Last updated: September 20. 2013 12:08PM - 622 Views
Alicia Caldwell Contributing Columnist

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September has been designated as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery month. We often think of adults only being in recovery; however according to SAMHSA, one of the leading growing populations are adolescents.

Every year, approximately thousands (SAMHSA, 2013) of teens and even children are rushed to the hospital for alcohol and drug related problems. The treatment process incorporates the nuances of the adolescent’s experience which includes cognitive, emotional, moral, and social development.

As a result, they often experience poor decision making, confusion, anger, depression, inability to interact in social settings with peers and promiscuous behaviors.

Therefore, it is important to address the problems of adolescents and to facilitate their future development in all areas including family which is a key component of intervention. It is important to strengthen communication, improve relationships and assist the families in becoming aware of changes that occur in the recovery process.

Some adolescent signs and symptoms for behavioral health, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use one may consider are as follows:

— Skipping classes or not doing well in school

— Unusual odors on their clothes or in their room

— Hostility or lack of cooperation

— Physical changes (red eyes, runny nose)

— Lack of interest in activities

— Borrowing money often or suddenly having extra cash

— Significant mood changes

— Loss of interest in personal appearance

— Changes in friends

— Heightened secrecy about actions or possessions

Another key aspect in the recovery process is crisis intervention. It can be noted as one of the starting points to recovery. One is in crisis when they feel that life has become intangible and unmanageable.

For example, during a crisis intervention the clinical counselors at Fairfield Behavioral Health Services attempts to empower one who is currently undergoing a crisis situation by helping them work through possible solutions that can help resolve the problems that are causing extreme tension and stress.

The priority of crisis intervention is to increase a person’s stabilization in their current situation and prepare for treatment.

To assess risk factors, consult a professional counselor at Fairfield Behavioral Health Services. We encourage the community during this recovery month to remember that PREVENTION IS EFFECTIVE, TREATMENT WORKS, and RECOVERY HAPPENS.

To learn more about recovery and our treatment services, call us at 803-635-2335 or visit at www.fairfieldbhs.org.

Alicia Caldwell is a Clinical Counselor at Fairfield Behavioral Health.

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