When you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it is imperative to find help as soon as possible because addiction is a chronic condition that worsens over time. Substance abuse disorders and addiction are family diseases, which makes engaging in a family therapy program very important during mental health treatment in Los Angeles, California.

Adolescence is a particularly trying time. Because the human brain doesn’t fully develop until the late twenties, teens are especially prone to making poor decisions. In fact, half of all high schoolers have used marijuana at least once and nearly two-thirds have consumed alcohol within their lifetime.  While the prevalence of tobacco use among teens has decreased, vaping has become more common, with more than 37% of high school seniors vaping within the past year alone.

What is Addiction?

people in a circle participating in a family therapy programAddiction is a chronic, incurable disease that can impair your judgment, cause serious medical problems and lead to cognitive damage. In teens, substance abuse disorders are especially dangerous because the brain’s reasoning centers don’t fully develop until the age of 25. Teenagers are more likely to make impulsive decisions and have difficulty controlling their emotions. This means that teens are more prone to experimenting with drugs or alcohol, which can lead to abuse and dependency.

During addiction, your brain becomes dependent on your substance of choice in order to release neurotransmitters. For example, alcohol causes your brain to release a rush of GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that causes feelings of relaxation. Once the effects of alcohol end, you are suddenly left depleted of GABA, which can cause depressed moods and increase your desire to drink.

Some of the most common signs of addiction in teens include:

  • Mood and behavioral changes
  • Losing interest in hobbies
  • Poor grades
  • Truancy
  • Hanging out with friends who use drugs or alcohol
  • Changes in physical appearance, such as bloodshot eyes

While addiction is a chronic condition, recovery is possible with the help of substance abuse or mental health treatment in Los Angeles, California. During treatment, a family therapy program ensures your loved ones and family members are involved in the recovery process.

What is a Family Therapy Program?

Family therapy programs in Los Angeles offer both holistic and evidence-based treatments to help family members work together during recovery. A family therapy program addresses not only how addiction has impacted the entire family, but also how all members can recover. Addiction can damage and hurt familial relationships, especially when family members disagree about how to address addiction.

During a family therapy program, families learn how to set boundaries and support each other in a positive, healthy way. Another benefit of a family therapy program is that family members learn how to identify signs of a relapse. Nearly half of all people in recovery experience at least one relapse, making it important to understand how to respond when a loved one relapses.

A family therapy program can also help family members connect with additional resources, such as individual counseling. The ultimate goal of a family therapy program is to improve your loved one’s ability to achieve recovery while ensuring that you have the support necessary to live a happy and healthy life.

Finding Help Today

Struggling with a substance abuse disorder or addiction can make you feel isolated, stressed and overwhelmed. Addiction impacts more than 1 out of every 7 Americans aged 12 and older, but recovery is always possible. Connecting with a treatment center as early as possible is the best way to improve you or your loved one’s chances of recovery.

If you or your teen is dealing with a substance abuse problem, contact us today at 877.466.0620 to find out more about our family therapy program and your treatment options.