and the residential staff. Find out the accreditation of the facility itself as well as the clinical staff. 
  • Ask for a daily schedule: This will help you understand if the program provides customized treatment plans to its residents and ensure your teen is assessed and treated as a whole person, and not just for his or her alcohol abuse.
  • Does family play a role in treatment? If so, what? Depending on your preference, this answer can help you decide if the program offers too much family inclusion, not enough, or an amount that feels comfortable to you. 
  • Is there a waitlist? Making sure the program has open availability is imperative. 

It is important to conduct due diligence when selecting the treatment center that is the best fit for your teenager struggling with alcohol abuse. Certain aspects such as service setting, duration of the program, cost, living quarters, dual diagnoses/ specialized rehabs, geographical location of the program, and aftercare network should all be considered when selecting a teen alcohol treatment center. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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