As more and more teens are becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, the long-term health effects of these addictions during the end of their formative years is beginning to take a heavy toll on their health and well-being. Many young adults are now finding themselves dealing with severe chemical dependencies as well as health conditions that are often lifelong and life altering. Overcoming their adolescent addictions is crucial for these young adults. This continued abuse of drugs or alcohol can have unanticipated consequences. If your teenager needs alcohol or drug rehabilitation in Wilmington NC, please call Legacy Freedom.
Teenage partying and experimentation are a rite of passage. Parents anticipate that their child will try alcohol and may even try one or two drugs. However, many teens who struggle with peer pressure, low self-esteem, extreme pressures from parents and coaches, or undiagnosed mental illnesses, like anxiety or depression, may turn to alcohol or drugs as their way to cope or fit in. These factors contribute significantly to the likelihood of a teenager becoming addicted to chemical substances.
The ramifications of these early addictions become evident in the way the body is damaged by the drug use. The damage is not contained in just one system like the brain or the heart but, instead, is found throughout the body. In some cases, if the drug or alcohol abuse is addressed some of the damage may be repaired, but for long term addiction, the damage may not be able to be undone. Here are the ways that a teenage drug addiction affect the body. For drug rehabilitation in Wilmington NC that specializes in teens, call Legacy Freedom.
- Brain - It will come as no surprise that the effects of drugs and alcohol on the adolescent brain are the strongest. The brain is still in development until the early 20s, and the introduction of these toxic chemicals has the power to alter the way the brain develops. Many of the adverse effects of this toxin exposure aren't fully seen or observed until years later because of the way the brain is continuing to evolve. Heavy alcohol or drug use during the teenage years can impair motor skills, memory function and formation, and hamper logic and reasoning abilities. Drug use during this time may cause mental disorders like panic attacks or hallucinations. Dependent behavior or drugs like methamphetamine or cocaine can remap the brain and alter the way the brain processes. Depression, bouts of extreme irritability, and an increased risk of suicide are all prevalent in young adults who abused drugs as a teen.
- Immune system - Many people overlook the immune system when they think about the physical damages of drugs and alcohol. This delicate system can be damaged in many ways by heavy substance abuse, especially during teenage years when these systems are still developing and providing critical support to the other central systems in the body.
- Dehydration - Long term or frequent dehydration is common with many drugs, especially those in the methamphetamine class. These drugs dry out the mucous membranes. Dry mucous membranes are a breeding ground for infections and viruses.
- Digestive system - Chemicals in drugs like cocaine interfere with the body's ability to produce the enzymes it needs for healthy digestion. Poorly digested food causes complications in the GI tract and can even result in intestinal damage and disease.
- Insomnia - The chemicals in the brain that help regulate the body's sleep patterns are disturbed by frequent or heavy drug use. This disturbance causes insomnia which weakens the body's ability to fight diseases and infections.
- Decreased white blood cells - The body responds to life-threatening diseases by altering its white blood cell production. When this production is inhibited by the use of drugs the body is unable to produce the cells at the correct multiplication rate. This can significantly impair the body's ability to respond to cancer or other illnesses.
- Respiratory System - Smoking drugs like crack and marijuana expose sensitive lung tissues to high toxin levels. Exposure to these chemicals can cause the lung tissues to malfunction and may cause damage to the bronchioles in the lungs. Some chemicals inhibit the elasticity of the lungs making it difficult to breathe properly and making the drug user succeptible to chronic lung infections and illnesses.
- Cardiovascular system - Forcing the heart to work at an elevated rate for long periods of time causes the heart muscle to thicken and blood pressures to elevate. Drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, and methamphetamine ramp up the user's heart rate and force the heart to work overtime. Cocaine has been called the "perfect heart attack drug" because of its tendencies to thicken the ventricle wall of the heart and increase the stiffening of the aortic valve.
- Reproductive health - Drug and alcohol abusers are at a higher risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Many of these sexually transmitted diseases have long term effects on the abuser's health and may cause problems with infertility if the disease is not treated right away. Females who abuse drugs or alcohol may find themselves pregnant which can lead to the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy. This procedure carries additional risks to the woman's reproductive health as well as overall health. Males who abuse drugs heavily may find that they develop erectile dysfunction or become sterile as a result of drug use and untreated sexually transmitted diseases.
Once these teenagers reach their early 20s the damage to the body from an untreated addiction can be quite severe. Young adults are struggling with cardiovascular disease, infertility, and respiratory illnesses at alarming rates because of teen drug or alcohol abuse.
Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation in Wilmington NC For Teens
If you, or your son or daughter, are struggling with a drug addiction, Legacy Freedom can help. We understand that admitting you have an addiction and seeking the help you need is difficult. Our care team makes it easy to connect to the support you need by calling or clicking to connect. This secure and confidential conversation is the beginning of your journey towards a healthy and sober lifestyle.
At Legacy Freedom our approach to alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Wilmington NC is different. We are not a twelve step program, instead, we offer a holistic approach to addiction recovery that puts you, not your addiction, as the focus. Together with your life-purpose coach, you will create a care plan that focuses on the root of your addiction. Whether you use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate for an underlying mental illness or to cope with childhood trauma, rape, abuse, or low self-esteem, our professional counseling staff will help you discover why you use. Through one-on-one sessions and group sessions, you will learn to cope with your co-occurring disorders or underlying issues and find support among your peers.
We also believe in healing your body from your addiction. Proper nutrition and exercise play a major role in your recovery process. We utilize our on-staff dietician and physical therapists to help you restore your body to health while you begin your journey to sobriety. At Legacy Freedom of Wilmington we also utilize alternative therapies to help you learn new coping skills and set healthy boundaries for your newly sober and purpose-filled life. With more than 10 alternative therapies to choose from, you and your care team will select the right match for your interests and your needs. Learn more about our alternative therapies on our blog.
Your journey to living a sober and healthy lifestyle begins with a call or a click to connect with one of our care team. What are you waiting for? Call Legacy Freedom for alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Wilmington NC you can trust!