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Teenage Addiction Treatment Options

According to teenage addiction statistics, five percent of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 had a substance use disorder in 2014. That amounts to 1.3 million young people who needed treatment for addiction. The good news is that teenagers today have the highest rate of treatment of all generations. Teenage addiction treatment helps teens end their substance abuse once and for all and develop essential skills that will improve their lives on many fronts moving into the future.

4 Minute Read | Published Sep 28 2023 | Updated Jun 04 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Dameisha Gibson
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Dameisha Gibson
Reviewed by

Teenage addiction treatment helps young people develop the skills they need to end their addiction for good.

Signs and Symptoms of Teenage Addiction

Substance abuse, addiction and dependence are diagnosed under the umbrella of “substance use disorder,” or SUD. Eleven past-year criteria are used to determine whether a SUD is mild, moderate, or severe:

  1. Using more drugs or alcohol or for a longer period of time than intended.
  2. Wanting or trying to cut down but finding you can’t.
  3. Spending a great deal of time seeking, using, or recovering from using drugs or alcohol.
  4. Experiencing cravings for drugs or alcohol.
  5. Neglecting duties at home, school, or work.
  6. Using drugs or alcohol despite the social or interpersonal problems it causes.
  7. Losing interest in activities once enjoyed.
  8. Engaging in risky behaviors while seeking or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  9. Continuing to use drugs or alcohol even though they’re affecting physical or mental health.
  10. Developing a tolerance to drugs or alcohol, which means needing larger doses to get the same effects.
  11. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using drugs or alcohol.

Other signs that your teen may be abusing drugs or alcohol include:

  • Changes in appetite, behaviors, friends, or sleeping habits.
  • Declining academic performance.
  • Getting in trouble at home or school or with the law.
  • Relationship troubles with friends or family.
  • Frequent headaches and other illnesses.
  • Uncharacteristic high or low energy.
  • Becoming angry, defensive, or hostile when confronted about drug abuse.

Teenage addiction treatment for substance use disorders works, and it can work for your teen, too.

Teenage Addiction Treatment Programs: Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab

Inpatient teenage addiction treatment offers the best possible outcomes of rehab, but for some teens, outpatient treatment can be successful, too. Inpatient treatment is crucial for your teen if she:

  • Has an unsafe or unstable living environment.
  • Has a long history of addiction or a severe addiction.
  • Is not motivated to stop using drugs or alcohol.
  • Has a co-occurring mental illness.
  • Has been treated for addiction in the past.

Inpatient treatment should last for at least 90 days for the best chances at long-term success.

Outpatient treatment can work for teens who:

  • Are intrinsically motivated to stop using.
  • Have a safe and stable living environment.
  • Have a high level of support at home and in the community.
  • Have a way to get to daily programming at the facility.

The best teenage addiction treatment programs take a holistic approach to treatment that addresses a variety of issues of body, mind, and spirit for whole-person healing. According to teenage addiction statistics, most teens who engage with their treatment plan are able to recover from the addiction for the long-term.

How Teenage Addiction Treatment Works

Treatment helps teenagers find their own motivation for wanting to quit using drugs or alcohol. It helps them address a variety of issues that underlie the substance abuse, which may include chronic stress, family dysfunction, a history of trauma, or a co-occurring mental illness. Teenage addiction treatment plans typically include a variety of hands-on, experiential therapies like adventure therapy, art therapy, and music therapy, which help them develop self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-confidence. Teens develop essential coping skills for dealing with common issues faced by young people, including stress, peer pressure, strong negative emotions, and cravings for drugs or alcohol.

Teenage addiction treatment can help your teen end his substance abuse and discover that a life of sobriety can be fun and rewarding. Addiction prevention helps improve your child’s quality of life and sense of well-being so that she can pursue a promising future and enjoy life without needing drugs or alcohol to do it.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at (800) 429-7690.


bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014).
"Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016).
"Treatment of Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 32."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021).
"DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021).
"Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018
bullet American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2015)
"The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018
bullet Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2006).
"Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with Co-Occurring Disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 42."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021).
"DrugFacts: Comorbidity: Substance Use Disorders and Other Mental Illnesses."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020).
"Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018
bullet Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. (n.d.).
"Treatment Options for Teens."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018
bullet National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2020).
"Underage Drinking."
Retrieved on June 06, 2018

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