Substance Abuse & Eating Disorders
By Curtis Reed
Finding troubled teens treatment for substance abuse as soon as possible may save them from eating disorders and related problems. Parents of struggling teens misusing drugs or alcohol often find themselves thinking that their child is just experimenting or going through a passing phase. Reality is that most troubled teens lack the emotional and life skills necessary to recognize the serious dangers of their behavior. Even more concerning, research from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reveals that out of every ten teens dealing with substance abuse issues, three or four of them will also develop an eating disorder. That means struggling teens with eating disorders are five times more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs (ranging from caffeine and smoking to life-threatening street drugs). While other troubled teens abusing alcohol or illicit drugs are eleven times more likely to have an eating disorder. In other words, anorexia and bulimia are linked almost inextricably with smoking, drug and alcohol abuse. Many Struggling teens don’t know how to overcome the problems that they are faced with and many struggling boys and girls need to be placed in the correct environment in order to restore themselves. Zion Educational Services can educate you on how to place troubled teens in the correct environment in order to receive the help they need to overcome their struggles including eating disorders and all kinds of drug abuse. For immediate assistance contact Re-Creation Retreat to speak with a child placing specialist at 1-866-492-8778.
It's not just a "girl problem". Before you assume that teen girls are the only ones at risk for eating and other body-image disorders, however, consider the fact that a nationwide survey published in the August issue of Pediatrics magazine reveals body image is a major source of concern these days for both boys and girls. Troubled teens of either sex struggling with body image are even more likely to resort to hormones and dietary supplements to lose weight or enhance their physique. Eating disorders and substance abuse share many similar characteristics.
Both eating disorders and/or substance abuse problems usually occur during times of stress or emotional transition. They can stem from a family history or genetic pre-disposition. Eating disorders and substance abuse problems can also be the result of low self esteem, poor body image, anxiety, and depression. Disorders and abuse problems can also be triggered by physical or emotional abuse. They can also occur or escalate when parents fail to pay close attention to their child’s activities. They cause secretive, obsessive and compulsive behaviors. They have clear connections to other serious conditions and effects, including suicide and are notoriously hard to treat – sufferers can relapse easily. As parents of struggling teens, the biggest worry is that eating disorders and substance abuse problems can be fatal and require immediate professional help.
Many parents of troubled teens don’t know where to turn for help. While this kind of information is enlightening, it can also be terrifying, especially if you suspect that your teen is struggling with low self-esteem, body image concerns or, more seriously, an eating disorder or substance abuse problem. What do you do? Where do you turn? How can you stop your teen from spiraling into further danger? How can you get him/her out of the difficulty they're currently facing?
First of all, remember that you cannot save your teen alone. Helping anyone with substance abuse problem or eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia requires the support of a team of caring, qualified professionals including doctors, counselors and mentors for both you and your child. Second, there are a variety of places to obtain that help and support, including school counseling services and community health centers. However, enrolling your child in a therapeutic boarding school or a wilderness rehabilitation program is one of the most effective – and comprehensive – solutions to your child's problems. Focusing on wilderness and outdoor adventure experiences, wilderness rehabilitation programs are one of the fastest-growing and most popular forms of help for teens with substance or alcohol misuse issues. In fact, wilderness rehabilitation is so successful that programs like Utah's Turn About Ranch have even been featured on ABC television.
Like wilderness programs, therapeutic boarding schools also offer a safe, supportive team approach to helping teens build the confidence and skills necessary to overcome their substance or alcohol problems and establish a lifestyle that is both healthy and productive. Therapeutic boarding schools can make an excellent next-step for teens who have successfully completed a wilderness program, as they are designed to help students get back on track academically as well as emotionally. Many parents aren’t aware the correct way to restore struggling teenagers and need a professional to educate them. For parents that need immediate assistance dealing with out of control teens, Zion Educational Services specializes in educating parents about different youth programs for troubled teens such as different types of private boarding schools, boot camps, Christian schools, therapy programs and many other youth facilities for both boys and girls. ZES provides you with the information to place your troubled boys and girls in the perfect treatment center that can meet their needs. If you have any questions or concerns contact ZES, (Zion Educational Services) to immediately to talk to a child education specialist at 866-439-8112.