The issue of substance abuse and how to deal with it are not new. Although the prevalence of drug abuse is slowly declining, the problem is still steadily growing. Adolescents are vulnerable to substance abuse because they are emotionally and psychologically immature. They are also highly susceptible to substance use, which can include addiction, feelings of detachment, withdrawal, irritability, and significant physical illness. If you or a teen you love struggles with addiction, Adolescent substance abuse treatment can help.
Contact our experts at Fort Behavioral Health to learn more about adolescent substance abuse treatment and the importance of healthy coping skills. You can reach us at 844.332.1807.
What do Coping Skills Have to do with Substance Abuse?
The adolescent years are a time of experimentation, and the ability to manage these young lives is crucial to their success. When adolescents begin experimenting with substances, there must be skills that can be developed to help them cope.
The coping skills outlined below apply to a variety of substance abuse issues, including:
- Prescription drugs
- Other substances
Essential Coping Skills for Substance Abuse
The coping skills outlined here will allow them to develop healthier relationships and cope more effectively.
1. Establish and Maintain Healthy Relationships
It can be very hard for adolescents who feel stressed and overwhelmed to get help. It’s also very tempting to avoid dealing with things simply because they are too complicated or not getting the “results” they have hoped for. So when trying to help an adolescent in the middle of a substance abuse problem, it’s helpful to set goals for the conversation – a good starting point is “let’s talk about your feelings and how to …” Another good place to start is simply by opening up the conversation and listening without judgment or shaming.
Showing signs of understanding and empathy will help your child learn how important it is for them to deal with their emotions appropriately instead of continuing down the path of addiction and other destructive behaviors.
2. Practice Self-compassion
You may not realize it, but your adolescent is struggling with several issues, including substance abuse. In addition, they are working with mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. They struggle with low self-esteem and low self-worth. And they may be struggling with behaviors like bullying or being physically violent toward themselves.
Practicing Self-compassion and extending that practice to the adolescent you love struggling with substance abuse can play a vital role in their recovery. Self-compassionate practices can include seeking therapy or group support for yourself and other family members.
3. Seek Professional Help
Several recent studies have shown that substance abuse is a leading cause of death for adolescents. Yet, it is still hard to understand what makes adolescents vulnerable to substance abuse and how they can help them overcome it. Professional help is a crucial element in helping adolescents recover from substance abuse.
4. Turn to Healthy Outlets for Stress and Anger
Many adolescents turn to substances because they lack healthy outlets for complex emotions and the routine stress of living in this modern world. Seeking out physical and creative practices can be instrumental to the recovery process.
Physical outlets can include regular exercises such as yoga, biking, running, swimming, or long walks. Creative outlets can include painting, drawing, playing with clay, knitting, writing, making music, dancing, or participating in theatre productions.
Contact Fort Behavioral Health for Substance Abuse Support
At Fort Behavioral Health, we have years of experience successfully treating the root causes of adolescent substance abuse disorder and teaching young people the skills they need to live healthy, independent lives. To learn more, contact us today at 844.332.1807.