The adolescent years can be difficult for many families. The challenges at home, school, college, or first job can create enormous stress for families in the short term and may lead youth down a path towards emotional disturbance, substance use, and or compulsive behaviors. The use of substances or behavioral compulsions (e.g., sexual acting out, Internet, experimentation with food and lifestyle) during these developmental years can lead to life-long developmental physical, emotional, and mental health consequences. An adolescent intervention is different from that of a young adult or an adult intervention. Although, technically, a minor can be mandated to treatment, with ARISE® Continuing Care with Intervention the goal is for treatment not to be an ultimatum, but rather the willing choice of the Person of Concern. When the young person goes to treatment voluntarily, they are more likely to participate actively in the process right from the beginning, rather than being resistant and possibly acting out for a week or more. The major difference with adolescents is the clear understanding that the word of parents is final and if the teen remains resistant, they will still be sent to treatment if the parents decide it is in their best interest.
Age Appropriate Treatment
Until recently, adolescents were given the same treatment as adults. The assumption was that what worked for one age group must work for all age groups. This “one size fits all” approach was previously thought to be the most effective method of working towards recovery. However, studies show that these strategies were not only less effective on adolescents, but sometimes have adverse and negative results. Now that we have a greater understanding of neurobiology and brain development, we understand why Adolescents and their families have different needs than adults. They are are also moving through emotional and maturational developmental stages at a rapid rate. Thus, strategies to assist struggling adolescents must also be different. They need to take into account the whole adolescent, their biology, psychological make up, family and friend relationships and context.
Understanding their development helps us understand why young people are at greatest risk. They are the most prevalent users of prescriptions drugs, with over 17,000 dying from prescription overdose. They are also most at risk for suicidal thoughts as every event seems to be a “life or death” decision or sentence. Similarly, the intensity of their despair or rage can be overwhelming for those around them and family members tend to bear the brunt of their raw emotions.
Adolescence is also the time of intense exploration. This is the time where new friends, environments and behaviors can be intensely stimulating. If things at home, school, work or college are challenging, these behaviors may provide intense relief and are then repeated compulsively to provide either stimulus or relief, or both.
Intervention on an adolescent can often prove difficult, as most adolescents are only in the beginning stages of their addiction, or behavioral compulsion. While consequences may already be present in early addiction, for adolescents abusing substances or indulging in such behaviors as compulsive gaming, Internet, sex, the substances or behaviors during these early stages often still feel “new” and “fun and the negative consequences are not enough for them to want to change their habits. Unfortunately, parental concerns can sometimes “fuel the fire” as the adolescent sets about proving to parents that they are safe and in control. Empathetic, caring intervention that includes family members and the Person of Concern in decision-making have proven an effective way to help a loved one towards recovery.
Intervention for Whole Family Healing
An adolescent intervention is an opportunity for your struggling youth to get the help they need. A Certified ARISE® Interventionist will establish a connection with your family and Person of Concern, opening the door for whole family healing. Using a compassionate Invitational Intervention™, the ARISE® Continuum of Care is a gradually-escalating process that leads your loved one into appropriate treatment and recovery. Your adolescent is invited to join the process right from the beginning with no surprises, no secrets, no coercion, with absolute respect and love. ARISE® places the utmost importance on removing blame, shame and guilt as we introduce your family to a new life of recovery and healing. The Person of Concern does not need to hit bottom, get into trouble with the law, or be in danger, before getting help.
ARISE® Continuing Care focuses on the Certified ARISE® Interventionist working with the Intervention Network and addicted individual to prevent relapse or recurrence of self-destructive behaviors, initiate long-term recovery, and complete the work towards family healing and recovery.
ARISE® gets over 83% of individuals into treatment within 3 weeks, 96% into treatment within 6 months and 61% in recovery by the end of the year with an additional 10% improved.
Your Certified ARISE® Interventionist will help you select a treatment facility that best fits the needs of your loved one.
If your adolescent son or daughter appears to be affected by addiction, struggling with mental health or behavioral compulsion, or exhibiting failure to launch behaviors, ARISE® Continuing Care with Intervention can be an effective way to get your loved one and your family the help they need to move forward. With the support of helping professionals, friends, and family, it IS possible to overcome addiction and behavioral compulsions in adolescence and young adulthood.