Treating Co-occurring Disorders in Teens

Addressing co-occurring disorders in teenagers requires a multifaceted approach that considers both their mental health and substance use challenges. At Blume Behavioral Health, located in the serene setting of Redondo Beach, CA, we specialize in providing comprehensive care for adolescents struggling with dual diagnosis. In this guide, we will explore the intricacies of co-occurring disorders in teens, the importance of early intervention, our evidence-based treatment modalities, and how our specialized programs can support your teen’s journey to recovery.

Understanding Co-occurring Disorders in Teens

Co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis or comorbidity, occur when an adolescent experiences both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder concurrently. These disorders often exacerbate each other, leading to more severe symptoms and complicating the treatment process. Common mental health disorders that co-occur with substance use in teens include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Factors Contributing to Co-occurring Disorders

Several factors contribute to the development of co-occurring disorders in teenagers:

  • Genetic Predisposition: Adolescents with a family history of mental health disorders or substance abuse are at higher risk of developing co-occurring disorders.
  • Environmental Influences: Factors such as trauma, chronic stress, family dysfunction, peer pressure, and socio-economic status can contribute to the development of co-occurring disorders.
  • Neurobiological Changes: Adolescence is a period of significant brain development, and exposure to substances during this time can alter brain chemistry, increasing the likelihood of developing mental health disorders.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of co-occurring disorders in teens is crucial for early intervention and treatment. Symptoms may vary depending on the specific disorders involved but may include:

  • Changes in Behavior: Sudden mood swings, irritability, withdrawal from family and friends, increased secrecy, engaging in risky behaviors, and declining academic performance.
  • Substance Use: Experimentation with drugs or alcohol, increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms when not using substances, and unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control substance use.
  • Physical Symptoms: Changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, headaches, stomachaches, and unexplained injuries or bruises.

The Importance of Early Intervention

Early intervention is paramount when addressing co-occurring disorders in teens. Research shows that early identification and treatment can lead to better outcomes and reduce the risk of long-term complications. By seeking help promptly, parents and caregivers can provide their teens with the support they need to overcome these challenges and lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

Comprehensive Treatment Approach at Blume Behavioral Health

At Blume Behavioral Health, we offer a comprehensive treatment approach that addresses both the mental health and substance use aspects of co-occurring disorders in teens. Our programs are tailored to meet the unique needs of each adolescent and may include the following components:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: Upon admission, each teen undergoes a thorough assessment by our multidisciplinary team to identify the specific mental health and substance use issues they are facing. This assessment forms the basis of their personalized treatment plan.
  • Integrated Care: We provide integrated care that combines evidence-based therapies, medication management (if necessary), educational support, and experiential therapies to address the complex needs of adolescents with co-occurring disorders.
  • Evidence-Based Therapies: Our treatment modalities are grounded in evidence-based practices such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care, and mindfulness-based interventions.
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Our specialized dual diagnosis treatment tracks are designed to address the unique challenges associated with co-occurring disorders. These programs focus on building coping skills, enhancing emotional regulation, and promoting relapse prevention.
  • Family Involvement: We recognize the importance of family support in the recovery process and encourage family involvement throughout treatment. We offer family therapy sessions, educational workshops, and support groups to help families understand their role in supporting their teen’s recovery.

Reach Out to Us Today!

Our continuum of care ensures that adolescents receive ongoing support and guidance as they transition through different levels of treatment. We offer a range of programs, including residential treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services, to meet the varying needs of teens with co-occurring disorders. Additionally, our aftercare planning and relapse prevention strategies help teens maintain their progress and successfully reintegrate into their communities. If you’re ready to take the next step towards helping your teen overcome co-occurring disorders, contact Blume Behavioral Health at (424) 242-1322. Our compassionate team is here to provide personalized support and guidance every step of the way.

FAQs

How common are co-occurring disorders in teens?

Co-occurring disorders are relatively common among adolescents, with studies estimating that up to 60% of teens with a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental health disorder.

We offer a range of treatment programs, including residential treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services, to meet the varying needs of teens with co-occurring disorders.

The duration of treatment depends on the individual needs of each teen. Some may require a shorter stay in residential treatment, while others may benefit from longer-term care.

Yes, family involvement is highly encouraged. We believe that family support plays a crucial role in the recovery journey and offer family therapy sessions, educational workshops, and support groups to help families understand their role in supporting their teen’s recovery.

Yes, we provide comprehensive aftercare support to ensure a smooth transition for teens returning home. This may include continued therapy, support groups, relapse prevention planning, and referrals to community resources.