Treatment for Teenage Addiction in Dallas
A teenage alcoholic should be a fictional character that can’t exist in our reality. For most, addiction does not occur after one drink and with the ID laws in place minors under 21 should find it far too difficult to obtain alcohol at all, let alone often enough to become alcoholics. The all-too common discovery that there was alcohol at a party should be something scandalous. It is possible for a teenager to access an unlocked liquor cabinet without their parents’ knowledge. More often than not, teens say they get their alcohol from parents or a friend’s parents, while the parents are present and with their knowledge.
The misguided philosophy that it is better for teens to drink with their parents present than sneaking around to do it fails to take into consideration the fact that none of them would be drinking at all without adult suppliers. Dangerous behaviors and illicit drug use have been correlated to underage drinking–the more a child drinks, the more likely they are to be in other trouble as well. The precedent that rules are for breaking and illegal behavior is acceptable does far more damage than any benefits that might have come from the “open relationship” the parent was hoping to foster.
Curiosity and peer pressure can lead to nearly any teen trying alcohol if it’s offered. Routine drinking, perhaps every day in astonishing quantities, is far more than a curious or pressured teen giving it a try. Teens who are self-medicating with alcohol may have an underlying problem that needs care. If alcohol is providing an escape for something bigger, it might explain why the teen is willing to work so hard and go through so much to obtain it.
Teens who drink are far more likely to steal or have other problems with the law. At that stage, they are just learning how to form relationships and alcoholism can destroy those relationships and significantly impair future relationships as the teen fails to learn and make those critical connections. Adolescent brains process emotion first and logic second–if those developing brains are exposed to alcohol, particularly as a coping mechanism for dealing with those emotions, it may cause permanent damage to either the child’s brain or their ability to use healthy coping techniques in the future.
Drinking does not make a teen more “grown up,” it is not a rite of passage, and those who provide alcohol to minors are doing great harm, not helping them grow. If you suspect an adolescent in your life is using alcohol or other substances, intervention is essential to that child’s long-term health and well being. Because there may be underlying problems that need to be addressed, teenage treatment in Dallas needs to focus on the whole child–learning positive coping techniques and finding why they reach for alcohol in the first place rather than just treating the addiction. As the brain continues to develop, those last few years between adolescence and age 21 mark a transition that is more than just maturity, and allowing a teenager to drink before their time can stunt their development and cause life-long problems.