Managing Adolescent Behavioral Health: A Guide for Teenagers with Substance Use Disorder

Teens with drug use disorder must learn how to manage their adolescent...

James Ekbatani
April 2, 2024

During adolescent development, teenagers are transitioning through a period of self-discovery and social identity. As they migrate beyond their childhood environment, they begin to navigate new emotions independently. Learning to manage adolescent behavioral health by regulating emotions is especially crucial for well-being and recovery.

Without the proper emotional regulation skills and healthy coping mechanisms, teenagers often seek ways to manage their stress, anxiety, and insecurities; teenagers with substance use disorder may turn to alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, Adderall, or other forms of addictive substances.

Here, we will discuss how teenagers with substance use disorder can manage their emotions.

First Step to Managing Adolescent Behavioral Health Recognize and Label Emotions

The first step toward regulating emotions is becoming aware of them. Identifying what one is feeling in the moment instead of pushing it away is essential. Once teens can label their emotions, they have the opportunity to recognize them instead of being controlled by them. This helps them develop a better understanding of their triggers as they become aware of dialogue, and the people, or situations which can lead to emotion-dysregulation.

To combat this, providing teens with a vocabulary to recognize an array of emotions can help them express how they feel. Vocalizing their needs becomes imperative for teenagers, especially those with substance use disorder. This process can begin the self-reflection process and pave the way for emotional regulation.

Practice Mindfulness and Grounding Techniques

Mindfulness and grounding techniques effectively help one manage emotions. We encourage teenagers to engage in activities that help them ground themselves in the present moment, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation. At Lotus Behavioral Health, we offer yoga classes for our residential treatment patients.

Grounding techniques, including those focusing on the senses or using grounding objects, can also help bring one’s attention back to the present and provide a sense of stability during emotional distress. Once grounded, one can make decisions in the present while considering the past and the future.

Build a Supportive Network

Teenagers rely on their social relationships in their adolescence. Teenagers ural health centre and instead turn to their friends and social groups for their social outlets, according to Psychology Today. However, supportive relationships are vital in the journey of emotional regulation.

When teenagers first start counseling services, they are often in denial and resent being there. They believe they don’t need treatment, yet they are caught up using harmful substances, running away from home, and disconnecting with their family. Who they decide to trust plays a big role in their decision-making process.

A support network can reduce feelings of isolation and provide valuable emotional support. Adolescents can consider joining support groups specifically designed for teenagers who struggle with addiction and substance use disorder, where they can connect with peers who share similar experiences.

Seek Professional Help

Professional support is crucial for teenagers with substance use disorder, so it’s important for parents and guardians to know that it is okay to seek assistance from mental health professionals or addiction counselors who can provide specialized guidance.

Lotus Behavioral Health has a counseling team that specializes in addiction treatment. Our team of experts can help teenagers understand the underlying causes of their emotions, develop personalized coping strategies, and address any co-occurring mental health issues. They do this by building a therapeutic relationship where the teenager feels it is a safe, non-judgmental space to open up. This relationship takes time and trust to nurture. Therapeutic interventions like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can equip teenagers with effective tools to manage their emotions in a healthy manner.

Regulating emotions is a significant aspect of recovery for teenagers with substance use disorder. By recognizing and labeling their feelings, practicing mindfulness, building a supportive network, and seeking professional help, teenagers can learn to navigate their emotions effectively and promote their overall well-being on the path to recovery. Remember, support and persistence are key to successfully managing feelings and embracing a healthier future.

Lotus Behavioral Health is a 20,000-square-foot behavioral health center facility in Winter Springs, Florida, treating adolescents ages 12 to 17 with a substance use disorder. We welcome you to begin the process by visiting our Admissions page, where you can view more information about our complimentary brief assessment to determine eligibility.

For more information, contact Lotus Behavioral Health for an intake consultation at (833) 884-7246 or visit our website.