I’ve been very fortunate to live as many years as I have without developing any major addictions, and that is probably because I’ve met far too many people with dependencies on various chemicals and drugs, and on alcohol, and have seen first hand how those substances can shatter lives.
The greater tragedy is when the victim of substance abuse is a youth or a teenager. A still developing mind and body can be terribly, and possibly permanently damaged by any number of chemicals and drugs. Way back when I was in high school I remember the glue sniffers and remember being amazed at the all too obvious effects of what they considered to be innocent fun. I don’t think any of them realized that their ‘innocent fun’ and that intoxicating high that resulted was actually doing permanent damage and was starting some of them on the road to even more damaging addictions.
The good news is that SAMSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a division of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services) issued a report late last year that indicated that rates of “illicit drug use” among youths (ages 12 thru 17) has been on the decline since 2002. A bone-chilling report issued by the ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy) last year confirms this downtrend.
The bad news is, even after the downtrend, an estimated 9.9% of children in this 12-17 age range are using some form of illicit drug. The ONDCP report also indicates that 2005 figures show that there were over 2 million youths who needed treatment in a specialized facility, unfortunately the majority of them never receive such help.
One teen drug treatment center that really goes the extra mile for kids in this sort of trouble and their families is Echo Malibu, a beautiful facility located in southern California. The licensed professionals at Echo Malibu not only help their patients ‘get clean,’ they go well beyond rehabilitation by identifying and treating the root causes of the teen’s addiction, rather than merely focusing on the behaviors that result from addiction. Echo Malibu also offers a 24-hour hotline, not just for their patients but for all teens with addictions and their families.
If you or a child you love is being victimized by drugs, get help and get help soon. The longer an addiction runs the harder it is to beat it and the more damage it will do. Contacting a facility like Echo Malibu is a positive first step that may pay big dividends.
This post was kindly sponsored by Echo Malibu