Adolescents are discouraged from doing a lot of things that could cause them harm, including consuming alcohol and taking drugs. Teens can become addicted to these substances just like adults can, but the effects are magnified and far reaching. If you find that your teen has an addiction problem, you need to know why adolescent addiction treatments are even more important than adult treatments.

Adolescent Brains Are Still Growing and Developing

The brains of teenagers are still growing and developing. All of the neural pathways, neurons, and brain cells teens need as adults are developing and being distributed throughout their brains. Blood vessels that feed every area of the brain are also growing and expanding. When adolescents become addicted to alcohol, they destroy all of those brain cells and motor neurons that they will need to help their brains mature. Blood vessels shrink and die. Because they are not emotionally or psychologically mature, an addiction to drugs causes teens to develop very unhealthy patterns of dealing with emotional and psychological issues. The sooner you can intervene and stop an addiction or put your teen through adolescent addiction recovery programs, the better your teen's chances are of saving and salvaging their developing brains.

Teens Are More Likely to Become Addicted after Initial Drug or Alcohol Use

Because teens often suffer from mood swings and depression, they often look for ways to elevate their mood. Other teens may feel extreme pressure to excel and want either a way to speed up brain functions or slow down and relax. Because of the way that the neurotransmitters and natural dopamine receptors operate in a teen's brain, teens are more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol than many adults.

Teens Can, and Will, Make Poor Judgment Calls and Decisions, Which Means Relapses

Many teen addiction programs require that teens enter a program on an in-patient basis only. Their under-developed pre-frontal cortexes cause teens to make poor judgment calls, leading to bad decisions. As such, they are susceptible to trying drugs and alcohol and then experiencing relapses after treatment if they do not enter in-patient treatment programs. The in-patient programs for teens teach them about their own growth and development, why they should avoid drugs and alcohol, and what their options are and gives them training to avoid relapsing once they have left the facility. The treatment center might also give the worst addiction cases alternative medications to shake their addictions.