How Mental Health Treatment in Adolescence Helps Teens Build Skills to Stay Sober in Adulthood


How Mental Health Treatment in Adolescence Helps Teens Build Skills to Stay Sober in Adulthood

When an adolescent is struggling with their mental health, they may struggle with many different co-occurring issues, including substance abuse. While treatment for addiction and substance abuse is important, mental health treatment is also vital for adolescents to heal. It will help to address underlying issues that are causing substance abuse. Additionally, mental health treatment will teach teens skills that enhance their recovery, both now and in the future. Treatment at Sustain Recovery is focused on addressing teens’ underlying mental health issues. Adolescents who go through mental health treatment at Sustain Recovery are better equipped to heal and stay sober into adulthood.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Adolescents struggling with a mental health disorder have a variety of symptoms that often make daily functioning a challenge. This can include managing stress, building healthy relationships, and completing necessary tasks. Due to these challenges, many teens are in search of a quick and easy solution to either numb their discomfort or manage their emotions. For teens, using drugs and alcohol commonly serves as an unhealthy way to cope with the challenges of living with a mental health disorder.

Additionally, many teens who use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope become addicted, which can cause changes in the brain and cause a lifelong struggle with substance abuse. Drug or alcohol abuse in adolescents is not always tied to mental health. However, substance abuse and mental health disorders are commonly co-occurring.

Learning Skills in Mental Health Treatment

Mental health treatment looks different for each adolescent, depending on the individual and the types of mental health disorders they are struggling with. For example, treatment for depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders will all be unique programs. However, nearly every mental health treatment plan incorporates learning skills that help teens to manage their mental health, both now and in the future.

Stress Management

For many teens, stress is a significant challenge. If they are struggling with a mood disorder like depression or anxiety, stress often increases symptoms. Additionally, many teens do not know how to manage and adjust to stressors. Therefore, they often reach for drugs or alcohol to solve the issue.

However, teens can improve their stress management skills in mental health treatment. Through individual therapy, group therapy, and other treatment modalities, teens learn to recognize the role of stress in their lives. They then learn how to manage stress through the development of certain skills. Additionally, teens learn what to do when they feel stressed. For example, coping mechanisms like practicing breathing techniques or exercising give teens an alternative to substance use.

Building and Maintaining Relationships

For teens and adults, building and maintaining relationships is often difficult. Many teens who struggle with mental health lack the social skills to do so. One example of these skills is acknowledging their feelings and communicating them with others. As a result, the teen often feels isolated and lonely. In turn, this increases their mental health struggles.

However, having healthy relationships in adolescence and adulthood is vital to mental health and sobriety. By having healthy relationships, teens feel they are a part of something and have a community of others to lean on. Therefore, when struggling with an issue, they have people they can turn to for help.

Treatment modalities like family therapy are often highly effective for teens to heal from mental health disorders and maintain sobriety. This is because learning skills to build and maintain healthy relationships helps teens to feel a sense of belonging. Over time, these skills grow, and when teens grow into adulthood, they will be prepared, having the skills necessary to have a supportive community.

Self-Care and Task Completion

Both self-care and task completion are skills that teens are developing. Some teens will be further along in the process, while others will struggle with both for a longer period of time. Mental health disorders impact both self-care and task completion. As a result, teens may look for something else to feel better or release their sense of guilt or shame for not completing things. Many reach for drugs or alcohol to do so.

In mental health treatment, teens learn how to practice self-care and develop task-completion skills. They learn a foundation for how to care for their needs and get things done. In doing so, teens improve their mental health, which protects them from future risks of substance abuse.

Staying Sober After Mental Health Treatment

Mental health treatment at Sustain Recovery is focused on helping teens stay sober long-term. The skills learned in mental health treatment are often oriented toward caring for and healing from mental health disorders. However, these skills are also helpful and important for teens to heal from addiction – both now and in the future.

When many adolescents struggle with their mental health, they commonly also use or abuse drugs or alcohol. However, getting treatment during adolescence can significantly help teens build skills that enable them to manage their challenges with substance use and abuse. At Sustain Recovery, we are here to help adolescents heal from mental health disorders and addiction. Our program helps to relieve immediate discomfort while enabling teens to build skills that improve their mental health. The foundation of skills learned in our mental health treatment program will help teens now and into their adult lives. If you are interested in learning more about our treatment programs, call us today at (949) 407-9052