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Alcohol is the substance most likely to be abused by U.S. teens. It is a major public health problem, with links to suicidality, psychological problems, and motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, the single most predictive factor of adult dependence on alcohol or drugs is the abuse of alcohol or drugs during adolescence.
Sandstone Care takes a holistic, age-appropriate approach to treating alcohol abuse and dependence in adolescents ages 13–18, and young adults, ages 18–30.
Our adolescent and young adult alcohol abuse and addiction programs begin with a thorough assessment. Understanding a young person’s unique strengths and challenges, family history, past substance use, and underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, and trauma provides the foundation for creating an individualized treatment plan. We start with a deep respect for learning about our clients and their families. All clients also receive a comprehensive psychiatric assessment upon admission into the Day Treatment and Intensive Outpatient Programs.
Adolescents and young adults abuse alcohol for a variety of reasons. Some have a deep family history of addiction, and some may be the first in their family to abuse substances. Based on a variety of biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors, the appropriate treatment plan will vary by client. We work collaboratively with adolescents, young adults and their families to develop individualized treatment plans for their alcohol abuse or addiction. Treatment plans are continuously evolving to reflect progress, challenges, and new information.
Sandstone Care’s clinical team is a group of licensed and experienced mental health clinicians and addiction professionals who are also passionate about working with adolescents and young adults. This combination allows us to address adolescent and young adult alcohol use from both a cutting-edge clinical perspective as well as meeting young people where they are and helping them feel understood and accepted.
Struggling with school or work can be both a result of alcohol abuse and a cause of it. Wherever the problem began, we find that by supporting adolescents and young adults in getting back on track in school and/or work, we support them in addressing their alcohol abuse or addiction. Having a sense of purpose and self-efficacy is crucial to developing an identity outside of partying and alcohol use. When our clients are able to conceptualize themselves as successful employees, entrepreneurs, and students, it opens up a world beyond alcohol.
We believe it is crucial for family members to be involved in treatment. We support families in understanding substance abuse and addiction, as well as recognizing how family dynamics can contribute to recovery or keep a family stuck in a negative cycle. Our non-judgmental approach invites each family to explore their strengths and weaknesses, and offers practical advice for supporting a loved one in recovery, whether it is helping a teen to better integrate into family life or supporting a young adult to launch into adulthood.
One of the challenges of diagnosing and treating alcohol use disorders in adolescents and young adults is the social acceptability of binge drinking in many social circles among this age group. Many teens experiment with alcohol, and it is not uncommon for young adults to engage in binge drinking. These behaviors create risks for any adolescent, as they are still developing both socially and neurologically. But for some young people who are vulnerable to addiction due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, drinking can be especially risky, and lay the groundwork for dependence in adulthood.
Sandstone Care’s experienced clinicians help familiarize young people and their families with risk factors for addiction, and how to recognize when behaviors have passed beyond developmentally appropriate risk-taking into high-risk behavior. We also help teens and young adults address the grief that comes with realizing that they may not be able to drink moderately. While quitting a substance such as methamphetamine may make a teen feel more socially acceptable, the opposite is often true with alcohol and is important to address in treatment.
For a teen or young adult that has been drinking very heavily and/or combining alcohol with certain drugs such benzodiazepines (i.e. Xanax & Valium), withdrawal from substances can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Sandstone Care works closely with medical detox facilities to ensure that clients safely detoxify from substances before beginning an outpatient program.
Adolescents’ brains are still developing until around ages 24–26. This is much later than researchers originally believed. As such, adolescents are especially vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Teens and young adults also need different things from a treatment environment than their older adult counterparts. At Sandstone Care, we understand that fostering an environment in which adolescents and young adults feel welcomed, accepted, and understood is critical to achieving a positive treatment outcome. Our space is warm and welcoming, and our curriculum includes plenty of fun, movement, and experiential activities. Adolescents are heavily influenced by their peers, so we place a strong emphasis on a healthy and positive peer culture, as well as establishing healthy boundaries with peers.
To learn more about Sandstone Care’s teen and young adult alcohol treatment programs, call us today. Our friendly and non-judgmental team will be happy to answer questions, verify your insurance coverage, and help you to understand your options. The first step of the journey is often the hardest—let us help you get started.