Nobody knows your children as well as you do. You have watched them grow up in South Dakota, from helpless, tiny creatures into independent, strong-willed teenagers. Have you ever wondered why they can seem so grown up one minute, then behave like children the next? There are times that adolescents can seem to make decisions that simply make no sense, whatsoever. Have you, like many parents, thrown your hands in the air at the thought of a decision your teen has made that seems completely irrational? Believe it or not, there is a reason for this type of behavior in teens and it starts in the brain.
The Teenage Brain and Addiction
In a story published by NPR, Neurologist Francis Jenson explains that the part of the brain that differentiates between good choices and bad choices has not finished developing in the teenaged brain. The frontal lobes of a teenager fire and react very differently – more slowly, in fact – than in an adult. This affects their ability to make sound choices that are the safest or make the most sense.
When we apply this information to teen drug abuse, we are faced with some additional questions:
Does drug use have a different effect on the brain of a teen than on the brain of an adult?
Can teens make the decision to not use drugs as easily as adults?
Are teens more susceptible to peer pressure and the desire to “belong” than adults?
Is the treatment for drug addiction different in a teen than an adult?
Are the long-lasting effects greater for teens?
According to an article published in USA Today, research conducted at Harvard University found that individuals who began smoking marijuana prior to the age of 16 were less productive in certain cognitive tests than their counterparts who had not used drugs. Do you remember that frontal part of the brain that is still developing in teens? This is the same part of the brain that is responsible for the actions performed in the study tests. Scientific data from brain scans reinforced this conclusion as well.
When you’re looking for teen addiction rehab for your South Dakota teen, it is important to take their age and developmental level into consideration. Not only does the brain operate differently, but the idea of what is important can be entirely different too. For instance, an adult in a group therapy session may have issues with paying his mortgage or getting a big promotion at work. For a teen, these issues may be too distant to have any benefit. A 15-year-old teen may have trouble focusing on long-lasting effects such as this; they don’t have a mortgage or a full-time job. A group therapy session with other teens, however, may discuss issues such as keeping up in school, dealing with their parents, or the likelihood of finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. Studies released by the National Institute of Health have shown that group therapy is a very good tool in the rehab process, because it provides peer support and decreases the sense of isolation. Placing a teen in a group that he or she can’t identify with could prove inadequate.
Find Help for Your South Dakota Teen
If you are interested in the very best care possible for your teen suffering from addiction, it is important that you act quickly. As stated by NIDA, the earlier that an individual uses drugs, the more likely addiction will develop and the more difficult it can be to treat. The sooner you can get your child the help he or she needs, the better the chances become for recovery. Please, do not hesitate to contact us here at Teen Rehab right away so we can answer your questions and help you find the assistance you need. We treat teens from all over the US, including those from South Dakota, and help them achieve recovery in a safe setting.
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.