Many times, when we look into the treatment options for drug and alcohol abuse, we are surprised to learn about certain aspects of the disease itself. For some parents in New Mexico, the concept that addiction is a disease at all may be new information. It is not necessarily uncommon for parents or friends to see alcohol and drug abuse as a choice. The belief system may be that if your child had enough willpower, or if he would simply make the right decision, he could stop using drugs.
Unfortunately, the issue isn’t quite that simple. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a recognized and treatable, chronic and recurring brain disease. Rather than focusing on the drug use, consider focusing on finding effective ways to treat the disease and prepare your child for a viable and productive future in New Mexico.
How Mental Issues Factor Into Addiction
There are other mental disorders that might be affecting your child at the same time as drug addiction, some of which may be contributing factors to your child’s illness. When any individual, including a teenager, is diagnosed with addiction at the same time as another mental disorder, they are said to have a dual diagnosis condition or a co-occurring disorder. Neither condition is more or less important than the other when it comes to treatment. Both conditions should be treated simultaneously.
For example, if an individual is suffering from depression, he or she may turn to alcohol or stimulants to feel better. Others may turn to prescription pain relievers which can help them to sleep away the sadness. When a teen suffers from undiagnosed anxiety, on the other hand, she might turn to central nervous system depressants, such as the prescription drug Xanax. Because those who are seeking to self-medicate may not be certain which drug accomplishes which task, they may experiment with various, dangerous combinations until they find one that makes them feel “right.”
On the other side of the dual diagnosis coin are those who experimented with illicit or illegal drugs to have a good time or as a result of peer pressure. The dependence on drugs, up to and including full-blown addiction, can cause significant changes in one’s life. If we look at the symptoms of addiction, one at a time, we can see how the result can be a serious detriment to mental well-being.
Signs of Addiction in Your New Mexico Teen
The following traits are listed in the diagnostic manual for mental disorders relating to addiction, as published by Indiana University:
Recurrent substance use with an inability to keep obligations to work or school
Recurrent use of alcohol or drugs in dangerous situations, such as driving
Legal problems as a result of drug use
Continued use of drugs despite the negative social or family problems it is causing
The life changes that occur for a teen as a result of the growing dependence upon drugs that he or she doesn’t understand can lead to other mental disorders, which in turn might cause your teen to self-medicate in a vicious cycle of abuse and addiction. Determining which issue arose first is not nearly as important as obtaining help for both.
Get Help for Your New Mexico Teen
Learning how to cope with a dual diagnosis disorder won’t happen overnight for most parents. Discovering that your child has a psychological issue, no matter how treatable that condition may be, can be traumatic. If you suspect that your child may be suffering from addiction with or without a co-occurring disorder, please contact us here at Teen Rehab right away. We can answer your questions and help you create a plan to approach your teen about their addiction.
This help line is for anyone who is looking for treatment for a loved one or themselves. Advisors are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide private and convenient solutions to your questions.
Calls to this help line will be answered by Newport Academy, a sponsor of Teen Rehab.org.