adoltreatment - 69 RESPONSE PAPER 5 CSL631 Addictive...

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69 RESPONSE PAPER 5 CSL631: Addictive Behaviors Dr. Yvonne Tate Lorie Thomas November 27, 2010
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Treating an adolescent is significantly different than the treatment of an adult with an addiction. Teens that develop addictions are often unaware or resistant to the treatment process. Addiction often begins in adolescence and treating a teen can prevent a lifetime of addiction and pain. Certain characteristics in the family system can set a child up for an addictive pattern; Addiction can wreak havoc on a family and bring destruction on the family system. The three most important things I learned about treating adolescents are: Adolescents are usually from a dysfunctional family system Adolescents are often angry and resistant to treatment The most effective treatment in adolescent treatment involves the entire family The family system is very important for teens who are addicts. I didn’t realize that addicted teens have similar family characteristics. These teens often come from dysfunctional families where they have instability, marital conflict, financial difficulties, or addicted parents. These characteristics make the teen at high risk for addiction. The teen is highly influenced by their peers. The teen from an unstable home is usually struggling with low self-esteem and initially they find euphoria from the drugs or alcohol they are using. As they continue to use drugs and/or alcohol they develop a tolerance. Their feelings are altered by their chemical dependency, which interrupts their ability to problem solve, give them energy and grow normally. (p. 232). Adolescents are often angry and resistant to treatment because they are often forced into treatment by their families or the court system. They believe they are invincible and do not see that the same negative long-term consequences that addiction will bring into their lives. They are often prone to depression. (p. 231). A good addiction counselor for this age group needs to be resilient, have a great deal of energy and have the ability to handle frustration. Adolescents come to therapy often ready to fight it out.
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