The school year is coming to a close, and many people are gearing up for summers spent by the pool or planning for summer trips and vacations. While relaxing and enjoying the summer is a great idea, the months away from school can also be an ideal time for teens to seek addiction treatment and get a head start on recovery.
Parents who have been wondering about whether their teens are using drugs might consider getting into contact with a recovery solution as summer approaches. Inpatient detox can take a few days or weeks, but comprehensive residential recovery treatment can take a month or more. Getting in the door early in the summer can help your teen be ready to face school again in the fall. Here are some reasons that summer addiction treatment might be right for your teenager.
Academics aren't an issue for teens in summer treatment
One of the biggest reasons to seek addiction treatment for your middle or high school teen during the summer is that it won't interfere with academics. We work with teenagers during recovery to ensure they don't fall behind with educational needs, being out of the classroom doesn't have to have impacts on academic options.
At the same time, entering treatment when school isn't in session means that academics won't impact treatment results. When teens are still worrying about keeping up with peers in school or trying to save or maintain a GPA, they can't turn all their attention on learning how to cope with addiction and maintain sobriety.
Summer can mean more time for abusing drugs
Summer months are also a good time for getting your teen into a drug recovery program because the warm, idle months can lead to even more drug abuse. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, summer is a prime time not only for first-time drug and alcohol abuse but an increase in use for those already addicted to or abusing substances.
If you think your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, an inpatient rehab program gets them away from the social circles, stresses or activities that might be contributing to substance abuse. At the Teen Treatment Center, we know that getting your teen away from opportunities to engage in substance abuse — especially when they might be otherwise bored — is a critical first step for recovery.
Less Peer Pressure
No one wants to miss out on special milestones in life — that's true for adults, and even more true for teens. Entering recovery during the school year does mean stepping away from friends and social circles, which can be more difficult for teens during the school year when friends are seeing each other daily. It also means not participating in things such as sports, clubs, Homecoming, Prom or graduation. But these changes might be necessary if your teen is being pressured in these environments to partake in risky behavior.
While we would never suggest that parents put off seeking help for their teens because an important event might be missed, this is a good reason to seek assistance now, when summer is on the horizon. When teens get into and involved with recovery during summer months, they are more likely to be able to deal with school in the new year and participate in all these activities, equpped with skills that will prevent them from giving in to the triggers for substance abuse.
Summer proceeds a possible fresh start
Each school year offers teens a possible fresh start. In extreme circumstances, parents might even work with administrators to ensure a move to a new school in the fall. A fresh start can help a teen make new friends and cement new habits, both of which can be good for sobriety. This isn't always necessary — or even healthy — so it's important to work with professionals to determine the right approach to coping with environments and triggers in the future.
Summer addiction treatment can be more discreet
Finally, seeking addiction treatment during the summer helps teenagers be more discreet if they want to. It's hard enough being a teenager without everyone at school knowing that you're out for an extended period and why. Many families and teens travel or become involved with new activities during the summer. An extended absence may not be noted by any but the teen's closest friends, and that means they won't have to explain themselves to acquaintances at school unless they really want to.
Should you find out about summer addiction treatment programs?
Parents can look for numerous warning signs that teens might be engaging in drug or alcohol abuse. Some signs include:
- Sudden and unexplained changes in hygiene, especially in the negative direction, that include unusual scents on the teens breath, hair or clothing
- Changes in physical appearance or health
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Sudden changes to social structures
- A sudden drop in grades or performance in extracurricular or work activities
- Mood swings, especially those that include depression or anger
- Anxiety or paranoia
- Lying or stealing
- Lack of interest in activities the teen was previously passionate about
Taken individually, none of these signs necessarily means that your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol. In fact, there are other explanations for every symptom listed above, especially as the end of a school year approaches. Burn out, worry or excitement about graduating or stress about end-of-year finals can all lead to some of the symptoms above.
As a parent, it's important to talk with your teen about what is going on in his or her life to understand where some of these signs might be coming from. If you notice multiple symptoms of drug or alcohol use and there are no other explanations, though, it might be time to call for professional assistance.
You can call The Teen Treatment Center any time to speak to a qualified, caring counselor. We'll help you understand what your options are and how you can arrange summer addiction treatment for your teen. Call us today at (844)319-5239.