Powerlessness and unmanageability. These are the two qualifications we use for alcoholism and/or addiction. No matter how surprising it may seem, the amount of young people that meet these qualifications before even finishing high school is astonishing.
The simple truth is, everyone reaches their bottom at different times and rates. For some, this occurs at quite a young age. So is someone ever “too young” for treatment? Here we discuss young people and recovery.
Effects of drugs on adolescent brains
The adolescent brain is still developing, and thus highly susceptible to detrimental and permanent changes. One comprehensive study found clear indications that substance abuse during the adolescent period clearly altered the brain’s structure, function, and cognition, and that these changes were clearly associated with substance abuse.
The study found that these changes could occur with as little as twenty drinks consumed per month by an adolescent, thus including those who only drank a few times a month. 1
Substance abuse may not simply be something in which the youth “grows out of”, making it even more dangerous. Substance abuse during the adolescent period can cause changes to the reward pathway of the brain that will make the child much more susceptible to addiction throughout life. 2
Thus, it is not surprising that so many people in recovery cite their early adolescence with when they first discovered drugs and/or alcohol.
Too young for treatment?
In the past, it was rare to find young people in the rooms of recovery. This is completely untrue today. Most treatment centers have dedicated adolescent units to focus solely on their treatment.
Likewise, young people meetings are common in nearly every city now. The fact is, young people do develop true addiction and/or alcoholism at a young age. And the good news is, young people do recover from it.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.