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addiction treatment for teens

Addiction Treatment for Teens in Rancho Mirage

Addiction Therapeutic Services Tailors Program for Addiction Treatment for Teens

As most of us can recall, we thought we were invincible back when we were teenagers.  Taking stupid risks while thinking we were immortal, we look back with relief that we survived our teen years.  Usually, parents had no idea the kinds of risk-seeking behaviors we might have been engaging in.

When an adolescent develops a substance use problem it may come as a complete shock to family and friends who didn’t see it coming.  Often a teen’s experimentation with drugs and alcohol is a passing phase that renders little lasting harm.  However, countless examples of a young person’s life becoming consumed and destroyed through the use of drugs are all too common.

When seeking help for an adolescent struggling with drug or alcohol abuse or addiction it is imperative to enlist treatment from a provider that specializes in teen substance disorders.  There are important differences in effective addiction treatment methods for teens versus adults.

Teen Brains are Different than Adult Brains

There are distinct differences in the brain of an adolescent compared with an adult brain.  Research from Yale University has shown that the brain releases chemicals, such as dopamine, in response to new experiences, resulting in a desire to repeat them.  Dr. R. Andrew Chambers of the Yale School of Medicine, headed up the study that showed how drugs become addictive as a result of stimulating parts of the brain that are still evolving during adolescence. ”You have a situation where the motivational brain areas are particularly active,” Dr. Chambers said, ”and the part of the brain that is supposed to inhibit impulses is not working well, because it is sort of under construction.”

So a teen who engages in recreational drug use may find his or her brain reinforcing that behavior, and that can culminate in a substance abuse problem.  This chemical response to trying novel experiences in the brain is more pronounced in teens than in adults, making them more prone to repeating dangerous behaviors.

In addition, the teen brain is still in the process of developing its executive functions.  The executive brain functions involve processing risks, planning, working memory, and impulse control.  Because the process of brain development is ongoing during the teen years, brain function hasn’t fully matured, which can lead to increased risk-taking and novelty-seeking behaviors.  Combine that with heightened emotions and impulsivity, it is clear why teens can wind up with a substance use disorder.

Addiction Treatment for Teens

With drugs and alcohol readily available to a teen motivated to experiment, it comes as no surprise that some will become addicted.  When drug or alcohol treatment is needed, a program that is tailored for young people is going to be more effective.  There are important differences that should be taken into account for treating a teen with a drug or alcohol addiction, such as:

  • Teens require more external controls and clearly delineated boundaries, so a teen recovery program should provide these constructs.
  • The teen brain will not process information like an adult brain, so recovery needs to connect emotionally for the teen, not just logically.
  • Engaging the family in the treatment process is critical, as the teen is dependent on them for financial support, transportation, and basic needs.
  • Understanding that the family dynamic may be a factor in a teen’s development of a drug or alcohol addiction if there has been abuse, trauma, family dysfunction, divorce, or neglect.
  • Peer pressure can be a factor, so helping the teen to understand the importance of distancing themselves from other teens with drug-seeking and using behaviors is crucial.

Providing a safe and supportive space to share life issues and emotional problems will enhance the addiction treatment program for teens.

Addiction Treatment for Teens in Rancho Mirage

Serving Coachella Valley, Addiction Therapeutic Services (ATS) offers adolescent treatment services specifically designed for teens with drug or alcohol use disorders.  Located at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains in Rancho Mirage, California, ATS provides an intensive outpatient program (IOP) to help teens and their families heal in a serene and therapeutic setting.  An IOP allows for the teens to continue with their schooling while receiving the care and support needed for healing.  ATS teaches teens how to identify positive choices, how to take on life’s challenges, and how to build their self-esteem—all to aid in changing destructive patterns of behavior.  They will be counseled on how to discover meaning and purpose in their lives, how to deal with family issues such as divorce, and how to manage feelings of fear and anger.  For more information about our addiction treatment for teens, call 760-322-1777 today.


Addiction Rehab in Rancho Mirage

Leading Addiction Rehab in Rancho Mirage, CA

Addiction Therapeutic Services Offers Quality Addiction Rehab in Rancho Mirage, CA

Just as the education community has discovered there are seven distinct styles of learning—some kids learn visually, some are auditory learners, some are physical learners, etc.—the same type of distinction can be made for how people respond differently to various forms of addiction treatment.  Humans have very individualized wiring; affecting our beliefs and preferences and distinctly impacting what stimuli we will respond to.

Trends in addiction treatment have led it to become rote and mechanical, the exact opposite of how treatment for drug and alcohol dependency should be designed.  There shouldn’t be any preconceived boxes for the person seeking treatment to fit in to!  At Addiction Therapeutic Services (ATS), a leading addiction rehab in Rancho Mirage, California, our entire program is customized to the individual.  ATS offers Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), which allow the client to continue to work, attend school, and actively parent when appropriate, offering a sound alternative to inpatient treatment rehabs.

At ATS we believe that a person’s potential for real, sustained change lies in the program’s ability to identify unique personal traits in our clients, and then match those with the appropriate treatment plan and therapeutic modality.  By taking the time to do a deep assessment of the prospective client, ATS can customize its treatment program to align with all aspects of their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.  As a result, our clients are responsive to their therapy instead of resentful of it.  This allows the client to feel a sense of ownership of his or her recovery, leading to a successful outcome.

A Holistic Approach to Recovery

ATS addiction rehab in Rancho Mirage serves people who are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, as well as co-occurring conditions such as depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.  At ATS we offer a smorgasbord of different types of therapy, each with its own clinical focus.  Based on the Living in Balance (LIB) Curriculum, an approach oriented for group settings, our program techniques are drawn from cognitive, behavioral, and experiential treatment aspects, with an important emphasis on relapse prevention.

Topics addressed in the LIB program cover the gamut, but all are pertinent to a recovering addict’s life.  Some of these include:

  • Attitudes and beliefs
  • Negative emotions
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anger and communication
  • Sexuality
  • Spirituality
  • Money management
  • Grief and loss
  • Education and vocational development

Throughout the program, clients learn how to monitor their feelings and behavior, and how to use relaxation and visualization techniques.  Clients are taught how to conduct self-assessments and to actively implement effective coping and relapse prevention skills.

By offering classes that teach life skills, mindfulness, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and even art and music therapy, our diverse and eclectic program offers many different avenues that all lead to the ultimate destination: lifelong recovery from addiction.

ATS Family Program

Most people live their lives within some form of a family unit.  Addiction can wreak havoc on families, causing serious breaches of trust and pushing the family dynamic into stress and turmoil.  The family unit is our safe harbor, so ATS places a great deal of emphasis on its Family Program in order to mend the damage that addiction has caused within the family, helping it to begin the healing process.

The ATS Family Program offers several tools for the family to access during the recovery journey with their loved one.  Topics include:

  • Understanding the disease of addiction
  • The faces of addiction
  • Relapse prevention
  • Communication
  • Forgiveness
  • Co-dependency
  • Roles in dysfunctional families

The Family Program offers solace to members of the families who learn that they are not alone as they discover how much they have in common with each other.  ATS encourages families to bond with each other, where a common camaraderie elicits a sense of comfort and support.  Family Program is conveniently schedule on weekends to accommodate the busy lives of our client’s families.

Addiction Therapeutic Services is Here to Help

ATS is a leading Addiction Rehab in Rancho Mirage which is located in the beautiful foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains.  In this soothing space of safety and serenity, real recovery from addiction or dual diagnosis is able to begin.  ATS is CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited, meaning that it provides internationally recognized high standards within the addiction treatment field.  For a high quality IOP that features holistic, individualized treatment care, contact ATS today at (866) 293-5052.

Family Addiction Treatment

How the Family System Affects Addiction Treatment

Family Addiction Treatment

The idea of the family being a system comes from Dr. Murray Bowen who developed the Bowen family systems theory in the 1950s.  He also is credited for defining the field of family therapy.  The reason this advent is particularly important to treatment providers and those seeking long-lasting recovery is because much of the research that came about in the decades to follow demonstrated that the strong ties between family members deeply affect recovery.

The way that individual family members are often looked at, in this day and age, is in isolation to one another. This is best highlighted by interventions. Many of us have been exposed to interventions for addiction on television, in films and in our real lives. Being that we live in a highly individualistic society, the ambush intervention style seems effective at first glance. A whole family gets together and ambushes the addicted individual in order to get them into treatment.  The addicted individual is seen as the problem. While this style does work for some people, it’s not necessarily effective for a lot of people who need help.  Some will either resist the ambush entirely or find that when they return home after treatment, they have no idea how to cope with an unhealthy home environment. What that means is that the individual is at higher risk for relapse.

One of the problems with dealing with addiction in this way, as we’ve come to find, is because of the lack of understanding of the family unit being ONE emotional unit. Starting with the Bowen family systems theory may help us to build our understanding. First, the theory tells us that the family is one emotional unit rather than just a sum of its parts. The Bowen Center’s website also says that “Families so profoundly affect their member’s thoughts, feelings, and actions that it often seems as if people are living under the same ‘emotional skin.’”

Since the development of this theory, many experts have taken a magnifying glass to parent-child and other family relationships. For example, Dr. Rosemary Ellsworth Brown has written about controlling parenting styles being intimately tied to addiction. Bill Woodbury has presented the idea of “enable-ism” to the world through his book. And, Susan Jackson has expounded on the work of William L. White to show how whole families can heal together and support each other’s recovery, or conversely cause harm to one another without even realizing it.  In such situations, some would say it is best to treat whole families rather than individuals in isolation.

In order to learn more about family systems, check out Dr. Jessica Rodriguez’s presentation at the Rancho Mirage Network Luncheon wherein she discusses strategies and interventions.

Addiction Therapeutic Services is a leading treatment facility in Rancho Mirage not only because of our highly experienced clinical staff, but also because we involve the families of addicted individuals as much as we possible can. We host family weekends where we offer Family Addiction Treatment where the entire family can receive psychoeducation and get to know more about their loved one’s struggles.  We also host community education programs that are free of charge for the public.  If you’ve been in the dark about your loved one’s addiction and want to learn more, give us a call at 760-322-1777.


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