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DRUG & ALCOHOL ADDICTION 

Teenagers and young adults are at increased risk of substance use disorder..

THE WAVE CLINIC  >  DRUG & ALCOHOL ADDICTION

Anyone can be addicted

Addiction can affect people at any age, however it often begins in young people. Teenagers and young adults are at increased risk of substance use disorder. We understand that addiction does not discriminate and affects people at all stages of life. We also recognise that the earlier young people are exposed to drug or alcohol use, the more likely they are to run into problems. If a teenager or young adult continues to use drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences; they may need help with addiction.
 
If you notice changes in behaviour or mood and you feel uncertain why this change is happening, it maybe advisable to consider whether the young person or teenager is developing a drug or alcohol related problem. Sometimes we notice withdrawal, low mood, depression or feeling excessively tired. This can be difficult for parents, teachers, partners and families to spot; as we can feel that we are either overreacting or that it is a phase in ’normal’ development. 
 
Parents, friends and family can feel overwhelmed and powerless as they witness deteriorating relationships. Feeling fear at this point is very normal. We have a sense that something unpleasant is happening and at a loss around how to help. Confrontation, investigation and suspiciousness increases and fear of the future can set in. This can be increased if there has been involvement of legal issues or the young person has been asked to leave university, school or work. Being excluded often increases the sense of failure and isolation. 
 
Parents, friends and family can feel overwhelmed and powerless as they witness deteriorating relationships. Feeling fear at this point is very normal. We have a sense that something unpleasant is happening and at a loss around how to help. Confrontation, investigation and suspiciousness increases and fear of the future can set in. This can be increased if there has been involvement of legal issues or the young person has been asked to leave university, school or work. Being excluded often increases the sense of failure and isolation. 
 

Why is this happening?

Firstly, and most importantly: you haven’t failed. There are many paths that lead people to drugs. But when your loved one misuses substances, it impacts the family; and, if not stopped, will have long-term effects on their future.  Drug use is progressive. The internal “rule books” we use as adults - the shouldn’ts, wouldn’ts, won’ts - no longer apply. And once someone has gotten hooked on a substance, they’ll move on to something stronger. Falling in with the wrong crowd, societal pressures, anxiety and mental health issues can all have a profound impact. This is how addiction spirals.

We might know that the person in question has a few casual glasses of wine with dinner but be shocked to learn about the Xanax they took beforehand. We might suspect they smoke cannabis but have no clue they’re actually buying or dealing. Perhaps we joke with them about staying up late but are unaware that they’ve barely been sleeping - because it’s easier to engage in these kinds of behaviours while everyone else is asleep.

How Bad Can it Get?

The consequences of drug use are more serious than we believe. There’s no way of measuring how a specific drug will affect a specific person - especially a young person, as the human brain continues to develop until age 24. It’s easy to close our eyes to the very real possibility of long-term or permanent damage to physical health, cognitive abilities, and current or future relationships. 

Can Young People stop using drugs and alcohol on their own?

In some cases this is possible. However, at the point that the life of both the individual, their family, partner and friends are affected; it is likely that the problem has progressed to a stage where intervention will be required to help prevent further damage. Addiction changes the brain and adversely affects development young adults. Stopping is difficult, even when exhaustion and a desire to change set in. In some cases, that desire is not evident. 
Addiction changes the way that we perceive the world. It changes the way that we experience pleasure. Medical imaging is able to show changes in the structure and internal systems of long term substance users. The reward system in the brain is affected. Critical  thinking, decision making skills, learning, memory and the pleasure centres show changes following sustained drug and alcohol use. Stopping becomes difficult and sometimes dangerous. Addiction is not a choice. It is a medical condition much like any other.
 
The causes of addiction are being constantly researched. We do understand that there are many reasons why a young person or adult may be predisposed to addiction. Mostly importantly addiction does not make a person bad. It is not a moral failing. It is a complex and often misunderstood medical condition that needs to be addressed with the compassion and care that professional addiction treatment affords. 
 
If you believe that someone close to you, may be suffering from addiction related issues; it is important that you take advice from an addiction professional. Do not attempt to abruptly withdraw drugs or alcohol at home. The symptoms of withdrawal can be difficult to manage and may require medical intervention. Detox from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol is most appropriate in a facility with medical care available.
 

What are the Signs my loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol?

If you notice any of the signs and symptoms above, it is time to seek professional help.

Treatments for drug and alcohol addiction for young people is effective and may prevent more serious consequences and long term harm.

Is There Hope?

There’s nothing as painful as watching a loved one suffer.
But it’s important to remember that this pain comes from a place of love.
Families tend to feel a lot of shame around drug use. They feel like they’ve failed and try to bury the problem. But to make any progress, substance use disorders need to be addressed without fear of judgment.
Families often ask us, “Have you ever seen anything like this before?” All the symptoms your loved one is exhibiting are normal, given what they’re experiencing. We want to address the root cause of their struggles before they become more serious. We want to support and nurture your loved one and provide you with a safe space and system to heal as a family.

We Can Help Today

FAQ

We provide local and international private transportation teams, private air transfers, ambulance services, medical teams and psychiatrists. We can collect young adults from anywhere in the world and respond to crisis situations. 

See our intervention services here.

We provide onsite educational support and tutoring for students currently enrolled in school, via university lecturers and teachers who teach in English (and in other languages if necessary). We can also support them through their home or school study if schools wish to liaise with us. We offer access to the International GCSE curriculum and can provide facilities to study through the GCSEs and to sit exams.
We start by introducing subjects our clients are most interested in, as the topics that grab their attention will have the best chance of reengaging them in the educational process. For those who haven’t been attending a school or aren’t achieving passing grades, pausing the process, rebuilding the student’s foundation and making a long-term investment in their future often yields much stronger results. To explore schooling options please get in touch here.

Our core rehab programme costs $4000/week for 10 weeks, and includes all treatment, therapies, lodging, meals, excursions and activities. We accept all insurance policies. To find out more about fees and insurance coverage, please contact us 

Yes. We have a medical team on staff, allowing clients can detox in-house. We can use Naltrexone and Suboxone, so we can continue any maintenance programmes already in place. To enquire about our detox process contact us

For more FAQs, please refer to our FAQs page.

There's Always Hope

Recovery is not a journey that should be taken alone. Do you have questions?

Want to discuss your case?

Are you looking to start the path to healing? We’d love to talk to you. 

 

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