Traumatic Brain Injuries Increase Risk of Substance Abuse in Teens

Drug Rehabilitation in Raleigh NCWhether you were a high school football star or spent your after school hours swinging a softball bat, the chances are that at some point you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury while on the field. The most common form of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a concussion. The common misconception is that a concussion is a less severe injury. However, new research shows that there are significant and immediate effects of even the slightest brain injury. If your teen needs holistic alcohol or drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC, be sure to call Legacy Freedom for help today!

Now scientists are making the connection between suffering a TBI and the likelihood that a teen will struggle with substance abuse issues. A study conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Ontario, Canada found that high school students who have suffered a TBI are twice as likely as a peer who has not suffered a TBI to use or abuse alcohol and other drugs. Researchers also found that those who had suffered a brain injury were more likely to use heavier drugs than those who had not suffered a brain injury.

Using drugs or alcohol after experiencing a TBI increases the odds that the teen will suffer a re-injury as a result of their substance abuse. The CAMH study revealed that teens with a history of TBI were twice as likely to binge drink and use cigarettes as those who had no history of an injury. Even more alarming were the use numbers for hard drugs. Those who had experienced a TBI were:

  • 2.1 times more likely to have used ADHD drugs that were not prescribed to them
  • 2.5 times more likely to have used cocaine or LSD
  • 2.6 times more likely to have taken hallucinogens
  • 2.7 times more likely to have used opioid pain medication that was not physician prescribed
  • 2.8 times more likely to have taken ecstasy
  • 3.8 times more likely to have used sedatives, crystal meth or non-prescribed pharmaceutical tranquilizers

These heavy duty substances can have a dangerous effect on a young and still developing uninjured brain, but when coupled with a traumatic brain injury, the drugs pose serious health risks. Teenage brains are vulnerable, introducing drugs while the brain is still developing can pave the way for substance abuse problems as an adult. Scientists have seen a link between TBIs and the ability to make clear judgments and regulate impulsive behaviors. In some cases, the TBI may be a result of binge drinking or substance abuse. In other situations, the TBI may have occurred before a problem with drugs or alcohol did. What is known is that those who have had a TBI are at a higher risk of developing a drug or alcohol dependency.

Impaired judgment from a past brain injury coupled with a potent cocktail of alcohol or drugs can cause falls or lead to reckless behaviors. As a result of their TBI, drugs and alcohol may affect the user differently. Mixing prescription medications that are needed to treat the lingering effects of more severe injuries and alcohol or drugs can lead to serious or fatal reactions. If the recovery process for the TBI was rushed, studies show that the brain is unable to heal properly and is more susceptible to reinjury. As these teens mature into adulthood, many are at a greater risk for a new TBI because of a drug or alcohol addiction.

Holistic Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation in Raleigh NC For Teens

Drug Rehabilitation in Raleigh NCIf you, or someone you love, have struggled with a traumatic brain injury and become addicted to drugs or alcohol, Legacy Freedom of Raleigh can help. Our professional team of therapists, counselors, and clinicians offer you a unique approach to overcoming your addiction. We don't utilize a twelve step approach to addiction. Instead, we take a holistic approach to alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC.

Choosing a holistic approach to your drug or alcohol addiction means that the focus is on you, not your addiction. At Legacy Freedom, each client is assigned a Life-Purpose coach to help them navigate the recovery process, learn new skills, and set goals for their new sober lifestyle. Together with your care team, you will create a treatment plan that incorporates traditional one-on-one talk therapy, group therapy, and alternative therapies; treating your mind, body, and spirit as you recover.

Through individual talk therapy with your therapist, you will discover the root of your addiction. Whether you drink to cope with a co-occurring mental illness like anxiety or depression, or to avoid dealing with emotions from a difficult childhood, your therapist can help you understand the cause of your addiction. Together with your therapist, you will learn new ways to cope with your underlying issues without relying on drugs or alcohol.

Connecting with your peers during group therapy is an excellent way to help you find support and encouragement to maintain your sobriety away from our outpatient facility. We also offer the opportunity for friends and loved ones to attend group events to learn more about addiction, recovery and how they can support you on your journey to sobriety.

Alternative therapies are used at Legacy Freedom to help treat underlying issues that can be especially difficult to overcome. By utilizing nutritional and physical therapy, our team of staff dieticians and physical therapists can help you overcome the physical damages caused by your addiction. With more than ten additional alternative therapies like acupuncture, equine therapy, or EMDR, our clinicians can help you work through the causes of your addiction, learn new ways to cope, how to set boundaries and more. More information about these alternative therapies is available on our blog.

The road to sobriety is long and it can be difficult. With the support of friends and loved ones, the expert staff at Legacy Freedom, and the desire to live a sober, purpose filled life you can overcome your addiction to drugs or alcohol. Stop letting substance abuse stand in the way of your dreams. Call or click to connect with Legacy Freedom to learn more about our holistic alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC!

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