Rehab for Young Adults
The Effectiveness of Rehab for Young Adults.
Providing guidance for the future of America.
Since 2011, the United States has seen a decline in teen mental well-being, as well as a rise in teen addiction. Experts believe that during the teenage years especially, people are struggling with the desire to fit in, peer pressure and temptation. Teenagers are concerned about the way they look, how people will think of them or if they are good enough for school or their peers. The social pressures that teenagers feel may lead to the development of mental health disorders which can also lead to substance addiction. The dual diagnosis program’s ability to help teens regain self-confidence, control maladaptive behaviors and reduce the risk of overdose and death just proves the effectiveness of rehab for young adults.
The Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS), a nonprofit group that provides counseling, education and crisis interventions at no cost for teens and their families, reports that the amount of service they provide increases every year during the beginning of the school year. Teens are worried about grades, succeeding in sports, fitting in with peers, etc. All of the worries and stress of teenage life causes negative effects on mental well-being. Most teenagers suffer from anxiety, depression or eating disorders and often turn to self-medication in order to ease the symptoms of the condition.
Self-medication is extremely dangerous for a couple of reasons. First, if the condition has not been diagnosed, there is no way to know which medications or dose to take. Someone may take the wrong medication or too much and cause fatal consequences. Secondly, the prolonged use of a substance causes the brain to stop its natural production of mood-boosting receptors. The brain knows that the substance will produce what the body wants to feel; therefore, the discontinuation of natural feelings will occur and the body will rely solely on the substance in order to feel good again. The body has become dependent on the substance and cannot function without it. And lastly, overtime, the body will become tolerant to the regular dose and will require an increase in dose as well as frequency in order to feel the effects that it did in the beginning. Taking too much of a substance can lead to overdose which will eventually lead to death.
Not only are teens susceptible to addiction because of self-medication, but the easy access to drugs is also causing an increase in teen addiction. The United States is slowly becoming more and more marijuana friendly. In November, the legalization of marijuana will be on California’s state ballot, which will allow the access to marijuana to become even more easy for teens. Additionally, because of Proposition 47, the possession of drugs has been reduced from a felony charge to a misdemeanor; therefore, teens are more likely to use drugs because of the lack of consequences from the law.
Teen Drug Use and Mental Health Disorders
As mentioned before, teens suffer from anxiety, depression and sometimes eating disorders due to the stress of teenage life. Michael Fitzgerald, the director of behavioral health services at El Camino Hospital, says, “Kids use drugs to feel different. They don’t like the way they’re feeling, maybe they have a lot of anxiety, and they end up using them to cope”. Fitzgerald helps teens cope with their mental health disorders through the ASPIRE program, which is a program designed to teach teens how to positively cope with mental health disorders and stress. During the program, teens learn how to control emotions without the use of drugs.
Phillipe Rey, executive director of ACS, says, “Drugs are not the problem. It’s what the drugs are masking, and the rising substance abuse among teens indicates mental health is a problem among kids and young adults […]”. Rey believes that social stigma associated with mental health disorders is what causes teens to self-medicate rather than seek treatment.
Regardless of social stigma, receiving treatment is the best way to take control of mental well-being in order to live a long-lasting life. The rehab programs for young adults help patients confront mental health disorders and learn to control them through positive coping mechanisms rather than self-medication.