Every year, millions of Americans are affected by some form of substance abuse. That’s why it’s so important to support National Recovery Month this September. Many young people dealing with substance abuse issues don’t understand that this is an issue that can stay with them for the rest of their lives. National Recovery Month recognizes the importance of helping young men and women struggling with substance addiction get the treatment they need. It is crucial to get teens help as soon as you see signs of substance abuse.
Spotting the signs
For National Recovery Month (and hopefully every other month of the year), boost your awareness of the symptoms of substance abuse. As with any illness, symptoms of drug and alcohol addiction vary from person to person, however, the following are some common symptoms:
Symptoms affecting physical health
- Changes in sleep and eating patterns
- Deterioration in physical appearance- unkempt hair and ripped clothes
- Strange smells coming from body and clothing
- Incoherent or slurred speech
- Unstable coordination
- Bloodshot eyes
- Frequent nosebleeds
Symptoms affecting behavior
- Drop in school performance and attendance.
- Not interested in activities formerly enjoyed
- Change in friend groups
- Sudden financial problems or need for money
- Withdrawn from family and friends
- Risky behavior
- Always getting into trouble with authority
- Change in attitude and personality
- Fearful and paranoid for no reason
- Unusually agitated or hyperactive
These are only a few symptoms related to substance abuse. However, if you have any suspicions that your teen is using drugs or alcohol, you should ask them about it.
Helping teens recover from substance abuse for National Recovery Month
After your teen undergoes treatment for their substance abuse issues, they will need your help coping with the recovery process. It’s important for you to create a safe, supportive environment for your teen to recover in. Emphasize the positive things your teen does during their recovery. Give at least five positives for every negative comment. You should also be aware of what your teen is doing and who they are hanging out with. Get them involved in extracurriculars. That can fill their time and make it less likely for them to relapse.
Trails Carolina cares about National Recovery Month
If your teen is struggling with substance abuse issues, consider wilderness therapy for them. Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program that offers a clinically advanced program for teens struggling with substance abuse and other emotional and behavioral issues. Trails Carolina fully supports National Recovery Month, helping hundreds of teens struggling with substance abuse-related problems overcome their addiction. With an experienced, caring staff, Trails Carolina can provide your teen with the help they need.
For more information about how Trails Carolina can help your teen, please call 800-975-7303.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Graham Shannonhouse has been actively involved in the wilderness therapy field for nearly three decades. After receiving her degree in 1991, Shannonhouse spent 10 years working with a premiere wilderness-based therapeutic program in south-central Idaho. During her tenure, she served three years as a hands-on Field Instructor, three years as Field Supervisor, and the remaining time as Wilderness Program Director. During this period she developed, managed, and served as counselor for the country’s first wilderness program specifically focused on pre- teens ages 10 to 13
Graham returned to the east in 2002 to serve as Executive Director for a therapeutic wilderness program based in North Carolina, successfully growing it to one of the most respected companies in the industry. In 2008, she resigned her position to open Trails Carolina. Having an intimate working knowledge of the roots of wilderness therapy, Graham has brought her experience and wisdom to her position as Partner and Executive Director with the goal of integrating the true family work that must be done to insure lasting success.