Some think marijuana is a harmless drug. More and more states are making it legal. Some with specific health issues may benefit from this drug. Does this mean parents don’t have to worry about a teen’s marijuana use?
Think of it this way: alcohol is legal. How many lives have been destroyed by alcohol abuse and addiction? You probably know someone whose life spiraled out of control by this “legal” drug.
In addition, mind altering substances like marijuana can have lasting effects on a teen’s developing brain. In the short term, marijuana can affect a teen’s concentration, motivation, and executive functioning. Regular use of marijuana can also create structural changes in a teen’s brain affecting emotional regulation and memory.
This is especially true for teens dealing with complicated emotions like trauma, grief, abuse, and bullying. Many teens don’t have the skills and knowledge to deal with these complex issues. In desperation, they reach for an easy way out. Oftentimes this escape is drugs.
For teens struggling with mental health issues, experimenting with marijuana can quickly snowball into daily use. This “harmless” drug becomes a crutch to get through everyday activities. As marijuana use increases, teens inevitably face troubles with school, strained family relationships, and potentially high-risk behaviors leading to legal issues or other dangerous situations.
Even more alarming, as the thrill of the marijuana “high” subsides, teens may turn to more powerful drugs like pills, cocaine, or heroin. These dangerous drugs can cause serious health problems and even death.
Marijuana addiction treatment helps teens realize the dangers of the drug and how continued use can negatively impact their lives. This often involves creative therapeutic approaches specifically geared to the mindset of today’s teens. Many teenagers need more than traditional “talk therapy”. Marijuana addiction treatment for teens uses a comprehensive approach offering engaging, “hands on” activities. The opportunities teach new skills fostering a mindset geared towards a drug free life.
The type of treatment your teen needs often depends on personal circumstances, co-occurring mental health conditions, and the severity of drug use. There are many available treatment programs ranging from outpatient to intensive inpatient. Speaking with a skilled admissions counselor can help you discover which programs are most appropriate for your teen.
Teens struggling with marijuana use and abuse can benefit from a treatment program specializing in the unique needs of this modern world. As a parent, you’ve seen how much different life is for today’s teenagers. Technology has immersed their lives. Social media often creates unrealistic expectations leading to feelings of inadequacy. In a world where we are all connected, many teens feel more isolated than ever.
These feelings of isolation and inadequacy can have devastating effects on a teen’s emotional health. While some teens navigate these challenges with just a few bumps along the road, others can get stuck without the tools to find their way out. For these teens, turning to drugs like marijuana is a way to numb these feelings and avoid the stressors associated with growing up.
Marijuana addiction treatment programs help teens who have self-medicated their personal problems. More importantly, these programs can help teens who struggled with other issues including trauma, abuse, or other mental health concerns.
During marijuana addiction treatment, a teen will work with dedicated professionals who know the struggles of modern teens. These professionals not only help a teen find more positive ways to deal with life’s stressors, they also help teens and their families discover the root causes of their substance abuse.
Kokua Recovery, a leading marijuana addiction treatment facility for teens ages 13-17, offers innovative therapies and early interventions for treating substance abuse. Their evidence-based approaches help teens struggling with drug abuse and other mental health issue in a scenic, supportive setting in Colorado.
For many teens, facing the challenges of substance abuse is hard. Some may try outpatient programs or individual counseling with little or no success. Other teens even go to shorter residential programs (30 to 90 days) and return to their same negative behavior patterns after being discharged.
Kokua Recovery offers a unique opportunity for teens who haven’t responded to other marijuana addiction treatments. We offer gender-specific residential treatment geared towards you teen’s success.
Why is residential treatment beneficial? Addiction is a mental illness triggered by thought and behavior patterns. When a teen experiences negative emotions or thoughts, they may find respite in using drugs to feel better and avoid their issues. Then, once the high has subsided, the thoughts slowly return. This creates a vicious cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors leading to addiction.
Residential treatment takes a teen away from the stressful environment often leading to marijuana use and abuse. It’s a chance for teens to start the process of self-discovery in a place where they can grow and thrive. While teens are often scared or apprehensive about entering residential treatment, they soon find they are surrounded by supportive staff and peers going through similar experiences. As teens get acclimated in the program and take advantage of all the offerings of marijuana addiction treatment, they feel more ready and willing to create positive change in their lives.
Every teen comes to us with different experiences, struggles, and motivations. We get to know each of our youth and provide individual plans for their success. Individual counseling, group therapy, and interactions with family all play a key role in your child’s marijuana addiction treatment.
What makes Kokua Recovery different from other programs? We offer a 6-month program where teens can get a solid footing in their recovery. It allows them to change their thought patterns, learn new skills, and discover how to live drug free. Youth in our program are assigned chores to learn responsibility, engage in physical activities for better overall health, and participate in exciting adventures to develop lifelong positive leisure pursuits.
Once teens successfully complete the program, their family also has access to supportive aftercare services.
“Kokua” is a Hawaiian word referring to “extending loving help to others.” This philosophy is the core of our treatment model. We choose the most qualified staff who show a genuine passion for helping teens succeed. In addition, we provide our youth opportunities to learn and grow by reaching out to others. The idea of kokua breathes through everything we do.
At Kokua Recovery, we know treating drug and alcohol use requires multidimensional approaches. After all, what teen wants to sit around and listen to lectures about how drugs are bad and should be avoided? That type of treatment would fall on deaf ears and glazed-over expressions.
We make recovery engaging, challenging, and even fun. By using experiential activities and adventure therapy along with science-backed therapy approaches teens learn by doing and discover how these activities provide real-life learning experiences. For example, as a teen participates in a ropes course with peers, he may learn valuable lessons on effective communication, decision-making, or positively handling adversity. We offer several activities like hiking, snowboarding, and physical fitness to help a teen feel better physically and more self-confident.
In such a self-absorbed society, it’s no wonder many teens haven’t been exposed to the deep joy of helping out others. At Kokua Recovery, we engage our youth in several service activities to help them discover how being of service to others can increase empathy, gratitude, and provide purpose in life. From peer mentoring to experiences in nearby communities and beyond, our youth will discover how service to others can be an effective tool for sobriety.
As scientists and researchers continue to gain understanding on how the developing brain functions, more and more studies suggest the how trauma and substance abuse negatively impact the brain. This is important to note, because if you child has experienced trauma, you want to seek early interventions if any drug use is suspected. This can be the difference between your child’s optimal mental health or a lifelong struggle with addiction.
For example, a study analyzing the correlation between traumatic experiences suffered in childhood and substance use disorders showed a high correlation of a lifetime of substance abuse. These substances included alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and opiates. The study went on to find the drugs had a lasting effect on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Without proper treatment the vicious cycle of reliving traumas and using drugs may continue leading to personal, health, and legal struggles.
In addition, a study examining the relationship of adolescent alcohol and drug use over a 5 year period showed both males and females had more cumulative health problems. The study surveyed adolescents who had been through treatment with poor outcomes and positive outcomes as well as a group who had low or no use of drugs or alcohol. The study concluded even teens who had brief periods of drug abuse were at risk for health problems as they reached early adulthood.
At Kokua Recovery, we seek to help teens before their drug use negatively impacts their transition into adulthood. If you’re worried about your teen, for any reason, feel free to give us a call at (877) 302-5022 for support and to find out how we can help.