Stress management for teens may seem like it’s not all that important. However, the American Psychological Association reports that teens have stress levels that top that of adults. A survey found that they experience stress during school at a rate of 5.8 on a scale of 10. Most adults have a 5.1 rate. In addition, 31 percent of adolescents felt overwhelmed by that stress.
That is essential information because stress is a potential trigger for drug or alcohol abuse. Stress and substance use can feed off of one another. What should you know about stress management in teens?
What is Stress?
Most people have a basic understanding of the word, but it may mean more than you think. Stress is a reaction of the body to change that requires an adjustment or response, explains the Cleveland Clinic.
Most people consider stress as happening with something negative, but positive changes can cause it, as well. For example, moving up a grade in school or passing a difficult exam with ease. The stress comes in as you try to find a way to top those achievements.
Stress isn’t just an emotional response, either. It can be physical, as well. For instance, your pulse may go up, you may sweat, have chest pain, or get a headache. Stress is potentially harmful because it can lead to compulsive behaviors, too, such as substance or alcohol use. This is true at any age.
Benefits of Stress Management for Teens
Stress management for teens helps them deal with the overload. Stress management plans start with learning how to tackle problems to avoid stress. They also focus on healthy ways to take care of their bodies like exercise, mindfulness, and meditation.
Stress management training isn’t limited to teens. Families will play a significant role, as well. They learn to see the signs of overload and to support healthy coping mechanisms like sports or positive social activities.
Stress and Substance Use
Anyone can fall victim to stress, but it does affect people with a substance use disorder differently. Drug or alcohol use stimulates the release of a feel-good chemical in the brain. That’s what leads to dependence on a substance. The body likes the way that feels, so it makes you want that sensation again and again.
The changes in the brain make someone suffering from a substance use disorder more susceptible to stress. When that happens, they look to calm themselves, usually by with a drug or alcohol, which, in turn, creates more stress. This creates a cycle of abuse.
When you tack on the normal stress adolescents feel from school, with family or peers, and even with their changing bodies, it’s clear why stress management is an integral part of a teen program.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery works with adolescent boys ages 14 to 17. We are redefining the clinical experience for teens because they are our primary focus. We only treat adolescents, so we understand how stress impacts their lives.
Services at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery include:
We believe that education is the cornerstone of stress management for teens. At Foothills at Red Oaks Recovery, they learn coping skills that help them manage stress. They also come to understand how stress fits in with their substance use.
The therapeutic programs at Foothill at Red Oak Recovery include trauma, family, mental health, substance abuse, process addiction (video games), and disorder eating. Our staff understands how the mind of a teen works and the anxiety they feel.