There is no age requirement for chemical dependency. Drug addiction and alcoholism can grab hold of someone at any age. Identifying the symptoms of this disease and stopping it from developing further are the only ways to insure a happy, healthy future of a young person. It is the responsibility of adults to detect and deal with the behaviors of adolescents who may be abusing weed, alcohol, prescription drugs, or other illicit substances.
One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with adolescents is their secretive nature. Even those who do not have a substance abuse problem tend to hide things from the adults around them. For teens who do have a drug or alcohol problem, finding their stash can be difficult. They may try to conceal their addiction by creating several hiding places and concealing them in odd places.
If you think an adolescent is abusing drugs or alcohol check these possible hiding places:
- Drugs or paraphernalia stored in items or places rarely used by others such as speakers/amplifiers, closets, plants, or drawers.
- Containers with different kinds of pills, including vitamins or aspirin, which may hide prescription drugs.
- Water, juice, soda, or mouthwash bottles filled or mixed with alcohol.
- Items specifically designed to hold or hide drugs. These can look like jewelry, books, or outdoor key hiders.
- Everyday items such as floss boxes, film canisters, or lip/chapstick tubes altered (hacked) to hold illicit substances.
- Items or ziploc bags in odd places such as weedeater, shoes, purses, laundry, in a crawlspace or under the porch.
If you believe an adolescent in your life has a chemical dependency, it is best to confront him or her directly. Dealing with the denial, anger, and resentment of a person with a chemical dependency is very difficult. If that person is a teenager, it can be excruciating. The causes and effects of addiction among adolescents can be very different from adults. Remember that you are helping him or her find the healthy, happy life they deserve. Getting them to treatment will be the hardest step in recovery. If you need help with an intervention, recovery, or your own support, contact a treatment service that can understand the unique needs of your teen’s addiction.
Bradford Health Services’ adolescent program offers customized, complete treatment and recovery for young people. The adolescent program is designed to help teenagers and their families find their way back from substance abuse, behavioral problems, and other issues with addiction. Their treatment is designed to handle the unique needs of adolescents, emphasizing focused academic programs, recreational therapy, and expert clinical visits. This program is structured to be both stimulating and challenging, focused toward teenagers between 14 and 18 years old and their concerned families.
Bradford Health is dedicated to offering affordable and effective chemical dependency treatment and therapy programs. We bring hope to teens and their families – providing treatment that works for everyone, at any age. The first steps toward recovery are the most difficult, but don’t hide from the addiction. Responsible adults should feel comfort in knowing their concern might save a young person from a lifetime of regret.