Cenikor Donations


Rehab for Teens: How to Choose the Right Rehab for Your Teenager

If your teenage son or daughter is in the throes of an addiction, the right resources can help you find the support your family needs.

Are you looking for rehab for teens? In your research, you’ll find that there are many different options, including both inpatient and outpatient treatments.

Knowing the features that set a reputable facility apart can help direct and guide your search. Today, we’re sharing how to find the right addiction treatment program that your adolescent needs.

Understanding the Types of Rehab For Teens

There are two primary different types of drug rehab centers for teens.

Inpatient programs offer a more intensive treatment and require the patient to remain on-site for the duration of the services. On the other hand, most outpatient programs require the patient to visit the facility to receive treatment during the day, but allow them to return home in the afternoon or evening.

Should your teenager stay in a rehab center full-time or just to attend daytime sessions?

There isn’t a universal rule that will dictate the answer. Rather, each individual is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with appropriate recommendations to follow. A few of the deciding factors will include:

  • The nature of the teenager’s addiction
  • The teenager’s medical needs
  • The teenager’s metal health needs

At Cenikor, we offer both inpatient and outpatient treatments at our Adolescent Drug Rehab Centers. Both are designed for teenagers who are between 13 and 17 years old at the time of admission.

Let’s take a look at a few of the features of each treatment, along with ways to decide which one to pursue.

Adolescent Inpatient Treatment 

Inpatient rehab centers are also known as residential treatment programs. These facilities provide full-time, comprehensive care for adolescents whose lives have been affected by a substance use disorder.

As you seek out the best one in your area, look for a facility that employs licensed clinical staff. There should also be a range of inpatient services provided to cover the spectrum of different patient needs. In addition to screening and assessments, our team also provides:

  • Early intervention services
  • Issue-specific rehab groups
  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Recovery after-care services

If your teenager is experiencing substance dependence or is suffering from a dual diagnosis that includes mental illness, inpatient rehab services can help. These facilities are especially beneficial for adolescents who require detox support before beginning therapy.

While in our inpatient rehab, each client will learn to live with structure and boundaries. They’ll also attend meetings with their peers and counselors to address and help adjust negative behaviors and attitudes. To keep up with their educational requirements, they’ll meet with qualified instructors in our on-site, accredited school.

Adolescent Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient rehab services can also be life-changing for adolescents and their families who have been impacted by a substance use disorder. While inpatient services require clients to spend the duration of their treatment on-site, outpatient treatment allows them to spend the night at home.

Our team at Cenikor provides intensive outpatient services to adolescents on an individual, group or family level. We understand that addiction can affect parents, siblings and other loved ones in different ways, and we’re here to help. Our licensed clinical counselors lead evidence-based, outpatient group counseling programs that can help everyone heal.

These services are designed to facilitate both addiction recovery, as well as the client’s mental health. They are best suited for teenagers who:

  • Do not have a serious addiction
  • Are at a lower risk of relapsing
  • Have already completed an inpatient addiction treatment program

Often, clients will enter into outpatient programs once their inpatient treatment has ended. This support can help them successfully reintegrate into society and prevent a relapse.

Rehab For Teens: Which Treatment Is Right For Your Family?

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment services can be beneficial for adolescents who are trying to overcome a substance abuse disorder.

When deciding which option is best for your family, it’s important to work closely with your treatment provider, as well as your physician. These healthcare professionals can assess your teenager’s physical and mental needs to help guide you toward the right program.

One distinction to keep in mind is that outpatient programs tend to be open-ended. In other words, they are not pre-arranged for a set duration of time. Rather, your teenager (and your family) can attend therapy as long as required until full recovery is achieved.

Questions to Ask a Prospective Facility

Before choosing a drug rehab program for your teen, see if you can take a tour of the facility and speak to the staff. Bring along a list of important questions to ask to help you better understand their offerings. A few to consider include:

  • Can you customize an individual treatment plan for my teen?
  • Is your rehab facility accredited?
  • How involved can my family be in the treatment?
  • Are your staff members licensed, with specialized training in therapy for teens?
  • Do you offer an integrated treatment approach?
  • Is your program specifically tailored for adolescents?
  • How will you ensure that my teen is actively involved in their own treatment?
  • Will this treatment affect my teen’s education or career readiness?

You should feel comfortable with the answers you receive before moving forward. If you receive any hesitation or pushback when presenting these inquiries, consider that a red flag and continue your search elsewhere.

Learn More About Our Adolescent Drug Rehab Centers

It can be difficult and disheartening to watch your adolescent struggle with a substance abuse disorder. Thankfully, there are many resources, including rehab for teens, that can help them work through these challenges and chart a new course.

At Cenikor, we offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab services, with programs designed specifically for teens. Fill out the form on our website or contact us here to reach out to an admission advisor.


Essential Guide: How to Choose the Right Substance Abuse Center

About half of all teenagers have misused a drug at least once, and more than 40% use illicit drugs. Millions of other young people are addicted to alcohol. Experts estimate that 10 million Americans ages 12 to 29 need treatment to overcome their addiction.

Teens resort to alcohol and drugs for different reasons. Some do it because of peer pressure. Others see it as a way to cope with stress, depression, or anxiety.

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure your child receives appropriate treatment in a substance abuse center. Both alcohol and drugs can lead to emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems.

Finding help for addiction can be difficult, given the large number of alcohol and drug rehab centers out there. You may not know how to choose one, what to expect, and what the treatment involves.

If you’re ready to take this step and help your teen, you may find this guide helpful. Here’s what every parent should know about substance treatment facilities and how to choose the right one.

Get a Professional Assessment

First things first, reach out to a healthcare provider certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. If you have a hard time finding one in your area, contact a psychiatrist who specializes in substance use disorders.

These medical professionals can assess your child’s needs and decide on the best course of action. Your teen may not need long-term inpatient treatment. Outpatient services and detox programs can be just as effective as inpatient treatment in mild cases of addiction.

A psychiatrist will evaluate your teen’s behavior and attitude toward drugs, as well as the underlying problems behind his addiction. With this information, he will determine what type of treatment is right for your child and advise on how to proceed further.

Consider Your Child’s Needs

Teenagers experiment with drugs or become addicted to them for several reasons. Some do it because it makes them feel good. Cocaine, heroin, and other substances activate the brain’s reward center, triggering feelings of euphoria.

Adolescents may also feel pressured to get higher grades, become better athletes, and so on. Many of them resort to illegal stimulants to keep up with these demands.

Young people are also more vulnerable to social anxiety, depression, and stress than adults. Alcohol and drugs take some of the pain away, leading to a false impression of well-being.

Considering these aspects, it makes sense to choose a substance abuse center that can address the underlying cause of your teen’s addiction.

If, say, your child suffers from depression, look for facilities that offer psychiatric and psychological services in addition to substance abuse treatment. This way, he will receive the support needed to resist the urge to take drugs.

Reach out to the facilities you’re interested in. Try to find out if they have counselors and other professionals specialized in treating the problem your child is having. A multidisciplinary treatment team may also include wellness specialists, nutritionists, and more.

See What Services They Provide

There is more than one way to address substance dependence and abuse. For example, a substance abuse center may have inpatient and outpatient programs. Some facilities also offer group therapy, one-on-one counseling, and recovery support.

Cenikor’s adolescent inpatient program includes screening, assessment, after-care services, and more. Families can also opt for outpatient services that meet the needs of young people. Teenagers can attend career development groups and continue their education on-site.

We have several other programs for different needs and age groups. We offer medical detox services, adult inpatient programs, prevention plans, and outpatient services—just to name a few.

Consider the Location

As a parent, you may want to choose a rehab center located close to your home. While it’s true that nearby facilities are more convenient, they’re not always the best choice.

Your child may benefit more from spending time away from his home, school, and peers. This will allow him to escape the routines that fuel his addiction.

For example, if your child is bullied at school but keeps going there during his recovery, he may not be able to quit drugs. The time spent at rehab will help him overcome the negative feelings associated with bullying and boost his self-esteem.

Our rehab programs are available in over 10 different locations in Texas. We have substance abuse treatment facilities in Houston, San Marcos, Amarillo, and other cities.

Check Their Credentials

Make sure the facility is certified or licensed by the state. Ideally, it should also be accredited by a trusted organization, such as The Joint Commission.

Its longevity matters, too. Look for a substance abuse center that has been in business for several years and has a track record of success.

Cenikor, for instance, was founded in 1967 and has changed more than 100,000 lives. Our mission is to help people break the vicious cycle of addiction and enjoy better health.

Ask the Right Questions

The best rehab centers will be ready and willing to answer any questions you may have. Ask about their approach to substance abuse treatment, their success rate, and what kind of aftercare they provide.

You may also request more information about their staff-to-patient ratio, medications used, accommodation and amenities, and family support services. The cost of treatment depends on your child’s needs, so you might not receive an estimate on the spot.

Choose the Best Substance Abuse Center for Your Teen

Rehab for teens poses unique challenges and should take into account the patient’s gender, behavior, and level of maturity. At the same time, it needs to address any emotional, psychological, or physical problems he is facing.

Now that you know what to look for in a substance rehab center, reach out to our team at Cenikor. Our adolescent treatment services are tailored for people ages 13 to 17 and include both inpatient and outpatient treatment options.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Contact us today to discuss your needs and see how we can help.


How Do People Pay for Rehab Services?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), each year, America pays over $600 billion for substance abuse rehab services. Addictions also have health and social consequence costs which add to this total.  However, it costs less to treat an addicted individual than to pay for imprisonment. On average, it costs about $4,700 to pay for a year of methadone treatment for one person. If they are put in prison, according to the U.S. Government’s Daily Journal The Federal Register, it costs about $40,000 per year.

At Cenikor we understand cost concerns and know when considering addiction rehab, many worry about how to pay for it. At Cenikor we seek to alleviate barriers so cost does not prevent people from receiving help.  Listed below are different options available to help you afford treatment.

Rehab Services as an Answer for How to Recover from Addiction

The goal of addiction recovery is to help reestablish healthy, productive interactions. This includes relationships involving the family, job, and community.  Studies show that entering and staying in rehab stops addictive behavior. Which studies say this? This needs to be cited.  Studies also report less criminal activity, better social and psychological functioning, and improved work performance among those who have gone through recovery programs.

As Cenikor understands and models at its centers, It’s important to remember that every person is unique. Recovery success depends on the type and extent of their problem. Having an appropriate care plan and quality treatment also impacts outcomes.

Addiction treatment also requires a commitment to behavioral changes. It may also involve taking medications to correct addictive cravings and psychological effects.  After all, addiction is a chronic disease like high blood pressure and diabetes. If you stop taking the medications or following the diet, you’ll get worse. The same can adverse effects happen with those recovering from addiction.

To find out more and get help, it’s important to contact Cenikor today. We can help you develop the tools needed to start and stay on the road to recovery

 Paying for Rehab

There are many different ways that individuals pay for rehab services. The first step is to find out which options are available to you. You may need to apply to programs and wait for acceptance before starting treatment.

The following will help you know where to start looking for help.

Employee Assistance Programs

Some companies offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) as a benefit for their workers. The individual may have access to free assessments, referrals, counseling, and follow-up services.  There is often a limit to the number of free sessions. Employees may have the option to continue seeing the EAP counselor and pay out of pocket.  EAPs don’t provide medical care or replace medical or mental health providers. They work with outside resources when the situation exceeds the EPA program limits. An EAP can help you get started and get referrals for the right treatment.

Credit Card

Another payment option for addiction rehab is to apply for a low-interest credit card. You can use this to pay copays and deductibles.  Often the credit limit is low at first so it’s important to pay the balance as soon as possible. This will improve your credit history and prevent building up debt.


For those with poor credit, no health insurance, or other financial problems, you can try fundraising. Today, social media provides many ways to start a crowd-source fund for your cause. It may surprise you that friends, family, churches, and other groups want to help with your recovery.


Some finance companies specialize in healthcare-related loans or credit. Often this includes addiction treatment costs. These loans may have lower interest rates and more flexibility.  Also, consider talking with the bank that you use regularly about loan options. Speak with friends or family who may have the ability to set up a personal loan.


Medicare beneficiaries may receive inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. There are some rules that must be met in order to receive coverage.  Your healthcare provider must certify that the services are medically necessary. All treatment must occur in a Medicare-approved facility or from an approved provider.

Medicare Part D covers medically necessary outpatient prescription drugs used for addiction treatment. Yet, Part D doesn’t cover methadone or other similar drugs given for addiction treatment. It will cover methadone as part of an OTP service.

Another service, Structured Assessment and Brief Intervention (SBIRT), is also covered by Medicare. This service applies to individuals demonstrating addictive tendencies or behaviors. It includes screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment.


Each state creates its own Medicaid rules and regulations. This means that your state may or may not pay for addiction treatment. Speak with a local Medicaid representative to learn about the plan and qualifications.  Several managed healthcare plans have entered into agreements with Medicaid. If you have access to these specialized programs, talk with a Cenikor representative about your needs. Also, make sure the rehabilitation center accepts these plans.

Payment Plans

Some addiction treatment facilities offer sliding scale fees and payment plans. They may even offer their own financing plan with low monthly payments.

Private Insurance

The American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement measured insurance coverage. The report showed that 92% of Americans had private health insurance for at least part of 2019.

At Cenikor, we accept the following insurances:

  • Aetna
  • Amerigroup/MultiPlan
  • Beacon Medicaid
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Cigna Health Springs Medicaid/ MultiPlan
  • Community Health Choice
  • CompCare
  • Cook Children’s Health Plan
  • Galaxy Health Network
  • Magellan Commercial
  • MHNet
  • Parkland Community Health Plan – Medicaid
  • Right Care Scott & White Medicaid
  • Scott & White Health Plan
  • Sendero Health Plan – Medicaid
  • Texas Children’s Health Plan
  • TMHP Traditional Medicaid
  • USA Managed Care Organization
  • Value Options (presently known as Beacon Health Options)
  • Cenpatico/Superior
  • Humana
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

This does not represent a complete list. Contact Cenikor to find out if they accept your insurance.

Each insurance plan has different rules about what they pay for. Ask about what your policy covers related to rehab.

It may cover inpatient and/or outpatient treatment as well as follow-up counseling. Other services include medical detox that often uses medications. Also, ask if they cover maintenance meds.

Are You Thinking About Seeking Addiction Rehab Services?

If you or a family member is struggling with an addiction, you may be considering rehab services. This article provided information about different options available to help pay for rehab.

At the Cenikor Foundation, we offer a variety of programs. They’re designed to help you and your loved ones get your life back on track This is done by addressing key behavioral issues.

The best way to learn how to deal with it, though, is to call Cenikor today at 877-243-2823 or 866-217-3362.  We look forward to hearing from you today.

alcoholic addiction rehab cenikor

What Is the Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at Cenikor?

According to the WHO, three million people die each year from alcohol abuse, representing 5.3% of all deaths. This number only rises when considering the deaths of individuals between the ages of 20 and 39. In total, over 13.5% of deaths in this age group are alcohol-related.

At Cenikor we believe it is no shock that many people suffer from alcohol addiction, which is a medical disorder. When that disorder becomes severe, it is called alcohol use disorder or AUD. About 15 million Americans suffer from this disease, including about 400,000 adolescents.

This article will take a look at the standard treatment options and the best time to receive them.

When Is the Best Time to Undergo Treatment?

At Cenikor, one of the oldest, most successful, and best rehabilitation organizations in the nation, we provide effective treatments to help people achieve sobriety and sustain recovery for the rest of their lives.  Before treatment begins, though, the person must recognize they have a severe condition. Also, they must have a desire to quit drinking. Sometimes an individual will get to this point all by themselves.

Other times, friends and family members must hold an intervention. It is during this time that they can express their concerns about their loved one’s alcohol abuse. It may be the right moment to explain the help available at a rehabilitation center.

What are the different treatments? Let’s take a brief look.

Pharmaceutical Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

There are three prescriptions approved by the FDA that can prevent relapses. Of course, medicine alone will not cure alcohol addiction. Doctors recommend contacting a rehabilitation center for a complete recovery.

The three medications are Antabuse, Naltrexone, and Acamprosate. Antabuse (Disulfiram) works by preventing the breakdown of alcohol in the body. This blockage leads to buildup and causes people who drink alcohol to become very sick. Naltrexone (Revia) and Acamprosate (Campral) act by blocking receptors’ that affect alcohol cravings. These medicines allow people to control their urges to drink alcohol.

Alcohol Addiction Support Groups

A well-known treatment for alcoholism is support groups. The most common support group is AA or Alcoholics Anonymous. Since the 1930s, AA has helped people recover through understanding and shared experiences.

At support groups, recovering alcoholics can feel comfortable sharing their experiences. This is because all the participants know exactly how they feel. There is a unique feeling of understanding, which creates a support system for attendees.

AA is not the only type of support group. Other groups have the same purpose but approach alcohol addiction differently. For example, the Women for Sobriety group helps women who suffer from alcohol addiction.

Even during the pandemic, many of these support groups continue holding their meetings. Some are virtual so that those who need help can receive it no matter the situation.

Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers

Rehabilitation centers offer clients a detox program that will help with withdrawal symptoms. They also teach life skills that can help individuals manage money and hold down a job. These increase the chances of a successful recovery from alcohol addiction, especially if done in reputable facilities like ours.

The three fundamental stages of alcohol addiction rehab are:

  • Detoxification
  • Rehabilitation
  • Maintenance

Alcohol addiction rehabilitation centers have trained professionals that guide clients through these three steps. They also use individual and group counseling in their treatment plans. Sometimes, they may prescribe a medication that aids in recovery and observe the patient’s use of it.

It is essential to understand the treatment programs available at rehabilitation centers. By doing so, you will have an idea of the choices available.

If you are ready to enter one of the programs, reach out to Cenikor today at 888-236-4567. We will be able to match you with the best treatment program according to your needs. Here’s a brief guide to the treatments we have to offer.

Detox Program

Detoxification is the first step to rehabilitation from alcohol addiction. The purpose of detox is to stop a person’s drinking habits and cleanse their body of alcohol.

The treatment can last up to a week. At first, clients may experience some very uncomfortable symptoms caused by withdrawal.

Some withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shakiness
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Since the withdrawal symptoms can be severe, clients may need observation and medication. Of course, the severity of your alcohol addiction will determine the program you need. At Cenikor, we offer two detox treatment types.

Outpatient Detox

During this detox treatment, clients can maintain a normal lifestyle. This means they can stay at home or even continue to work. Meanwhile, trained professionals supervise their recovery.

Clients take medication for the withdrawal symptoms. Also, they receive counseling sessions with a substance abuse therapist. A licensed medical director oversees the entire detox procedure.

Outpatient detox programs are best when the client is highly motivated or when their addiction is not severe. Since they will receive less supervision than in an inpatient program, they should be prepared to detox at home.

Inpatient Detox

Inpatient detox programs require clients to remain at the rehabilitation center. Medical staff will watch the client 24/7 and give them medicine to ease the withdrawal symptoms. This program is best for those who need extra help to stop drinking or without a comfortable place to detox.

Doctors usually recommend inpatient detox programs. They may be safer and more comfortable than outpatient programs. When helped through the entire detoxification process, clients are more likely to follow through.

Short-Term Rehabilitation Program

A short-term program usually lasts one month, and the client must stay in the facilities. During this time, medical professionals create an individualized treatment plan. Our treatment includes various types of counseling- individual, group, and family.

Clients will also be prepared to face challenges after the program is over. This will help them avoid relapses.

Of course, those suffering from alcohol addiction should check with our rehab center specialists to ensure that a short-term program is right for them.

Long-Term Rehabilitation Program

This program requires clients to go through all the steps of addiction recovery. Clients may stay at the center for months.

They should start the program when they are ready. Having proper motivation will lead to better results.

Cenikor’s long-term treatment benefits are not limited to alcohol addiction. Our programs help clients regain financial stability, employment, and suitable housing.

The workforce development training will guide those looking for jobs. This is especially important since they may experience discrimination from potential employers. But, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), they have the same rights as other people.

Adolescent Program

This program helps adolescents with alcohol addiction. Usually, they are between the ages of 13 to 17.

Our clinical personnel gives individual therapy, recovery services, and assessment of the adolescent. Those who have dual diagnosis will receive treatment for mental disorders.

Counselors will help structure the young client’s behaviors and attitudes. Also, they will receive a school-education through a qualified teaching staff. Additionally, our rehabilitation center includes a workforce development program with this treatment. You can rest assured that at Cenikor, clients will have everything they need to rehabilitate.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Program

Outpatient rehabilitation allows those with alcohol abuse disorders to receive help without living at a rehab center. It is vital to have a comfortable living environment and the support of their family. This will increase their chances of successful rehabilitation.

Just as with outpatient detox programs, the client can continue their daily activities. This may mean working or caring for their family. Meanwhile, clinical and medical staff provide extensive services, including recovery and after-care services.

The client’s family can help a great deal in the recovery process. For this reason, recovery centers include families in the process.

The client’s addiction may have caused them to make poor decisions in the past. Understanding the severity of alcohol addiction can help them forgive their loved one.

Counselors can also help families to rebuild broken relationships and reconnect. Having healthy and supportive relationships will motivate the client to rehabilitate.

Sober Living Program

Many times, a client’s home is not suitable for a full recovery from alcohol addiction. Sometimes, they live with others who do not support their recovery process. Also, they may not feel ready to face so many temptations on their own.

Thus, many rehabilitation centers offer homes that are safe and free from alcohol. Sober living programs are significant transitions from rehabilitation centers to the real world.

The client may remain in these homes as long as they fulfill the requirements. They must be sober for thirty days, participate in local support groups, and maintain a stable job. At Cenikor, we offer sober living programs that help with the transition.

Recovery Support Program

Often, a person who hasn’t been rehabilitated well from alcohol addiction will relapse. So, we offer a treatment program that helps people who suffer from chronic relapse.

The goal is to empower them to take control of their actions. At the same time, a specialist will address certain life areas like mental health and housing. When they finish the program, clients will have learned methods that will help them avoid relapse.

Seek Help for Alcohol Addiction at Cenikor

Although alcohol addiction is a debilitating disorder, there are many treatment options. If clients have a willing attitude, they can recover with the help of treatment programs.

No matter if you are looking for help with alcohol addiction for yourself or a loved one, reach out to us at Cenikor. For over 50 years, Cenikor has been helping those who need treatment.

Contact us to learn more about our alcohol addiction recovery programs.

Dual Diagnosis Rehab

Dual Diagnosis Rehab: Treating Addiction and Mental Health

Dealing with addiction is always challenging, but it may be especially difficult for individuals who struggle with mental health disorders. Research shows that many adolescents with substance abuse disorders also have a mental illness. In fact, up to sixty percent of youth involved in community-based treatment programs also have the symptoms to be diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Individuals seeking to recover from mental illnesses and addiction need a unique treatment plan to address both factors simultaneously. To do so, they must seek a dual diagnosis rehab program.

What is Dual Diagnosis Rehabilitation?

Studies show that there is a common link between substance abuse and mental illness. In some cases, a person seeks relief from their mental health problem through drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse occurs more frequently with specific diseases such as depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders.

Scientists have learned that people with mental disorders experience brain activity changes that make them more vulnerable to problematic use of substances. These neurobiological changes enhance rewarding effects while reducing adverse ones and temporarily relieve their mental illness symptoms.

Other times, the person develops a mental illness as a result of their substance abuse. Illegal drugs cause mental health problems such as paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, or aggression.

No matter the reason for the substance abuse, drugs and alcohol can worsen mental illnesses and lead to further psychological problems. Cocaine, for example, can exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar disorder and contribute to its progression.

Therefore, it is necessary to break the cycle of addiction while treating an individual’s mental disorder. That is the goal of dual diagnosis rehab.

Signs that Someone Needs Dual Diagnosis Rehab

The symptoms of dual diagnosis vary, as there are several combinations of mental illnesses and substances. Therefore, it is crucial to look for sudden changes in behavior. These may indicate that an individual is suffering from addiction, mental health disorders, or both.

These sudden changes may include withdrawing or avoiding family members and friends. Additionally, the individual may feel like they can no longer function without drugs or alcohol. They may stop going to work or school and engage in risky behavior.

These warning signs, coupled with extreme mood changes, confusion, or trouble concentrating, are reasons to seek help. Mental health clinics can use screening tools to identify those at risk for dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Obstacles

If treating a client with a single diagnosis has numerous obstacles, this is all the more so true when dealing with a dual diagnosis. Symptoms are more severe and persistent, which makes it difficult for clients to comply with the treatment.

Sometimes individuals are allowed to drop out prematurely and never finish their program. They are therefore at an increased risk of suicide, especially after failed attempts to rehabilitate.

Another obstacle for treating dual diagnosis is the lack of training many medical professionals receive in this area. Many graduate programs separate mental illness treatment from substance abuse, leaving most professionals trained in either field but not in both. For example, an addiction care specialist may not fully understand the client’s mental illness, whereas a psychiatrist may have only taken a few addiction classes.

Likewise, an addiction recovery facility will often focus only on the client’s addiction despite knowing their mental condition. Usually, they are not prepared to offer mental health services.

It is crucial to get help from dual diagnosis recovery programs to avoid these common obstacles. Specialists know how to deal with the many combinations of addictions and mental illnesses.

How to Overcome Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Individuals with a dual diagnosis need extra care to progress in rehab. They may need treatment like psychotherapy, medication, behavioral therapy, and peer support groups. That’s why they must seek out a program that meets their needs.

The first step in treatment is performing a full assessment of both conditions. Evaluation can be difficult because many addiction symptoms overlap with those of mental illness. Once the severity of the client’s conditions is known, the treatment process can begin.

The rehabilitation center will likely educate the client and their family about the relationship between their mental illness and addiction. They will then begin teaching the client coping mechanisms to deal with stressful situations and safely navigate their mental illness.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Process

The treatment programs’ steps may vary according to the type of mental disorder and the severity of the addiction. However, they usually involve these steps.


The detoxification process is when the patient undergoes withdrawal, either by stopping substance use abruptly or tapering it off. It is regularly the first step in addiction treatment.

For someone struggling with addiction and mental health problems, taking the first step can be extremely difficult. Individuals may dread losing the substance, along with the emotional and mental effects that temporarily relieved their disorder. Besides, they likely fear the withdrawal process, as it usually comes with undesirable side effects.

Medical professionals can help ease these side effects and make the withdrawal process safer in detox programs. A more tolerable withdrawal process increases the likelihood that the client follows through with their treatment.

Inpatient or Outpatient Rehabilitation

Although detoxification is necessary to begin the road to recovery, it is by no means the end of the client’s addiction. While the patient is past the short term withdrawal symptoms, they still need help to address the underlying causes of their substance abuse. Rehab can help recovering individuals to deal with their cravings in positive ways.

There are two main types of rehabilitation programs: inpatient and outpatient. The main difference is that inpatient programs require clients to live at the rehab facility for a specific period. Meanwhile, outpatient programs are more flexible.

Experts usually recommend inpatient programs for dual diagnosis patients since they need more assistance in their recovery journey. Inpatient rehab programs’ success rate is higher because professionals monitor clients 24 hours a day. If they lack motivation, clients will receive specialized attention and encouragement from the staff.

Inpatient programs can be short-term or long-term. In addition to dealing with addiction and mental health issues, clients learn practical skills to help them succeed. These include money management, social skills, and workforce development.

Outpatient rehabilitation services are great alternatives when a client cannot stay full-time in the recovery center. They will be able to receive care and support and continue to work or care for their family. It is much more flexible but requires the client to be committed to their treatment since they will not be monitored by professionals every day.


Sometimes clients have gone years with undiagnosed psychiatric issues. Depending on the severity of these concerns, they may need medications. These may include antipsychotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or mood stabilizers. Trained professionals need to supervise dual diagnosis clients when using drugs, which is another reason they often recommend inpatient programs.


This type of therapy will help the client understand the link between their emotions and behavior. They can use this information to understand why they became addicted to substances in the first place and avoid similar patterns in the future.

Usually, clients are encouraged to make some changes in their life to help them avoid returning to their addiction. These may include adjusting specific habits, ending relationships or forming new ones, learning stress management techniques, and finding suitable housing.

Support Groups

It is vital to have a strong support group while receiving treatment. Inpatient rehabs are excellent in this aspect since support groups are usually part of the treatment plan.

These groups provide a comfortable setting for members to discuss their feelings and the issues that they have encountered during their dual diagnosis recovery. Of course, it is also an environment where everyone feels understood because they can relate to the other members’ struggles. Even after leaving a rehabilitation center, participation in these groups is an incredible tool to keep recovering individuals on track.

Aftercare for Dual Diagnosis

Many clients worry that they will relapse after leaving the recovery center. To make the transition more comfortable, they choose to spend time in a sober living home. These homes provide clients with more freedom but are still controlled environments without some of the real world’s stress and challenges.

Clients need to fulfill specific requirements to stay in these homes. These include maintaining sobriety, participating in support groups, and maintaining steady employment. In turn, they continue to receive support and guidance while developing their personal skills.

Even if a client chooses to return home after their rehabilitation program, they can be successful. With the skills and coping mechanisms they learned in the program, they are usually ready to integrate into the real world. Of course, they must be careful of their environment and those with whom they associate.

Find the Best Dual Diagnosis Rehab

If you are struggling to treat addiction and mental health disorders, there is no better occasion than now to get the help you need. With the proper dual diagnosis rehab program, you can recover from your addiction while improving your mental health. We have programs located throughout Texas.

Contact us to receive further information about our dual diagnosis recovery programs.

drug addiction is a disease

Is Drug Addiction a Disease? How Drug Addiction Is Viewed by Medical Professionals

It’s an age-old debate. Is drug addiction a disease or a choice? Some will say it’s obviously a choice to pick up a drink or a drug. Others will say alcohol and drug abuse is a disease.

One of the reasons this is such a hotly debated topic is because so many people suffer from this affliction. According to the United Nations, 35 million people around the world suffer from drug use disorders. That’s an astoundingly high number of people who are facing down a horrible ordeal.

But, here’s something that’s, perhaps, more alarming than that 35 million statistic. The UN went on to report that only one in seven of those sufferers will go on to receive treatment.

Is that because there’s such a stigma around this issue? Do people continue to assume that those faced with this affliction are weak and can just stop anytime they’re ready?

Or, is that because alcohol and drug abuse has become almost acceptable in society? You can’t turn on a TV show or attend a social gathering without alcohol being present.

It’s hard to say. But, regardless of the reason for the ever-present struggle against addiction, we’re going to put all this in its proper context. Is addiction a disease? It surely is and here are many of the reasons why.

What Is Addiction?

In its simplest terms, addiction is a strong compulsion to obtain and ingest harmful substances even though they will produce a host of unhealthy circumstances.

In more formal terms, addiction is classified as a brain disorder because it involves functional changes to some of the brain’s circuits.

Addiction is seen and treated as a disease by medical professionals because it alters – or disrupts – the normal, healthy functioning of the brain, amongst other organs.

Addiction also functions much like many other diseases. For example, it disturbs the regular functioning of a major organ (particularly, the brain).

It leads to a decreased quality of life and risk of premature death. It can also be reoccurring like other major illnesses and may require a lifetime of management.

Like other illnesses, addiction is treatable with the proper course of treatment. That course of treatment may look different for each person suffering from this disease. But, once treated and managed properly throughout the course of one’s lifetime, symptoms are likely to diminish.

The Brain and Addiction

When drugs are added to the body, they often target one chemical in particular: dopamine. Dopamine is a small but important chemical that carries signals from one brain cell to another.

In a healthy, unaltered brain, dopamine is released to signal a reward. For example, after we eat a satisfying meal or take a healthy run, dopamine sends out a signal that says, “Well done; be happy.”

But, a brain suffering from drug addiction is under siege. Drugs act like these little chemical messengers and trick the body into thinking “Well done; be happy.”

The problem is, the body is mistakenly reacting positively to a drug that is harmful to the body and, over time, it will require more and more of that drug to achieve the same message.

Perhaps worst of all, when people habitually misuse a harmful substance, the brain starts to produce less dopamine. (After all, the drugs are acting like dopamine.)

So, when someone suffering from addiction stops abusing the substance, it may be temporarily difficult to feel the release that dopamine used to provide.

Of course, the body can regulate these things over time. It just explains why the early stages of recovery are a bit of an uphill battle.

Isn’t It a Matter of Choice?

The trouble some people have with the medical definition of addiction is that it is a matter of choice to ingest that first harmful substance, be it nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs.

Doesn’t it become a matter of willpower and choice, then? The short answer is no. Underlying mental health disorders, childhood trauma, and even a family history of addiction can make some people more susceptible to this disease than others.

You can also look at it this way. Most people don’t want to ruin their health, financial stability, and relationships. So, if addiction was as easy as deciding to stop, everyone would do it and the world wouldn’t be so full of people suffering from the disease.

This is why it goes back to a disease that targets a vital organ. Once the brain becomes altered by the disease of addiction, willpower and choice can become impaired beyond a person’s ability to “just say no.”

Also, we cannot choose how our brains will react to substances. This is why people with the disease of addiction cannot control their abuse while others can stop after one glass of wine or never even consider ingesting drugs.

On a final note, there are other ailments that are easily classified as diseases that came about as a  result of choice. It’s quite easy for someone to choose to overeat until they’re battling diabetes, heart disease, or high cholesterol. Yet, no one denies them the label of disease.

If It’s a Disease, Can One Ever Stop?

People with the disease of addiction can stop abusing drugs; it’s just more difficult for them than for someone who hasn’t become addicted.

This is why it’s not a moral dilemma – or a matter of weakness – and those suffering from addiction shouldn’t be blamed for having a disease.

The level that people suffer from this disease may vary, however. Some people will deal with addiction in high school and the early years of college. Then, as they enter the workforce, they might be able to scale back and allow their brain and body to recover.

Others, however, will go on to become chronic sufferers from this disease. In this scenario, addiction goes on to become a progressive, deteriorating disease that requires treatment, aftercare, and long-term recovery.

How Is the Disease Treated?

Actually, one of the arguments against the age-old question, “Is addiction a disease?” is the fact that some people can be cured without any treatment. People with a mild disease may recover with little to no treatment; they may be able to just stop.

Meanwhile, people with a more severe form of the disease may require intensive treatment and lifelong management to be relieved. Professional detoxification may be required as the body readjusts to a lack of harmful substances.

Treatment may be short-term or long-term, inpatient or outpatient. That is, for short- or long-term inpatient care, some people check themselves into a medical facility where professionals can monitor their detoxification process and see them through the worst of it.

A proper therapeutic community will use peer influence and clinical counseling to help patients change their attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions. Ultimately, they should be rehabilitated to the point where they’ll experience financial stability, employment, housing, and an aftercare support system.

Outpatient care requires regular check-ins with a medical professional as the brain and body readjust to life without harmful substances. This can include screening, assessment, issue-specific classes, counseling, and more.

Whether someone’s disease was mild or severe, support groups may also be a benefit to them.   There are plenty of sufferers who have gone before them, successfully detoxified their bodies, and gone on to live happy and productive lives. They can pass on countless tools for survival.

There’s Hope for the Disease of Drug Addiction

Although it’s clear drug addiction is a disease, we hope you also see that it’s a treatable disease. There are numerous roads to recovery and lifelong plans in place to help people who are suffering prevent further recurrences.

Although the brain is targeted and altered by this disease, it is possible to restore it to its proper and healthy functioning. Better than that, once someone is free from this disease, they can go on to live a new life that’s even better than the one they had before their struggle with addiction.

Here at Cenikor, that’s precisely what we’re all about. Cenikor is a place for change. We help our clients achieve better health and, ultimately, better lives.

We’re committed to helping people facing down alcohol and drug addiction, as well as behavioral health issues, through a full continuum of care.

Through our admissions process, we’ll help you or your loved one determine the best level of care to meet your individual needs. We provide a variety or options for both adolescents and adults, and we’re able to accept most insurance plans.

Please feel free to contact us today through our online form, live chat, or phone number. We can be reached at 888-236-4567 Monday through Friday from 8AM to 7PM and Saturday and Sunday from 8AM to 5PM. Remember. There’s hope; there’s a solution; and we’ll help you find it.

teen addiction

How Can Parents Deal With Teen Substance Abuse?

Coping with substance abuse of any kind and at any age is difficult, but teen substance abuse is especially concerning for parents and other family members of teenagers.

If you’re struggling with the effects of a teen who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are ways you can cope and give your teenager and your family the help they need.

Read on to learn some effective, actionable ways you can deal with this issue and continue to move forward in a meaningful way.

Risks and Statistics

While peer pressure is a common factor in teen substance abuse, other factors may also come into play. In a world driven by modern technology, things like social media and the need to compete with others may drive some teens to use drugs or drink alcohol.

Other risk factors may include financial hardships or living in a financially unstable environment, abuse, genetics, or simply feelings of being overwhelmed. Whatever the reason, teen substance abuse stats in the United States are staggering.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), as of 2019, drug and alcohol use among teens is on the rise. In a recent survey, 26% of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 claimed to drink alcohol. The number increased much higher in young adults.

The stats on illicit drug use is much more significant. Over 49% of teenagers at the age of 12 and up claimed to use some kind of illicit drug in their lifetime.

Using drugs and drinking alcohol among teens is fairly widespread. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, approximately 86% of teenagers claimed to know someone who either smokes, drinks, or uses drugs during the school day.

While some teens partake in substance use as a social tool, others struggle with long-term use and abuse. When the occasional use becomes a habit, all parents should be concerned.

Signs of Substance Abuse in Teens

While not all drugs and not all teens are alike, there are some common signs that your teenager may be struggling with substance abuse. It’s important to be aware of these signs and to communicate with your teen often so you can easily spot if someone is wrong.

Some of the most common red flags that parents should look for include:

  • Teenagers who typically excel suddenly have low grades, missed tests, etc.
  • Notifications from the school that your teen is missing classes
  • Acting in a withdrawn manner and losing interest in things they once enjoyed
  • Changes in sleep habits and/or in appetite
  • Poor hygiene (bad breath, body odor that is abnormal)
  • Refusing to make eye contact or talk to you or other members of the family
  • Smells of smoke on clothing or in the hair
  • Behavioral changes that are extreme or seem unusually out of character
  • Secretive behavior (i.e. stealing, sneaking out of the house)
  • Spending time with a new group of friends while dismissing their old friends

While not all of these signs indicate that your teen is struggling with substance abuse, they are the most common red flags. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is also affecting the mental health and well-being of adults and teenagers. Increased stress and anxiety may play a role in teens turning to substance abuse to help them “escape” or to feel numb.

What Parents Can do About Teen Substance Abuse

If you suspect that your teenager is struggling with drugs or alcohol, it’s imperative that you take action as soon as possible. Certain drugs like opioids can be fatal and no parent wants to see their child die as a result of a drug overdose.

Before you begin tackling the issue, it’s important that both parents are on the same page and have a plan of action that they can agree on. Sit down and talk to your spouse or partner and express your concerns. Then, decide what you want to do to address the problem together as a team.

Keep in mind that no one person is to blame if your teen is struggling with substance abuse. Agree to approach your teenager out of a place of love and concern rather than an angry or accusatory one.

Even if you don’t agree about certain aspects of the problem, it’s crucial that you both come together before you talk to your teen. It’s imperative that you’re united on this issue, otherwise, your teenager may try to turn the problem against you since they can see you’re not both on the same page.

Find Evidence of Substance Abuse

Talking to your teenager about this sensitive subject may result in an argument, but as a parent, it’s your job to oversee your teen’s well-being. If you need to find real evidence that your teen is drinking or using drugs, it might be time to do some “investigating” before you approach them.

Remember that teens are not adults yet and that they’re still living in your home. If you feel like you need some evidence first, don’t hesitate to go through their belongings to see what you can find.

Some common places where teens may hide drugs, pipes, and other drug-related items include small pockets on purses and backpacks, areas under the bed, or in desk or dresser drawers. Other areas may include buried in the dirt of houseplants, inside a book, or in “fake items” designed to conceal drugs. You may also find them hidden in over-the-counter medicine bottles, such as Advil or Tylenol.

If you do find drugs or drug paraphernalia, remember to stay calm. Gather your evidence and keep it in a safe place until you’re ready to talk to your teen face-to-face.

Having the Conversation

The first step in dealing with your teen’s substance use or abuse is to sit them down and have a serious conversation. It’s absolutely vital that you remain calm and measured and refrain from yelling or talking to them in an accusatory tone.

Let your teen know that this is coming from a place of love and that you’re concerned about their well-being. Prepare for your teenager to respond in anger and possibly resort to name-calling or even storming out of the room.

The initial talk about drug use is never easy for any parent. Do your best to take deep breaths and continually remind yourself and your teenager that this conversation is happening because you love them.

Make sure that you show your teenager the evidence of drug use you’ve found (if any) during this conversation. Without it, it’s easy for your teen to accuse of lying and you won’t have any proof to back up your concerns.

Expect your teen to react in anger and know that they might say things that are hurtful or shocking. This is simply a reaction to you addressing this issue, and it’s completely normal for anyone to behave this way after being confronted. The key is determining how you move forward from here.

Set Expectations and Enforce Consequences

If you’re able to talk to your teenager in a calm and rational way, now is the time to tell them exactly what you expect. Lay down some ground rules that include absolutely no more drug use in the home first and foremost.

Explain to your teen that you expect them to stop using drugs and even that they must stop hanging around certain people if that’s what it takes. When you make your expectations clear, there should be no confusion moving forward.

Anything your child or teen does that they shouldn’t do must have a set of consequences. Without consequences, people will continue the same behavior they’ve been doing, which is what often leads to more serious issues with abuse or overdose.

Make it clear that your teen will have to face these consequences and that it will start immediately. Whether that means taking away their smartphone or the car, or “grounding” them, it’s simply part of the healing process.

Every parent does things in their own unique way, so the consequences you choose to enforce are entirely up to you. Just make it very clear that they’re a direct result of this problem, and that the purpose is to help your teenager see the seriousness of their actions.

Do Not Ignore Mental Health

While some teens use drugs or drink because they want to fit in, others may be struggling with much deeper issues. Never ignore the fact that your teenager might be suffering from a mental health-related problem that has lead to drug use.

Some common issues that teenagers face include ADHD, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. Ask your teenager what they are struggling with and if they’ve been feeling a certain way that may benefit from the help of a mental health professional.

Mental health problems and drug abuse often go hand-in-hand. Never ignore the fact that your teen may in fact just need some help that addresses their issues on a much deeper level.

If you ignore mental health problems, substance abuse will likely only get worse. Until the underlying problem is addressed, your teenager will probably continue using drugs or drinking to “numb” them from the pain that they’re feeling deep down.

In many cases, people who get help for their mental health problems learn how to cope in a much more healthy way. Talk to your teenager openly about how they’re feeling and see if you can get to the root of the problem.

Don’t Go it Alone

Parents who are dealing with teen substance abuse may feel like they’re alone. However, finding support from others is crucial not just for your teen, but also for you.

Turn to people you can trust for help with this issue including your teen’s doctor, school teachers, or close friends and members of your immediate family. You might feel embarrassed that your teen is struggling with substance abuse but it’s important to remember that this is not your fault.

Create a close-knit support system that can provide help to you and your teenager. There are also a number of helpful parent support groups online that address the specific issue of struggling with teen substance abuse.

Feeling overwhelmed by this situation can set you up for failure if you don’t have the right support. Never hesitate to reach out to others and get the help you all need together as a family.

If your teen’s substance abuse is severe or continues, it may be time to consider a rehab facility. Whether it’s inpatient or outpatient, this may be the best route available to get them the level of care and help they need to recover.

Stay Supportive

Once your teen’s substance abuse is addressed, it’s crucial to stay as supportive as possible to help them through it. Remember that being supportive is not the same thing as enabling and that you’ll probably have to practice a lot of “tough love” during this time.

Never ignore your teen’s drug use and never try to cover it up to others by lying. Be open and honest and admit that there is a serious problem that the entire family needs to address together.

Keep your mind and your ears open to your teen. Let them know you’re always available if they ever need to talk or vent about the things they struggle with.

Once your teenager realizes they are loved and have plenty of support, they can begin the road to recovery. Don’t forget to take care of yourself during this difficult time, too. Reach out to others and practice self-care so that you are able to provide your teen with the level of support they need to get better.

Recovery is Possible

Dealing with teen substance abuse is never easy, but it’s crucial that parents know how to begin addressing the problem. With the right approach and a good support system, you can tackle this problem head-on and then start the recovery process together.

If you are concerned about your teenager and need help and support, please visit our website and contact us today for more information.

How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab

How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab

Over 21 million Americans live with a substance abuse disorder. Yet, only around 10% of these individuals seek treatment.

This is a cause for concern, given that early treatment proves effective in helping those living with this disorder to get better. However, getting a loved one into treatment is not always easy.

If your loved ones are living with a condition, it is important to approach this subject with empathy and tact. In this article, we look at how to convince someone to go to rehab by exploring the dos and the don’ts of handling a sensitive situation like this.

  1. Do Your Research

Before you have any conversations surrounding rehab, it is important to get accurate information regarding the mental illness your loved one is living with. This will help you recognize the severity of the issue and be more understanding of what’s going on.

Do your research, learn about the facilities offered by rehabilitation centers, and find out what your options are before presenting any suggestions. Also remember that no matter how much research you do, mental illness is a subjective experience.

  1. Understand and Acknowledge Your Limitations

It is unfortunate, but there is no way to force someone into wanting to get better. It is a deep, internal process that must come from them.

You can, of course, support them and lend a listening ear, but it is important to understand there is only so much you can do. Do remember to set realistic expectations for yourself and recognize their refusal to seek treatment is neither your fault nor theirs. It is simply an unfortunate reality of addiction and mental illness.

That being said, if you do feel like they are a threat to either themselves or the people around them, seek professional help or external intervention immediately.

  1. Convey Empathy and Understanding

When you’re trying to talk, it is important to keep empathy and compassion as the foundation for your conversation. Yes, it can get frustrating, but you must remember that patience and support go much farther than judgment.

It is important to stay clear of blame and negative language as much as possible.

Make it known that you do not judge them for what they are experiencing and let them know you care for and support them. You want to ensure you’re presenting all your advice as suggestions and being open to what they have to say as well.

Accusations, instructions, or orders immediately put most people on the defense. Ask open-ended questions, give them a lot of space to speak, and avoid criticism as much as possible.

Simultaneously, do take time to address your own emotions in a healthy way. Talking to a trusted friend, or a therapist can help you cope with some of the frustration or exhaustion you feel.

  1. Take a Solution-Oriented Approach

There are many reasons why someone might be unwilling to go to rehab. What you can do is try to understand what it is that is preventing them from seeking treatment.

Is it financial constraints? Is it the fear of being judged? Or perhaps it’s the unwillingness to accept that there is a problem.

Ask open-ended questions and let them speak in a safe, non-judgmental space. Once they have communicated what specifically prevents them from going to rehab you will be in a better position to work through possible solutions and make them comfortable with the idea.

  1. Seek Assistance

Convincing someone who doesn’t want treatment to go to rehab is not an easy job at all. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to seek additional intervention when necessary.

Do reach out to other people for advice. If you know someone who had treatment for a similar condition, it can be beneficial to talk to them and ask them for their advice.

You can also reach out to a qualified therapist or psychiatrist to get their opinion on the matter and seek their help. Similarly, if the family or friends of this person are aware of these issues, it is also advisable to talk to them about your next course of action.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some people may need medical detox depending on the severity of their addiction and symptoms. Expert medical opinion can help in convincing someone that it is time for them to consider rehab for their addictions.

  1. How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab Through an Intervention

An intervention involves the meeting of close friends and family. When you’re planning an intervention, be sure to only include people who are loved and trusted by the person living with the addiction. Make sure that they’ve all done their research and understand the importance of being empathic and non-judgmental in their tone and message.

Everyone must have their messages prepared, to ensure that there are no slip-ups.

Next, choose a space that allows for comfort and safety.

Be prepared to follow up with them and ask them to convey their thoughts and feelings about the subject. Do remember that all interventions are not successful. It is important to set realistic expectations.

Learn More About Treatment Centers

Rehabilitation centers can seem like unknown, foreboding places to someone who is unwilling to seek treatment. Knowing how to convince someone to go to rehab can help address the discomfort they feel.

Additionally, learning more about rehabilitation centers and the programs they offer are a great way to make the idea seem less threatening to someone who is not at ease with the arrangement.

At Cenikor, we offer a variety of in patient and outpatient treatment programs that are designed to help those living with substance use disorders get on the road to recovery. Learn more about the various programs we offer or set up a consultation with our mental health experts today!

national relapse trigger

The COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Relapse Trigger

Over 20 million Americans have a substance use disorder (SUD). A July 2020 study showed a 32 percent increase in non-prescription fentanyl use. This took place between March and May. This report also showed a 20 percent increase in methamphetamine and a 10 percent increase in cocaine use. During this same time, the incidence of drug overdoses rose by 18 percent.

Another study surveyed 1,079 SUD family members. They found that 20 percent reported an increase in their relative’s SUD during COVID-19.

The pandemic is serving as a relapse trigger for those with SUD. The need for physical distancing has reduced access to support services. Keep reading to learn about the connections between the COVID-19 pandemic and addiction relapses.

What Is a Relapse Trigger?

Many factors can cause an individual to return to addictive behavior. The person may use their addiction to avoid or cope with stress. Examples of stressors include problems with finances, relationships, isolation, and work.

Any significant life change or increased stress can serve as a relapse trigger. Relapse symptoms include increased cravings, hunger, anxiety, exhaustion, or depression.

Why Is COVID-19 a Relapse Trigger?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the nation has experienced physical lockdowns. There’s been an increase in unemployment and ongoing financial and health uncertainty.

For those fortunate enough to continue working, ongoing job security may also cause anxiety. Many employees now work from home, which can lead to feelings of isolation. Individuals with children must balance childcare and meeting work expectations.

Overall, the nation’s stress level has increased. To compound this problem, access to healthcare and support services is now limited. This makes it harder to get prescriptions filled and contact healthcare providers.

Virtual appointments and other avenues have been developed to ease this problem. Interruption in face-to-face and group interaction can prove devastating for those with SUD due to the support they provide.

A March 26, 2020 article in the New York Times paints a picture of the pandemic’s impact on those with SUD. The Cleveland outpatient clinic held its daily 3-hour morning therapy on Friday, March 13th. The group included alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin addicts.

The session began with low lights and meditation. There was plenty of coffee and snacks for everyone. Some people were recently out of marriages, jobs, and jail. One individual was attending for the first time.

They shared heartfelt feelings and secrets. Members felt support for their sobriety.

At the end of the meeting, they joined arms and recited the Serenity Prayer. They left with wishes for safety and a return on Monday.

That Monday never came. People were left hanging without their safety net. Their risk of relapse increased that day.

The COVID-19 Impact on Teenagers

As our nation tries to cope with prolonged fear and stress, our teenagers are suffering as well. Too many adolescents, during normal times, turn to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to cope with life. Puberty presents many changes and challenges including significant peer pressure.

Recent studies have shown that 60 percent of teens experiment with alcohol by twelfth grade. About 50 percent try marijuana and 20 percent use non-prescribed medications. Between ninth and twelfth grade, 40 percent of teenagers try tobacco.

With the onset of the pandemic, most schools closed and activities were canceled. For many teenagers, this left them without structure and support. Changes in normal routines increased already strained family relationships.

Adolescents lack the maturity to cope with major stressful events. They need the support of parents, school personnel, religious leaders, and community members. Without this network, many teens turn to addictive and risky behavior as a coping strategy.

COVID-19 Mental Health Challenges

Separation from a community increases mental health challenges for many people.

One 48-year-old man with SUD stated, “Being alone five days in a row can get to you, can make you anxious and depressed.” Add the fear of catching a deadly disease by breathing contaminated air or touching something with the virus. The physical distancing required to fight COVID-19 is removing support and increasing isolation.

The pandemic has created a source of trauma for many people. Trauma is often a significant relapse trigger for addiction. Trauma increases stress levels and narrows a person’s ability to focus on problem-solving. This leads to poor coping mechanisms such as substance abuse.

Actions Taken to Decrease COVID as a Relapse Trigger

Many organizations are enacting changes to previous protocols and recommendations. Experts have responded to the pandemic’s emotional impact by developing new problem-solving approaches.

Two organizations are actively working to make changes. These include:

  • The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

They’re making it easier for those with opioid use disorders to get buprenorphine and methadone. The DEA is now helping patients get medications to control pain.

The American Medical Association has urged state legislators and governors to become involved. They’ve asked them to adopt the SAMHSA and DEA guidelines as written for the duration of the pandemic. This means more flexible evaluation and prescribing criteria and the use of telemedicine.

These guidelines make several requests. Examples include removing prior authorization, step therapy, and other obstacles to medication access.

They encourage enforcing parity laws for meaningful substance use and mental health disorders. States are also asked to support programs that provide sterile needles and syringes.

Are You Looking for Help with Addiction?

If you have a history of substance use disorder, watch for signs of relapse. The COVID-19 pandemic has become a relapse trigger for addiction. Cenikor offers a place to strengthen your foundation for improving your health and lifestyle.

Our program focuses on alcohol and drug addiction as well as mental and behavioral health concerns. Cenikor provides quality treatment for adolescents and adults.

Don’t wait. Contact us today to speak with one of our compassionate admission advisors. They will answer your questions and help you move toward a new life.

Teen Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Is on the Rise for Teens Because of COVID-19

Since March, everything in our world has been turned upside down. Sporting venues have shut down, restaurants may offer only delivery services, and work and school has moved into the home. And over the last seven months, you may have noticed your teenager has been acting a little differently.

Teenagers are facing greater mental health challenges than ever before, and many may turn to substance abuse to cope. Read on to learn more about how substance abuse has changed among teenagers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Substance Abuse Risks Among Teens

Before we dive into the additional problems the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, let’s talk some about substance abuse among teenagers in normal circumstances. Puberty can be a challenging, stressful time, and many teenagers turn to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco as a coping mechanism. There may also be pressure from friends to try drugs as a way to rebel and fit in.

By twelfth grade, about 60 percent of teenagers have tried alcohol, and about 20 percent have used medications without a prescription. About half of high schoolers say that they have tried marijuana. And roughly 40 percent of teenagers between ninth and twelfth grade have tried cigarettes.

Mental Health Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a variety of mental health challenges for teenagers and adults alike. For one thing, the constant stress of living in a disease-ridden world has left many of us at higher risk for anxiety and depression. Even routine tasks like going to the grocery store or attending school may now carry an added layer of stress.

Teenagers have also become more isolated than ever before in the face of the pandemic. With schools shut down or using virtual learning, adolescents can no longer see their friends as often as they used to. They may also not be able to participate in their usual extracurricular activities thanks to COVID shutdowns.

Connection Between Trauma and Substance Abuse 

In addition to the continual strain the COVID-19 pandemic is causing, it has also been a source of trauma for today’s teenagers. Most of us grew up believing certain things in life were constant – school, sports, graduation ceremonies, and more. But today’s teenagers have had all that taken away from them as we’ve had to learn to live with the consequences of the pandemic.

This trauma is part of what causes teenagers to turn to substance abuse. Most teenagers haven’t yet learned healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress, and substance abuse may seem like a good option to relieve that stress. Once the teen associates that substance abuse with stress relief, they may have a hard time finding other ways to deal with the challenges they face.

Recent Teen Substance Abuse by the Numbers

So how has teenage substance abuse changed since the start of the pandemic in March? According to one study, alcohol use among teenagers has risen some during the pandemic.

Before COVID, this study estimates 28.6 percent of teens used alcohol. During the pandemic, that number rose to 30.4 percent.

The frequency with which teenagers use marijuana and alcohol has also risen during the pandemic. Before COVID, teens reported using alcohol only about twice a month. That number rose to almost three times a month during the pandemic.

Cannabis use days also increased slightly from an average of 3.28 days per three weeks before the pandemic to an average of 3.76 days per three weeks during the pandemic.

Common Drugs 

There are a few drugs teenagers may use more commonly than others. Most teenagers aren’t using heroin, cocaine, or other “serious” drugs during their high school years. Instead, you’re much more likely to see drugs that seem like “not such a big deal” showing up among teenage crowds.

Alcohol is by far the most common drug of choice for teenagers, though marijuana isn’t far behind. Many teenagers have tried cigarettes, and vaping has become frighteningly trendy in recent years. Teenagers who feel more pressure to perform well academically may also use drugs like Adderall to get their school work done.

Warning Signs to Watch For

If you are the parent or loved one of a teenager, there are a few warning signs that can let you know they may be using drugs. Their mood may change even more than normal, and they may be unable to focus, have a sudden loss of inhibitions, or lose motivation.

Keep in mind that some of this is to be expected as a normal part of puberty. You want to keep an eye on drastic shifts.

Your teenager may also begin to act differently in school, or they may become unusually clumsy. They may have burn marks on their fingers or lips, their face may often be flushed, and you may notice them wearing long sleeves even in hot weather. They may have sores around their mouth, they might get lots of unexplained nosebleeds, or they may seem sick much more often.

How to Help an Addicted Teen

If you think your teenager may have a substance abuse problem, the first and most important thing you can do is let them know you are there for them. Responding with anger will only make them think they can’t turn to you for help. Instead, focus on showing compassion and letting them know that, no matter what problem they bring to you, they’ll be in a safe, trusted space and that you’ll get them the help they need.

If you find out your teenager is using drugs, talk to their school counselor about resources to help. They may be able to direct you to a therapist who specializes in working with teenagers and substance abuse. Keep lines of communication open between you and your teenager, and continue to show them compassion and love throughout this process.

Care for Your Teen’s Mental Health 

Substance abuse is a dangerous problem among teenagers, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made it worse. Teenagers are facing worse mental health problems than ever before, and many may turn to drug use to cope. If you suspect your teenager may be using drugs, give them a safe space to talk to you about it, and make sure they get the help they need with compassion and care.

If you’d like to find the right help for your teenager, reach out to us at Cenikor. We are a place for change that can help you and your teen find better health and better lives. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction recovery programs.

Chat & Phone Support Timings
Mon – Fri: 8AM to 7PM
Sat – Sun: 8AM to 5PM
Translate »