Studies have shown that adolescent girls have higher drug and alcohol use than their male peers. Trauma-informed substance abuse treatment for adolescents is the most effective path the supporting teen girls who abuse drugs and alcohol.

At Fort Behavioral Health, we have a comprehensive and trauma-informed adolescent substance abuse treatment program. Reach out to us today for more information about how our substance abuse treatment for adolescents can help a young person in your life online or at 844.332.1807.

The Effects of Trauma on Teen Girls and Substance Abuse

Adolescent substance abuse is one of the most prevalent and challenging problems facing young people today. Adolescent girls who experience trauma are more likely to use illicit substances because they are experiencing prolonged and severe emotional stressors. Substance abuse in adolescent girls often stems from a host of emotional problems associated with trauma, including depression and anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which are caused by exposure to traumatic events such as sexual assault or war.

Teen girls are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of trauma because they have an immature sense of self-awareness. In addition, they are prone to developing substance abuse due to their heightened need for social acceptance and belonging. Seeking acceptance can lead adolescent girls to seek out substances or people who can validate their need for attention to feel a sense of control and avoid feeling alone.

The difficulty for adolescent girls in seeking treatment for substance abuse relates to stigma and internalized beliefs about who they should be. Victim-blaming and stigmatization can interfere with seeking treatment for substance abuse treatment as it takes immense courage and strength for adolescents abused by someone close to them to speak out about their pain. Loved ones can adopt an open dialogue with teens to help facilitate the healing and recovery process.

Defining Trauma-Informed Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescent Girls

Trauma-informed treatment is a treatment style often used to treat adolescent girls with substance abuse disorders. Trauma-informed treatment emphasizes the importance of recognizing and integrating experiences of trauma to help cope with and heal from the symptoms of addiction. Trauma-informed treatment aims to help teens recognize how their behaviors are connected to their own experience and thereby reduce or eliminate the need for substances as a means of coping.

Trauma-informed therapy can also address other psychological issues adolescent girls experience, such as:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Learning disabilities
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Since these conditions often manifest themselves in severe and persistent ways, treatment plans must be trauma-informed when treating these disorders.

Finding Trauma-Informed Addiction Treatment for Teen Girls

It can be challenging to treat addiction in adolescent girls with a history of trauma exposure. Fortunately, there are high-quality trauma-informed addiction treatment options available for adolescent girls.

There are some ways that a trauma-informed practitioner will address addiction in an adolescent girl who has been through significant trauma, such as:

  • Identify the specific traumatic events that led to her current patterns
  • Assess for the presence of PTSD
  • Explore how her experiences may be linked to her symptoms of substance abuse
  • Diagnose and address co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Enlist support from parents, school staff, and community partners
  • Coach her in developing and practicing healthy coping skills

One crucial idea to keep in mind when selecting a therapist is that you should only work with those willing and able to address trauma holistically versus simply treating the symptoms of addiction. In addition, look for therapists whose style matches your teen’s personality and needs so that your adolescent girl feels comfortable going through difficult conversations about past experiences. Finally, for therapy to be effective, it must involve active listening skills and unifying dialogue between therapist and client.

Explore Trauma-Informed Substance Abuse Treatment at Fort Behavioral Health Today

At Fort Behavioral Health, our team has significant experience treating substance abuse in adolescent girls with compassionate and trauma-informed methods in a safe and welcoming environment. If you’re interested in learning more about our trauma-informed substance abuse treatment, call Fort Behavioral Health at 844.332.1807 or connect with us online.


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