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Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

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Drug Treatment for Young Adults

The battle with addiction is different for adolescents and adults over the age of 25. If someone you love is dealing with an addiction, it is important to look for the right rehab facility that can offer the appropriate level of care for their needs.

Navigation: Why is Drug Abuse Common Among Young Adults?, Drug Treatment for Young Adults, Types of Addiction Treatment for Young Adults, What is Behavioral Therapy?, Benefits of Addiction Treatment for Young Adults, Challenges of Addiction Treatment for a Young Adult, Rehab is Your Best Chance


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2018, approximately 5.1 million young adults aged 18-25 reported past-month use of an illicit drug. It only goes to show that substance use disorder (SUD) is much more common than you may think.

Drug use is common among young adults for a variety of reasons including peer pressure, curiosity, and a desire to rebel or fit in. Additionally, stress, mental health problems, and a lack of positive coping mechanisms can also contribute to drug use in this population.

Young adults are making the difficult transition to adulthood and are dealing with a lot of stressors. This further increases the likelihood of drug abuse and addiction. Despite their age, a lot of young adults do not fully understand the risks associated with drug use.

The battle with addiction is different for adolescents and adults over the age of 25. If someone you love is dealing with an addiction, it is important to look for the right rehab facility that can offer the appropriate level of care for their needs. Young adults will have distinctive needs that have to be addressed during treatment.

Addiction treatment programs are different for adolescents and young adults. This is because they usually report taking different substances than most adults. Young adults also have an increased risk of binging on drugs or alcohol.

Young adults also have the tendency to hide or lie about their substance abuse. They are more likely to keep taking drugs despite the possibility of legal consequences. But most importantly, adolescents and young adults are more likely to think they do not need proper addiction treatment.

Because of their unique needs, young adults should find the right substance abuse treatment for them. Here we are going to discuss how treatment works for young adults.


Why is Drug Abuse Common Among Young Adults?

Before we dive into the treatment process for young adults, let’s talk about the root cause of the problem: substance abuse. There are many reasons why a young adult may choose to take drugs. Oftentimes it has something to do with peer pressure, while in other cases it has more to do with stress.

Young adults may feel pressure from their peers to try drugs or drink alcohol as a way to fit in or be accepted. A lot of young adults are joining the workforce for the first time and are anxious to be accepted into these new social circles. Drinking alcohol is common among co-workers, for example.

Outside of the work environment, young adults may feel pressure from their friends to try drugs and experiment with various mind-altering substances. Out of curiosity, they may feel the urge to participate. Some young adults may abuse drugs out of curiosity or a desire to experience the effects of drugs.

Just the general experience of transitioning into full adulthood may be stressful for a lot of people. They may cope with this stress by turning to substance abuse. Plus, as young adults, they have better access to illicit substances. With drugs becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, young adults may have an easier time obtaining and using drugs.

Despite their age, a lot of young adults are still highly impulsive. They may participate in substance abuse simply because they don’t care about the consequences of their actions. That said, a lot of young adults are actually unaware of the risks and dangers of drug use and abuse.

Other potential reasons for substance use among young adults are mental health issues and trauma.

Young adults with mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, may use drugs as a form of self-medication to alleviate their symptoms. Meanwhile, those who have experienced trauma or abuse may turn to drugs as a form of escape from their memories or feelings.

Regardless of the reason for their development of substance use disorder, it is important that they receive proper treatment for it.


Drug Treatment for Young Adults

There are plenty of young adults who are currently dealing with the effects of drug addiction or alcohol use disorder (AUD). In fact, substance abuse rates among people ages 18 to 30 have increased over the past few decades.

Studies show that around 49% of students will have taken an illicit substance at least once by their senior year of high school. This goes hand in hand with the fact that people who start drinking or taking drugs earlier in life are more likely to develop an addiction in the future.

Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, inhalants, MDMA, prescription drugs, and hallucinogenic drugs are the most commonly used substances among the young adult population.

Despite the greater risk of addiction, young adults are less likely to actually look for professional help. They won’t stop taking these substances until they experience severe health effects. However, attempting to quit at that point will be incredibly difficult because of withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings.

A lot of young adults who take drugs end up developing drug dependence, which is characterized by the inability to function normally without the substance. Whenever they try to quit, they go through withdrawal.

Rehab centers have made treatment options more accessible and convenient for young adults. Some now even offer specialized counseling and treatment programs that are tailor-made for young adults with addiction.

Drug treatment for young adults typically involves a combination of medication and behavioral therapies. The type of medication used depends on the specific condition being treated, such as depression, anxiety, or addiction.

Behavioral therapies may include individual, group, or family therapy, and aim to address the underlying psychological and social factors that contribute to the young adult’s drug use.

The goal of treatment is to help the young adult manage their symptoms, reduce their drug use, and improve their overall functioning and quality of life.

Do keep in mind that the recovery process is not the same for each patient. It’s important to note that the treatment plan should be tailored to each individual’s unique needs and circumstances. For example, some patients may need mental health services for their co-occurring mental illness.

Another example is the fact that some patients need inpatient treatment while others respond better to outpatient treatment programs.

Treatment centers will create a specialized treatment plan that will address the patient’s condition as a whole while concentrating on their specific needs.

Types of Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

There are many different treatment programs that could be used for a young adult in recovery. It’s all about finding the right one for the specific patient. Rehab centers may use a combination of the following treatment methods:

Inpatient Rehabilitation: Inpatient rehab programs offer 24/7 support and a structured environment for young adults with severe addiction. It involves staying in a rehab facility for the duration of treatment so the patient can receive round the clock care. This type of treatment typically lasts 30-90 days.

Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient treatment allows young adults to receive treatment while maintaining their daily activities and responsibilities. This type of treatment includes group therapy, individual therapy, and medication management.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors related to addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT combines medication with behavioral therapy to help individuals overcome addiction and maintain sobriety. Common medications used in MAT include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone.

Holistic Therapy: Holistic therapy focuses on addressing the whole person, including their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. This type of treatment often includes yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and other alternative therapies.

Family Therapy: Family therapy involves both the young adult and their family members in treatment. This type of therapy helps families understand addiction and support their loved one in recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both addiction and any underlying mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety. This type of treatment helps young adults understand the connection between their addiction and mental health issues.

Some facilities may also use alternative treatment methods such as adventure therapy, art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, hypnotherapy, equine therapy, yoga, acupuncture, meditation, etc. These alternative treatments work best when used alongside some traditional treatments like CBT and MAT.

What is Behavioral Therapy?

For young adults struggling with addiction, behavioral therapy is often one of the most important parts of the treatment process. According to NIDA, addiction treatment for young adults works best when including a form of behavioral approach.

Behavioral therapy for addiction is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on modifying problematic behaviors related to substance abuse and addiction. The goal of this therapy is to help individuals understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to substance use and develop new, healthy coping mechanisms.

This treatment helps patients identify the reasons behind their addictive behavior. It often involves techniques such as contingency management, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and motivational interviewing.

The therapist works with the individual to identify triggers and negative thought patterns, and to develop skills for managing cravings and avoiding relapse. This type of therapy is often used in combination with other forms of addiction treatment such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and 12-step programs.

Benefits of Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

Young adults have a lot on their plate. Dealing with drug addiction or alcohol addiction on top of all their existing stressors can be too much for them. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel hopeless. But people in this particular age group can enjoy several benefits from an addiction treatment program.

For starters, going to rehab can improve their mental health. Addiction treatment can help young adults address underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to substance abuse. It is very common for mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc., to co-occur with addiction. This is because of the complex relationship between substance use and mental health.

But addiction treatment will help boost their self-esteem and confidence. Not only will it address co-occurring disorders, it will also help them with their social skills development. This is done through therapy, support groups, and personal growth activities.

Their boosted confidence and self-esteem will help them rebuild relationships and even establish healthier ones. Addiction tends to affect relationships, but treatment can help young adults repair damaged relationships and develop positive, supportive connections with others.

Their mental health isn’t the only thing that will improve—so will their physical health. Addiction treatment can help young adults address health issues related to substance abuse and improve overall physical wellness.

With all of these improvements, young adults can even enjoy increased career opportunities. By seeking treatment and getting sober, young adults can improve their chances of success in education and employment.

Overall, addiction treatment will lead to a better quality of life by eliminating substance abuse and its negative consequences. During their stay in rehab, they will pick up healthy coping skills that will help them manage stress and prevent relapse. They will have access to all the resources they need to maintain lasting recovery.

Challenges of Addiction Treatment for a Young Adult

Seeking treatment can be a stressful experience especially for young adults. Parents and friends should support their loved one by doing their own research regarding addiction, rehab, and the recovery process. This way, they can take some of the burden off of the addicted person’s mind. They can look for an appropriate addiction treatment program nearby and inform the addicted person about it.

In some cases, an intervention may be necessary to help them realize the seriousness of their condition. After all, addiction is a chronic medical condition that requires professional attention.

Admitting that you have a problem and taking that first step is usually one of the biggest obstacles towards sobriety. A lot of people, especially young adults, are afraid to seek treatment because of shame, guilt, fear, or regret. They may be afraid that their friends are going to judge them. But getting over this fear is necessary if you want to beat addiction.

It’s not going to be an easy road for them even if they agree to go to rehab. It’s going to be a long road. Young adults will have to juggle addiction treatment and school. Some will have to go to rehab while attending a university or starting with their job. But at the end of the day, it’s going to be worthwhile.

Look for an addiction treatment center near you today and find out more about their treatment options for young adults.


Rehab is Your Best Chance

Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs or alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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