There are several reasons why methods of young adult drug addiction program have to be targeted specifically to this age group in order to succeed. The targeted population is young men and women between 18 and 25 years of age. Their brains will not fully develop until the age of thirty.
Developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol before the brain is fully mature can cause irreversible damage. The extent of the problem in society is massive. At the turn of the new millennium in 2000, more than 110,000 young adults were enrolled in rehabilitation programs. This is sure to be an under estimate as it does not include those who did not have access to programs.
The Three Priorities
There are three key development milestones that a person goes through during the formative years before the age of thirty. These are finding a life partner, choosing their life’s work and gaining independence from parental supervision. Being sidetracked by a life influenced by drugs or alcohol can seriously impede the realization of these milestones.
Many rehabilitation programs employ the now-familiar Twelve-Step program. This was established originally to help alcoholics overcome their addiction and its associated problems. First, they admit that they are powerless over their addictions. Next, they acknowledge that there is a higher power in whom they can find strength to overcome their problems. Finally, they are encouraged to make a list of those who have been damaged by their actions and to find them and make amends.
Young women have different rehabilitation needs from men. From a physiological point of view, they are more easily addicted than men. The alcohol or drug use environments can encourage them to form destructive relationships, especially with men. Their treatment needs to be structured with their specific needs in mind.Men, too have special needs and there are programs that are structured specifically to address them. Young men are trying to establish their own identity at the same time they are negotiating the many obstacles encountered as they make the transition from adolescence to becoming an adult. They have a strong need to be understood.
The Atheist and Rehab
Many young adult rehabilitation utilize the Twelve Steps. The Twelve Steps recognize a higher power who figures prominently in this approach to mental therapy. This begs the question of what approaches are available for atheists who require rehabilitation. They do not acknowledge the presence of a higher power and if they did, they would not blame Him for their problems. At this sensitive age, they certainly do not need to be made to feel like failures for not believing. Atheists respond best to approaches that are not based on a deity or a faith but on scientific principles. Motivation Enhancement Therapy, Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy have all been used with good results in this population.
The requirements for young adult drug addiction rehabilitation are different from those of mature adults. Once they have completed the residential phase of their rehabilitation, after care must be planned,like, intensive outpatient program.