This September we are proud to acknowledge Recovery Month. This month, we will be promoting evidence-based treatment and recovery practices and sharing more about what youth addiction is and the steps young people can take to recovery.
What is youth addiction?
Young people can be susceptible to substance misuse and addiction. Many young people experiment with drugs and alcohol, which can lead to harmful or risky behaviours. Youth addiction can occur when substance misuse becomes chronic and continues despite adverse consequences, like:
- Failure to fulfil major responsibilities
- Recurrent substance use in situations where it is physically dangerous
- Recurrent substance-related legal problems
- Continued substance use, even despite personal or social problems it may be causing (1).
There is no one path to addiction, and not all alcohol and drug use leads to problematic use, but for those that do, supporting young people to recover quickly is imperative. If young people don’t have the support they need available to recover, substance misuse can lead to dependence, chronic health problems, and social and financial consequences.
- In Australia, the average age when young people start alcohol and other drug use is 16 and 19 years respectively (2)
- Of young people aged 14-24, 30% drink alcohol at levels that put them at risk of harm
- 24% of young people aged 14–24 engaged in illicit use of drugs
- Alcohol and drug use has generally decreased in the last decade (3).
What is recovery?
In recovery, people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. Just as there are many ways young people can become addicted, there are different pathways they can take on the journey to recovery, and there is no one-size-fits-all program.
Sir David Martin Foundation focuses on three types of care for young people aged 16-24 to support recovery and rehabilitation:
- Withdrawal: This is a detox program that provides up to 28 days of residential care and 24/7 medical support for young people to withdraw and break the cycle of addiction.
- Rehabilitation: This is a 12-week course that focuses on empowering young people with treatment and counselling, living skills, education, and recreation. Young people work with counsellors and psychologists to develop a tailored, holistic program that works for them.
- Aftercare: This program provides up to six months of support for young people who have completed the Withdrawal or Rehabilitation programs. Young people are paired with a dedicated Aftercare Worker who offers practical advice and mentors them as they transition back into the community.
If you are looking for more information on addiction or the options available for recovery, contact us to find out more.