Can You Get Alcoholism Counseling Between the Ages of 18 and 21?

Underage drinking – that is, drinking while under the age of 21 – is a serious problem in the United States that affects millions of people. It is estimated that people between the ages of 12 and 20 drink 11 percent of all of the alcohol consumed in the country, and drinking at these ages is responsible for over 4,000 deaths every year.

One could argue that some of these issues stem from youthful indiscretion, that they are the result of young people engaging in risky behaviors that they don’t entirely understand due to their young age, but a person can become an alcoholic even when they aren’t old enough to drink. Like anyone else, they often require addiction treatment if they are to become sober. The problem with this is that drinking while under the age of 21 is illegal in the United States. You can say what you will about an older adult with a drinking problem, but at least for them the act of consuming alcohol isn’t a crime. Someone drinking before they turn 21 is, and that can make those between the ages of 18 and 21 reluctant to seek treatment.

The good news is that you can undergo alcohol counseling between the ages of 18 and 21. You can even undergo counseling when you’re under 18, although you would be a minor and most likely be in the care of a parent or legal guardian. You won’t undergo any punishments for consuming an illegal substance anymore than you would if you had checked in to a rehab center for an addiction to heroin or another illicit substance. The important thing is that you are seeking treatment, not that you have broken the law.

What To Expect

Even though someone under the age of 21 can become addicted to alcohol, alcoholism presents itself a bit differently in young people. First of all, a young person is still developing physically and mentally, and that development may be affected depending on how much alcohol they’ve consumed. This is especially true for those between the ages of 12 and 18 who are still going through puberty, but some studies have suggested that people haven’t fully matured until the reach the age of 25. That would mean that heavy drinking at the age of 18 or even at 21 could still be detrimental to one’s cognitive development. A treatment program for underage drinking needs to address that.

Someone who enters into an alcohol treatment program under the age of 21 can expect to first undergo detox and withdrawal from alcohol. This often requires inpatient treatment, but outpatient treatment may be available depending on your situation and your treatment center. This is physically the most difficult part for many people since alcohol withdrawal can be harrowing and even dangerous. You can expect symptoms such as nausea, shakiness, headaches, an irregular heartbeat, anxiety, depression, and mood swings, to name a few. Depending on how old you were when you started drinking, these symptoms might be worse than what an older adult might experience. You may even need medical assistance to get through it if it is particularly severe.

Once you’ve detoxed and are technically over the physical addiction, your next step is to undergo cognitive therapy. Alcoholism almost never occurs in a vacuum; there are usually underlying causes that drive a person to start drinking. These can be anything from mental illness to problems in the home. This may be one case where your age might work in your favor since it’s easier to treat one’s mental health issues when they are younger. You might also be expected to undergo family therapy if your problems stem from the home. This is especially the case for younger people. In any case, these therapy sessions can help you understand that you are not alone in your struggle. You do have loved ones who will help you, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

No matter how old you may be, you should never be afraid to seek treatment for a drinking problem. Alcoholism can affect people at any age, even if it does present in slightly different ways in younger people. If you believe that you may have a problem with alcohol or you know someone who does, contact our treatment center today. Our staff is available to talk 24 hours a day, and they will be happy to answer all of your questions. 

Can Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Really Help You Get a Fresh Start?

Have you had enough of being sick and tired of the demoralizing consequences that surround drug and alcohol addiction? Feel as if your world has hit a bottom that you can never recover from? Do you have a loved one who may suffer from the agonizing effects of addiction? You are not alone. There is hope and there is help.

Asking for help is the first step towards recovery. One of the best places to get that help you so vitally need is in a treatment program. Here are four ways that drug and alcohol addiction treatment really can help you get a fresh start.

A Sense of Stability

If you’re like many who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction, your life has slipped into chaotic unmanageability. Treatment can be a guidepost that can help you gradually return a welcome sense of stability into your life.

Inpatient treatment facilities expose you to a way of manageable living. Outpatient programs will almost immediately spur you to look at the nature of your current way of living. Treatment begins to open a door to a fresh start by helping you return a sense of stability to your life.

Identify with Others

However, knowing that your pains, your doubts, and even your hopes and dreams, are shared by other like-minded people can be critical. You will learn that there are other people living productive lives, people who themselves have found a new start without drugs or alcohol.

It is through hearing the similar stories of pain and suffering that you begin to feel a part of something that offers you a true sense of trust. These same people whose struggles you identify with will also provide you stories of hope.

Treatment will surround you with people who can tell you what happened and what it’s like today. You will begin to identify with others who have struggled against the same demons that you battle. The feeling of association will open you to a new realization that you’re not alone.

You’re not in this Alone

Many alcoholics and people who have fallen prey to drug addiction feel like they’re alone. They can’t envision life with or without drugs and alcohol. You may have reached this lonely place. If you feel that no one cares, no one can help you, then you’re already not alone.

When you make the commitment to seek treatment, you will be surrounded by individuals who appreciate and understand your pain. A strong core of helpful counselors will offer you knowledgeable support as you begin a new fresh start in recovery.

You’ve now added even the smallest sense of stability in your life and found support in identifying with others. Adding to these cornerstones of recovery is the truth that you’re not alone. Now, you’ll be open to guidance that can help you make a new start.

A Guide for a New Start

Treatment is not a cure-all panacea that will magically remove the ills of alcoholism or drug addiction. However, it is a tremendous place to begin. From day one, you will begin to establish a foundation for living a life without drugs or alcohol.

Treatment programs, both inpatient and outpatient formats, have a staff of knowledgeable professionals who will act as guides. They appreciate the cunning and baffling nature of drug addiction and alcoholism.

These counselors and your new friends in recovery as well, realize that your commitment to treatment is a commitment to a fresh start on life. You will have the benefit of the experiences of others to help you develop your own guide to a new start.

Recovery won’t always be easy. Nevertheless, as you start to reestablish some stability in your life you begin to identify with people. You will soon realize you’re not alone and you’ll gradually begin to feel better about yourself.

This newly discovered sense of self-worth is in essence a fresh new start in and of itself. If alcohol or drugs have turned your life into a chaotic mess, call one of our compassionate counselors to discuss getting help.

Even if you only think you might have a problem, seek the advice of a professional. You may find it’s the best decision you make in your life. It can be that critical first step you take to get a fresh start on life without carrying the burden of drug or alcohol addiction.