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Telemedicine Uses – Teen Alcohol and Drug Treatment

by James Heller 30. August 2010 08:49
It’s difficult enough raising adolescent children, and then you discover the reason for their recent behavior issues is due to alcohol abuse or drug abuse.  You cringe at the thought of admitting them to alcohol and drug treatment because, beyond the shock you feel, it seems like yet another burden to tackle.  But it is important, and you know it, and telemedicine may be the solution for your hesitation.

Adolescent alcohol abuse and drug abuse can tear the closest families apart.  It starts with failing grades, behavior problems, and new friends who give parents that “bad feeling”.  A gradual increase of difficult situations explodes when parents discover substance abuse among their youth, and exhaustion generally follows.  So many parents will just want to give up.  Adolescent alcohol and drug treatment seems beyond the breaking point.

Although it is logical to make an attempt at solving a problem, procrastination takes over for most parents of substance abusers due to stigma.  “What will the extended family/friends/neighbors think?”  When they get past that hindering feeling and call an alcohol and drug treatment center, they learn about the time and emotion involved and put it off again.  All the while, their teens are going further down a road toward alcoholism or drug addiction, crime, injury, and possibly death.  Time is of the essence.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles offers telemedicine as an answer to both the stigma and time issues.  Teens can attend counseling sessions via video conference from home, using a computer with a webcam.  Parents can attend family meetings in the same manner.  We even have the technology to conduct group sessions over a secured internet connection.  This cuts the time and cost of travel to our locations, and saves you the need to explain the daily family trips to others.

Our providers use the TherapyLiveVisit application, powered by MDLiveCare, which works in any web browser.  If you have a computer with internet access and a webcam, you can use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or any other browser to access the application.  LiveVisit operates behind several layers of encryption, so you can be certain that your consultations will be completely confidential.  

The term “telemedicine” encompasses all forms of health care including mental health treatment and addiction treatment.  In many cases of youth alcohol abuse and drug abuse, there are co-occurring mental health disorders that had gone previously undetected.  Tarzana Treatment Centers is recognized as a leader in providing mental health treatment to adolescents.  Our telemedicine staff includes addiction counselors and mental health professionals, as well as medical professionals.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Adolescent Drug Addiction – Don’t Discriminate

by James Heller 5. May 2010 12:37
Teen drug addiction does not only occur with drugs like heroin and methamphetamines.  Prescription opiate and benzodiazepine abuse can quickly lead to addiction, and we should not forget about marijuana and alcohol which are still drugs.  Parents need to be aware of these facts so they can easily spot the signs of impending drug addiction with their youth.

Don’t be fooled by the idea that if you don’t catch your adolescent using strong drugs, then it is not a big deal.  Granted, finding evidence of heroin or methamphetamine use can scare any parent into contacting the closest drug treatment center.  Too many parents, though, do not take the same drastic action with other drugs, and may simply resort to grounding or other minor punishments.

Alcohol and marijuana are the best examples.  Many parents still believe it is okay to allow teen alcohol use in the home, in hopes that they will not drink outside the home.  In most cases they will and put themselves at risk of injury and death.  Adolescents, in most cases, simply don’t drink responsibly like adults.  Getting a buzz is the purpose as opposed to having a social moment with friends.

The 21st Century has seen an equalizing with alcohol of the social acceptance of marijuana.  The drug has become normalized with such a high percentage of the population having smoked pot in younger days.  If marijuana use caused them no major problems, parents may allow their teens to use it or just wave it off as typical youth behavior.   What they don’t know is that marijuana is now much more potent and addictive, and can also lead to injury or death if they drive under the influence of pot.

Now prescription drugs like Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin), and benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium) have become popular with adolescents.  Adolescent prescription drug abuse is largely driven by a low perception of risk.  Teens believe there is no danger that comes with the high, as long as they take the drugs in controlled situations.  But drug addiction can take hold quickly with these drugs, which can lead them to try heroin addiction since it is cheaper and more potent.

Drug addiction treatment usually begins with drug detox or alcohol detoxDrug withdrawal symptoms include flu-like aches and intestinal problems among others, and alcohol withdrawal can be fatal in serious cases.  It is best to avoid the need for medical detoxification before teen drug treatment.  The way to do this is to treat all teen drug abuse equally, and seek treatment at the earliest signs of use.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment, as well as prevention education.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Teen Substance Use - Prevention and Treatment

by James Heller 22. April 2010 13:50
It’s no secret that a certain percentage of teens will recreationally use alcohol or drugs before they finish high school.  We would all like to wave a magic wand and put a stop to it, but that is just a dream.  We can only do our best to teach adolescents the damage that alcohol abuse and drug abuse will cause in their lives.

Sometimes it seems like a futile effort.  Some of our youth will engage in substance use no matter what they are taught, or even if they face legal and academic consequences.  Many of them begin using out of curiosity or peer pressure, and others do so in order to escape negative feelings.  Some are even undiagnosed with mental health disorders, and find comfort in self-medicating.

The consequences of teen alcohol and drug abuse are evident to anyone whose primary work is in service to adolescents.  At schools, we see promising students suddenly miss homework assignments or watch grades drop on tests.  Youth organizations and similar groups notice that some kids just stop attending meetings and functions.

Sadly, there is no magic wand that will put an end to adolescent substance abuse.  Prevention is an effort that must continue, though, because teens will otherwise not hear our message of consequences.  They will be left only with reasons to try alcohol and drugs, and none make them think first about future problems.  Although it may seem like a lost cause, at times, lives are saved every day.

In times of doubt, remember that when teens engage in alcohol abuse or drug abuse they increase the likelihood of future problems with alcohol dependence or drug addiction.  Each and every adolescent that hears this message gets the opportunity to live into adulthood alcohol and drug free.  At the very least, we can attempt to delay the start of substance use until after adolescence.

It is also important that we know when to refer teens to youth alcohol and drug treatment.  There is often a delay because of the mistaken parallel between adolescent substance abuse and adult substance abuse.  In actuality, teens need to at least speak with an addiction counselor at the first sign of abuse so the true nature of the problem can be understood in each case.

Adolescent alcohol and drug treatment helps teens to discover why they use alcohol or drugs.  This allows them to grow by dealing with life problems instead of escaping with substance use.  When mental health disorders are discovered, the treatment center should include in-house care for co-occurring mental health disorders.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment, as well as prevention education.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Adolescent Mental Health

by James Heller 3. September 2009 09:16
Adolescence is often a period full of difficulties and transitions.  As children transition into adolescence they attempt to define themselves and establish their own identities.  It is during this period that adolescents can suffer from a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.  

Adolescents may also struggle to cope with their other issues by using drugs.   These difficulties, especially substance use and abuse, do not occur outside the context of other life difficulties. Often, mental health issues or substance use are concerns within a constellation of challenges that could affect an adolescent’s well-being within other life domains such as family, school, social, or emotional problems.

The life difficulties have influence upon, and are influenced by, the severity and duration of other mental health problems.   With this in mind, adolescent mental health treatment strives to help adolescents examine their life and develop a plan to use personal strengths to help reduce the negative impact of whatever mental health difficulties they struggle with. Adolescent behaviors are driven by valid reasons, and self-destructive behaviors often are inappropriate expressions of thoughts and feelings, or used as a coping strategy for seemingly insurmountable problems.

In order to promote healthy adolescent development, preventing and/or reducing the high-risk behaviors is a key goal. In addition to this goal, the long term objective of mental health treatment is to help youth develop into adults that are productive, balanced and self-confident contributors to society.

With adolescents it is particularly important to meet each teen where they are at. By collaboratively looking at the life of the young person and identifying areas for change, the mental health provider seeks to align his or her efforts with the needs and priorities of youth. Privacy and confidentiality are stressed and protected, and information is shared only with the consent of the legal guardian and knowledge of the youth, except where the law supersedes.

Adolescents seeking treatment may range from those first experiencing mental health symptoms or those first experimenting with substance use to youth who have more serious problems with mental health issues, alcohol dependence or drug addiction. A thorough assessment is necessary to fully evaluate the severity of a teens mental health issues and possible substance use and other bio-psychosocial areas that include (but are not limited to) psychological problems, medical status, family issues, and legal concerns.

An initial mental health assessment is needed to determine the intensity of treatment, which is often referred to as the level of care. Levels of care include outpatient therapy and residential rehabilitation.  These decisions are based on level of need and vary from adolescent to adolescent.    

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides adolescent mental health treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in youth alcohol and drug treatment.  If you would like more information, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.