Just like there is no one-size-fits-all method for treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all victim of substance use disorder. Some people are under the assumption that those who suffer from addiction can’t be younger or older than a certain age, but this is not the truth. The truth is that nobody is safe from the potential of addiction. This is important to remember because to those who struggle with substance abuse, isolation is a very real fear. 

Young people want so badly to believe that they are safe and secure, although sometimes it may not seem that way. The reality is that they are experiencing the most vulnerable state of their lives. At Amethyst, we want these young people to believe that there are people in their corner that are fighting for them. This has the potential to give addicted young people something that runs scarce in the world of addiction – hope.

Substance Abuse Symptoms in Young People

Some potential symptoms to look out for in your teen include the following:

  • Drastic changes in friend groups
  • Changes in sleeping habits 
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Lake of self-care
  • Lack of hygiene/grooming
  • Lack of interest in school
  • Lack of interest in extracurriculars
  • Poor academic performance
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability 
  • Mood swings
  • Extreme secrecy

Being young is difficult; we’ve all been there. Validation and acceptance are all that any teenager wants. Some turn to drugs because they don’t have that and it’s easier to cope that way. This is dangerous and could be a catalyst for long-term addiction. Understanding and recognizing the signs and symptoms of substance abuse are significant in this regard. 

Why Is My Child Struggling with Addiction?

There are many reasons why your child may be suffering from substance abuse, some of which include the following: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Peer pressure
  • Coping with trauma

When someone uses drugs, no matter their age, their pleasure receptors in the brain are triggered. This gives the user a false sense of how pleasurable the activity is, which in turn compromises one’s enjoyment of the simplest pleasures that life has to offer. As a result, for those who are using drugs at a young age, their minds (which is still developing) development has been hindered. 

More specifically, when someone partakes in drug use, dopamine travels to the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that sends a signal to the brain that whatever is happening is a good thing. There are many consequences to this phenomenon, one of which includes the distortion of one’s perception of enjoyment. Simple, everyday pleasures such as sex, eating, and comedy are impacted drastically, never being the same again.

All of this and more happens because there is no high that is ever stronger than the first one. The first time someone uses drugs, it supersedes everything that anybody has ever enjoyed. Because of this peak experience, people who use often want more. The desire for more leads to taking more which leads to building a tolerance. Once someone has built a tolerance, they begin to experience withdrawal if they don’t get as much of a substance as they need. Dependency is born from withdrawal, which gives way to addiction.  

Why Your Child Keeps Their Addiction to Themselves

For someone who is at the most vulnerable point in their development, it is very difficult to admit when there is a problem, even if that problem is reasonable. It may not make sense to an adult, but to someone unsure of themselves as a young person, it makes perfect sense. Asking for help means admitting there is a problem; many of them either don’t know a problem exists, or they’re too scared to speak up.


Fear is a paralyzing adversary, and it often takes control of whoever lets it in. Many don’t want to see themselves fail and will neglect to accept the truth because they fear failure. It’s sometimes easy, especially for a young person, to believe in lies. They’ll tell themselves over and over that everything is fine when in all reality it is not. 


Denial is a pathological liar; it has a lot to do with why some kids won’t ask for help, let alone admit that they’re having trouble. Even with the facts presented plainly before them they are blind to the truth and tell themselves that everything is okay when it’s not. 


Depression is an issue that is becoming more and more visible in this day-in-age. A great many people struggle with this mental health disorder, but few in the past have chosen to acknowledge it. It’s like a dark cloud that plagues those impacted with a sense of grogginess in every second of their day. Lack of motivation is one of the most obvious signs of depression (among general sadness). This makes even the simplest of tasks difficult to follow through. This lack of motivation translates to their willingness to ask for help. 

What Can I Do About It?

Oftentimes, when circumstances are out of our control, it is easy to shrug off challenges and concede to the idea that there is nothing we can do about it. The best thing you could do for your child, however, is just reaching out. Having a conversation is the first step to recovering. Conversations with your child need to be loving and understanding. Getting angrier will not help any aspect of this circumstance and will only set your child back in their rehab. 

When teens feel as though their parents are disappointed in them, they shut down. This is due in large part to the mind’s development and the longing for affirmation they seek. Being misunderstood makes them feel isolated as if there is no hope. The best way to combat this is to just ask them questions. By lovingly asking questions, it will communicate to them that you are seeking to understand. It is only then that you will have gained their trust.

Living with the pain of addiction is one of the hardest circumstances life has to offer, especially for a young person. What’s even worse than this is that if substance abuse is not called out and treated at a young age, it can become a catalyst for long term addiction. The earlier a disease such as this is found out, the sooner one comes to finding rest and recovery.

Some treatment options that Amethyst offers include the following:

How Does Treatment at Amethyst Help?

At Amethyst, our philosophy when it comes to addiction treatment is to prioritize support. As was mentioned before, young people are in the most vulnerable state of their lives. For them, support and surrounding encouragement are imperative to their success. 

Vulnerability is terrifying. It is almost a violating feeling, an embarrassing characteristic. For young people, this is immensely difficult to overcome. Being encouraged by others, especially their families and expert medical staff is critical to their journey. Encouragement yields to empowerment, empowerment to momentum, and momentum to success; that is how we help young people that walk through our doors. 

Amethyst aims to help those who struggle with addiction find their purpose. Not only that but leading them towards sobriety and stability is also a part of the plan. To feel as though one has a purpose is one of the greatest pleasures that life has to offer, even better than drugs. We want to help them redirect their pleasures towards living a life that means something. 

The Amethyst Family

Some of our family at Amethyst includes the following:

  • Doctors
  • Therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Health care professionals

Amethyst Recovery is a family of people who are passionate about showering those who suffer from addiction to encouragement. We are committed to offering the best care available to meet every one of their unique needs. No person is the same as the other, and their treatment plan should reflect that. 

Recovering Post-Treatment

When patients leave treatment, they’re transitioning into the very same world they came out of. For many, this is frightening, but it doesn’t have to be. At Amethyst, we aim to lay the foundation for a strong life to be built upon. Because of this, we are committed to setting our patients up for success outside of the treatment facility. 

Each person that walks through our doors is unique. They’re treatment here and wherever they go from here is also unique. For some, some plans need to be developed so that someone may succeed to their utmost potential. We will equip patients with the best tools necessary to combat their substance abuse history. Not only that, but there are resources outside of our walls that will be beneficial to anybody that recovers with us. 

Amethyst Is With You

If you, a loved one, or your child is suffering from addiction, you are not alone. There are plenty of ways that Amethyst can help you. If you are interested in finding out more, contact us here, or call us at (855) 500-3609.