Will Alcohol Treatment Centers Treat Underage Patients?

Illegal or underage drinking is still a problem in the United States with 11% of all alcohol consumption consumed by people aged 12 to 20 years. While getting caught by the police can result in fines, probation, or jail time, that’s no reason to avoid seeking alcoholism help from a certified treatment center. There are several state and federal laws in place that ensure your confidentiality is protected, which means you can discuss your alcohol addiction openly without fear of legal consequences.

Even without those laws in place, caregivers in a treatment facility would avoid releasing your personal information because they know a successful recovery program starts with building trust. If you’re still unsure that your situation will be kept confidential, you need only look to the numerous addiction treatment centers around the country that specifically treat teenagers. Placing teens in recovery with adults can be problematic, but that’s just one reason teens have their own treatment facilities. Additionally, teens require different types of treatment or need to have adolescent-related issues addressed, so specialized recovery programs are necessary.

Teen Alcohol Treatment Starts With a Detox

Even though you may seek treatment for your alcohol use voluntarily, it will still be difficult for you to stop drinking on your own. Since a sober mind is necessary for the rest of the treatment process, a medicated detox helps teens get clean and sober ahead of entering the addiction treatment facility. This is also necessary because alcohol damages internal organs, raising the risks of damage that withdrawal symptoms can cause. Those health hazards are increased in teens because their bodies haven’t finished maturing prior to reaching adulthood.

A medically trained staff can monitor you to ensure you receive immediate treatment if the withdrawal process endangers your health. Even though a teen likely hasn’t been drinking as long as an adult alcoholic, they may still have developed a strong addiction. This means the withdrawal symptoms will probably be too strong for a teen addict to handle on their own. This is likely why teens rarely quit drinking on their own. The medication teens receive as a part of the detox process will help make the withdrawal symptoms easier to handle. It also helps reduce their cravings to ensure they can focus on their recovery when they do move into a treatment center.

Keeping Students in School is a Concern

There’s also a greater emphasis on choosing between inpatient and outpatient programs for teens with alcohol use problems. It’s preferable to keep teens in school as they go through addiction treatment, so inpatient programs are reserved for more serious alcoholism problems. A teen who has a problem binge drinking or drinking frequently may not benefit well from an outpatient program, so they may have to take a break from school long enough to complete a recovery program. The ideal situation for a teen outpatient program is one in which parents want to be more involved in their child’s recovery.

When they have a good home life with caring parents and they have a good school record, they may be better suited to an outpatient program. These are the situations in which teens tend to drink socially, so the triggers for substance abuse may not be as intense. The decision to participate in an outpatient program will depend on the addiction assessment of the particular teen in addition to the teen’s wishes for treatment.

Family Involvement is More Important

While every recovering addict benefits from the support and participation of their family, teens need family involvement that much more. This is an unnerving experience for teens who have not spent much time away from their parents. When parents routinely visit and offer their support, the positive approach the teen takes towards recovery will be bolstered. Additionally, family therapy sessions help address issues before they lead to worse addiction and mental health issues. Many types of emotional health problems develop during adolescence, which is why each teen receives a comprehensive intake evaluation.

This process helps addiction counselors determine the needs of each teen addict. Since mental heal issues, such as depression, anxiety, or eating disorders, serve as triggers for alcohol use, it’s important to address these issues alongside addiction treatment. Providing mental health therapy helps reduce the risk that a teen will relapse after leaving the alcohol treatment center. If you’re a teenager and you’re struggling with alcoholism, talking to one of our counselors can help you get the treatment you need. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 844-639-8371 to begin a private and confidential recovery program.

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