We know you want to learn as much as you can about what’s going on inside your mind, body, and spirit as you navigate your recovery. We’ve compiled a wealth of articles, blogs, and other resources to help you understand the latest science and approaches to treating mental health, substance abuse, and behavioral issues. Whatever you’re struggling with, you can draw on the experience and wisdom of those who’ve gone before you.

Click the article links on this page to learn more.


Understanding Peer Pressure in LGBTQ Spaces

Most people understand the bullying, exclusion, and violence that LGBTQ youth sometimes face from straight and/or non-LGBTQ people in their wider community. But something many people don’t know is that the pressure to look and act certain ways that teens experience from their LGBTQ peers can be just as damaging to their wellbeing. As television, […]

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How to Help Your Teenager Make Friends

For teenagers, a solid group of friends can enrich life and make the ups and downs of adolescence a fun, shared experience. Friends can help teens manage school, romance, family troubles, sports, and everything else that goes along with being a teen. But not all teens make friends easily, and sometimes life events interrupt friendships […]

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How to Tell if a Teen Needs Residential Treatment

If you worry your teen is getting off track this fall, you’re not alone. Parents across the country understand that the stress and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic can have a wide range of negative consequences for their teens. Shelter-in-place orders, social distancing guidelines, and virtual school all mean things teens previously took for […]

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When Should a Parent Seek Professional Help for a Teen with Depression?

Most parents understand teenagers will display the symptoms of depression – and possibly additional mental health disorders – at some point during adolescence, which child development experts define as the time between ages twelve and eighteen. Parents know and understand emotions may fluctuate dramatically during this time because they were teens once, themselves. They also […]

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Suicide Prevention Month During COVID-19

This year, Suicide Prevention Month – as well as Suicide Prevention Week and World Suicide Prevention Day – feels different than in years past. That’s because it’s taking place during a pandemic. With COVID-19 now being our new normal, many new things have become commonplace. Masks are as essential as our keys. Social distancing is […]

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How to Keep Teens Connected to the LGBTQ Community During Covid-19

This year, many teens are starting the new school year from home. While some teens benefit from the flexibility of distance learning, nearly every student worries about the loss of in-person time with classmates, teachers, and friends. For teens who identify as LGBTQ, a semester of social distancing may mean being apart from the only […]

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National Recovery Month 2020: Celebrating Connections

For over 20 years – since 1999 – the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) organized and promoted National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) every September. The goal of Recovery Month is to spread awareness, reduce stigma, and educate individuals and families about the importance of mental health and substance use treatment and services. This […]

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Is Middle Child Syndrome Real?

Alfred Adler, an early psychoanalyst, and contemporary of Sigmund Freud, was the first to theorize that birth order affects personality. According to Adler, your personality is directly influenced whether you’re the youngest child, oldest child, or somewhere in between. Note that birth-order studies are mainly correlative. And – as it’s important to understand – correlation […]

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6 Ways to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe During the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text while driving. Don’t get in a car with someone who’s under the influence. Teens have heard these rules over and over. But are they listening? Especially during the free, unstructured months of June, July and August – dubbed the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer – how can you enforce […]

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The Positive Impact of the Grandchild-Grandparent Bond on Mental Health

Everyone knows that grandparents have a special, unique bond with their grandchildren. In certain situations, this bond is sometimes deeper than the parent-child bond. But did you know that studies show being close with your grandparents – and vice versa – has positive effects on mental health? Being Close to the Grands Means Better Adolescent […]

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Seven Ways Teens Can Celebrate the Fourth of July During COVID-19

It’s the Fourth of July! Woohoo! Head to the beach, have a cookout, and watch fireworks with your friends and family. But this year – probably not. Obviously the situation is a little different. With coronavirus cases rising all over America, local and state officials are urging families to stay home and remember that despite […]

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Drugs That Can Cause Psychosis in Teens

Having a psychotic episode can be scary – for the teen undergoing it, and the parent witnessing it. Psychosis can best be described as an out-of-mind experience. It involves hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. While many are aware of the relationship between psychosis to mental health disorders (like schizophrenia), less is known about drug-induced psychosis. Many […]

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I Don’t Want People to Find Out I’m Going to a Teen Mental Health Treatment Center

If you have a mental health condition like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), self-harming/suicidal behavior, addiction or another emotional/behavioral issue, you may be apprehensive about going to an adolescent mental health treatment center. Many teens are nervous about going to a residential mental health treatment center because they think everyone is going to find […]

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DBT Tips: How to Apologize to a Friend

You messed up. Whether intentionally or unknowingly, you hurt a friend, a parent, a teacher, romantic partner, or someone else. How do you make it right? Elise Guthmann, LMFT, Clinical Program Director of Evolve teen treatment center in Ojai, CA, has practical tips that come directly from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). She’s an experienced DBT […]

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I Can Quit Drugs on My Own: I Don’t Need to Go to Rehab

If you live with substance use or addiction, you’ve probably thought, at some point, that you can quit using drugs on your own. Whether it’s addiction to marijuana, alcohol, amphetamines (Adderall counts), prescription painkillers (like Vicodin or OxyContin), hallucinogens, cocaine, heroin, or any other type of drug, you might think you can stop anytime. However, […]

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My Friend is Using Drugs: What Can I Do?

If your friend is experimenting with drugs or struggling with addiction, you may rightfully be concerned. Addiction – whether it’s to prescription painkillers, marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, hallucinogens, opioids, inhalants, or any other substance – can wreak havoc on their mind and body and cause irreparable damage to their short- and long-term health. Substance abuse […]

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Can My Parents Force Me to Go to Therapy or Rehab?

So- your parents are trying to convince you to attend a teen rehab center or mental health treatment center. They think you’re struggling with addiction or substance abuse. Or depression, anxiety, trauma, ODD, DMDD, ADHD, prodromal psychosis, or another mental health issue. The problem is, you don’t want to go to treatment. Whether it’s outpatient […]

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Can I Force My Teen to Go to Therapy or Mental Health/Drug Treatment?

Many parents struggle with teens who have emotional, behavioral, or substance abuse issues — like depression, anxiety, trauma, ODD, DMDD, ADHD, prodromal psychosis, or addiction. What makes it even harder is when these teens are reluctant to go to therapy or seek mental health/substance abuse treatment. There are a number of reasons why teens can […]

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Calling Transgender Teens by Their Chosen Name Reduces Suicide Risk

Recently, Starbucks – yes, the coffee shop – ran an advertising campaign in support of transgender teens. The popular ad, called #WhatsYourName, capitalizes on Starbucks’ well-known custom of personalizing each customer’s coffee cup. The short clip, which won a Diversity in Advertising Award and aired in the United Kingdom, follows a young teen throughout their […]

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Do All Teens Date?

If you’re a teenager, you’ve probably thought about dating. Maybe you’ve decided you don’t want to date at all, maybe you’ve decided you want to date some, and maybe you’ve decided you want to date a lot. We have some good news for you: no matter which category you’re in, you have company. This means […]

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I Don’t Want to Go to Therapy or a Teen Treatment Center

So: your parent or caregiver says you need treatment for a certain emotional, behavioral, or substance abuse problem. Perhaps they’re trying to convince you to attend a teen mental health treatment center (like a residential treatment center, a partial hospitalization program, or an intensive outpatient program) that specializes in depression, anxiety, trauma, ODD, DMDD, ADHD, […]

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Nick Loffree Talks Diet, Exercise, and Sleep

About Nick Loffree Nick Loffree leads weekly qiqong classes for teens in the Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs (PHP/IOP) at Evolve Treatment Centers. While teaching, Nick often talks about his personal journey through complementary medicine and self-healing. He first started practicing Qigong (an exercise involving meditative breathing coordinated with slow, fluid movement) after discovering […]

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How Does Buprenorphine (Suboxone) Help Treat Teen Opioid Addiction?

The most commonly prescribed medication for teens with an opioid use disorder is Buprenorphine. Buprenorphine was approved in 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for adolescents age 16 and over. One qualitative study of more than twenty-thousand teens and young adults in the U.S. showed that buprenorphine […]

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Help! My Teen Relapsed During the COVID-19 Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has our society at a virtual standstill. But some things don’t stop for a virus. One example: recovery from an alcohol or substance use disorder. Recovery is an ongoing, life-long process that takes the work, care, and diligent attention of the person in recovery. It also takes the care and attention of […]

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I Hate My Mom. And She Knows It. Why Should I Act Any Different on Mother’s Day?

So you don’t have a good relationship with your mother. And that’s an understatement: you really, truly dislike her. You don’t like the way she nags you, invalidates you, and pressures you to do chores, homework, and run errands every day. You feel like she criticizes you constantly. You can’t have a conversation with her […]

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Mental Health Awareness Month 2020: Tools 2 Thrive

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. At the beginning of 2020, no one could have predicted where we are now: in the middle of a worldwide health crisis, the coronavirus pandemic. Our physical health and wellbeing are front and center in everyone’s mind, which is critical for getting the pandemic under control. Everyone is doing […]

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Home Life During COVID-19: Is My Teenager Craving Drugs? How Can I Tell?

Parents of teens who live with alcohol or substance use disorders face an additional challenge during the coronavirus pandemic. On top of everything new happening, such as telework, virtual school, shelter-in-place orders, and all the details related to COVID-19 that now make up part of their lives, they’re concerned how recovery is going for their […]

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This Mother’s Day, Here’s What Your Mom REALLY Wants From You

Forget flowers, brunch, or even sappy Hallmark cards. This Mother’s Day, take a minute to think about what your mother really wants from you. Hint: it’s not Alexa, the latest book from her favorite author, or the hat/purse/jewelry/oven mitts/gardening tools/knitting accessories she’s been talking about for months. Stumped? Read on for our list of six […]

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How to Talk to Your Teen About Consent

The #MeToo movement brought to light the alarming frequency of sexual assault cases in the U.S. and around the world. The phenomenon was instigated by several high-profile women who alleged equally high-profile men sexually assaulted them. Naturally, the national conversation turned to the issue of consent. Teaching Children About Consent Though teaching your teen about […]

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2020 Part Three: The Treatment Gap

This year, National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week takes place between March 30th and April 5th. Organizers and advocates invite teens, parents, teachers, school administrators, public policymakers, and anyone involved in the life of teenagers to get on board with the theme for 2020: NDAFW 2020: SHATTER THE MYTHS About Alcohol and Drug Use. This […]

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2020 Part One: Shatter the Myths

In 2010, scientists and experts on drug and alcohol use from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) launched a public awareness campaign to offer teenagers real facts about alcohol and drug use among their peer group. The purpose of the campaign was twofold: Present teenagers the latest data on alcohol and drugs. Refute myths […]

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How to Handle Anxiety During COVID-19 

Wherever you live, you are likely experiencing the impact of coronavirus. Schools and non-essential businesses are probably closed. Restaurants, theme parks, libraries, movie theaters: same. As of this writing, COVID-19 has already affected the health and lives of millions of people around the world. It’s already claimed the lives of more than a thousand people […]

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COVID-19: T.I.P.P.S. for Stressed-Out Teens

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an effective therapeutic approach for teens with various emotional, mood, and mental health disorders. DBT teaches skills you can use right away to manage stress, anxiety, and uncomfortable or unwanted patterns of thought. One set of DBT skills is called The TIPP Skills. You can learn these skills quickly and […]

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I’m Embarrassed About My Depression

If you have a mental health issue like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you might try to keep it a secret from friends and family because you’re embarrassed about it. Let us come right out and say now that, contrary to what you think, this is okay. Not the part about feeling ashamed […]

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Teletherapy for Teens During COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak has changed almost every aspect of life as we know it. California and many other states have closed all non-essential businesses. Schools are shuttered – with no confirmed date when they will reopen. Theme parks, sports events, zoos, theaters, and other entertainment options are closed – also with no confirmed date when […]

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Five Ways to Convince Your Teen to Go to Mental Health or Drug Rehab (When They Don’t Want To)

If your child is like most teens, they’re reluctant about seeking help for a mental health or alcohol/substance use problem. Even if they receive a diagnosis for a disorder like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), alcohol/substance use disorder (AUD/SUD) […]

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March Is Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Awareness Month

Each year during the month of March, advocates join to raise awareness about the phenomenon of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Physicians and mental health professionals may refer to NSSI as self-injury (SI), self-harm (SH), deliberate self-harm (DSH), and self-mutilation (SM).  Informally, NSSI is known as cutting. The purpose of this article is to participate in this […]

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What Medications Are Used in Medication Assisted Treatment for Teens?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a way for adolescents to detox from, and overcome, their opiate addiction. By taking specific, FDA-approved, physician-prescribed drugs, teens are able to gradually taper off their heroin or opioid addiction without experiencing strong opioid cravings or the painful symptoms of withdrawal. For these reasons, MAT helps limit the risk of relapse. […]

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Brand New To Exercising? These Tips Can Help

Exercise and Recovery The evidence is in. Regular exercise can help people in recovery. Studies show that an exercise routine can help people in recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders, combat depression, relieve anxiety, decreases cravings, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Regular exercise also offers people in recovery new alternatives to old habits, decreases […]

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The Benefits of Play Therapy for Young Children and Adolescents

What Is Play Therapy? Play therapy was developed early in the 20th century as a way for psychiatrists, psychotherapists, teachers and other childcare professionals to help young children positively and productively handle a wide range of emotional and psychological challenges. The underlying premise of play therapy is to meet children at their own level, where […]

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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: #1Thing

Early Roots: Protecting Families In 1981, advocates for women and children created Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) to raise awareness about domestic violence and spread reliable facts and knowledge about its prevalence and consequences. Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) is the product of that same awareness and advocacy movement. The goals of DVAM and […]

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For Teens With Borderline Personality Disorder, This One Symptom Is Very Common

One of the main symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is splitting. Splitting is the unconscious division of people, situations or events as “all good” or “all bad.” For example, a teen with BPD can decide a friend is either “the most loyal person in the world” or “evil.” An event is either “amazing” or […]

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January 2020: National Stalking Awareness Month

Stalking is a serious crime that can cause severe emotional damage to the person being stalked. Stalking can also be a precursor to sexual and non-sexual violence, rape, and murder. Did that sentence get your attention? Good. That’s why we wrote it: stalking needs your attention. It needs all our attention. It needs national attention. […]

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Someone Is Stalking My Teen Online. What Do I Do?

Here at Evolve Treatment Centers, our utmost priority is the safety and security of adolescents and teens everywhere. That’s why we’re committed to spreading awareness on the dangers of the dark web, unfiltered social media access, and the unfortunate reality of child sex trafficking/grooming. Grooming and stalking go hand-in-hand. Many child predators will start talking […]

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Pros and Cons of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Your teen is addicted to heroin or other opioids. You’ve been getting lots of advice. Mental health professionals have told you about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), 12-Step programs (e.g. Nar-Anon), and adolescent drug rehab centers. You’ve also heard about detoxification (often referred to as detox), and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). For teens […]

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Can Music Help Treat Depression?

A report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017 shows that depression is one of the most common chronic diseases on earth. The numbers are staggering: around 322 million people live with some form of clinical depression. That’s close to five percent of the entire population of the planet. This is a serious, […]

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What to Look for in Friendships: Pre-Adolescents and Teens

We’ll start this article by saying the qualities of friendship we discuss here are not exclusive to people in recovery from mental health, alcohol, or substance use disorders. These qualities of friendship are nearly universal – with some cultural variation and minor differences based on social norms in various countries or regions, of course. Teens […]

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Do I Have a Psychosomatic Disorder?

Your back is always hurting. You have relentless stomach pain or cramps. Headaches. Chest pain. Pains in your limbs that aren’t going away. The thing is, while the pain is absolutely real, you’re not sure where it’s coming from. Have you considered whether it could be psychosomatic? Psychosomatic Symptoms in Teens The word psychosomatic comes […]

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Recovery Tips: How to Find an Exercise Routine You Can Stick To

When we wrote our New Year’s resolutions articles this year, we intentionally avoided talking about tangible, goal-oriented resolutions like saving money, losing weight, or picking up a new hobby, such as playing a musical instrument. That may seem counter-intuitive, because almost all New Year’s resolutions involve setting and achieving goals similar to those. Most people […]

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How Qigong Helps with Mental Health Issues Like Anxiety and Depression

Evolve is a proponent of experiential therapies, which promote mental health and prevent relapse. Experiential therapies (like equine-assisted therapy, surf therapy, music, art and more) provide fun, healthy outlets for teens, expose them to new ways of expressing themselves, and help them discover what a “life worth living” looks like for them. A new experiential […]

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Am I Being Paranoid, or is it Real?

You persistently have the feeling that someone is following you. You’re often nervous that people are gossiping about you. You wonder whether people are reading your thoughts. There are dangerous people out there to get you. Your friends tell you you’re being paranoid. Meanwhile, you’re not so sure. So you ask yourself: “Am I actually […]

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Morning Yoga: A Tool for Recovery

In many addiction recovery programs, regular physical exercise is considered to be a top line behavior. Extensive research in exercise physiology demonstrates that exercise helps alleviate stress, increases a sense of well-being, and boosts self –confidence in those who exercise regularly. In recent years, addiction treatment centers, addiction therapists, and addiction experts have included another […]

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How DBT’s Radical Acceptance Can Help with Teen Trauma, Anxiety, Depression and Any Other Painful Feelings

Radical Acceptance is a skill in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that helps people learn how to accept very painful events, people, or aspects of their life. It’s one of the skills found in the Distress Tolerance module of DBT. When Would You Use Radical Acceptance in DBT? You use the skill of Radical Acceptance when […]

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How People in Recovery Define Recovery

There’s a funny thing about recovery: the people who define what recovery is aren’t necessarily in recovery themselves. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re a doctor, for instance, you don’t have to have an illness to be able to identify and treat it. But it is a curious thing. It’s so curious that […]

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How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Treats PTSD in Adolescents

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious psychological disorder that develops in some teens after they’ve been through something traumatic. Traumas can include neglect or abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional). Family violence. A car accident, death of a loved one, or natural disasters. War. School shootings. Terrorist attacks like 9/11, or even just exposure to […]

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The National Recovery Study: How Americans Recover from Alcohol and Drug Problems

The stories about alcohol and drugs we read in the press are almost always negative. For years, news about alcohol and drugs either revolved around celebrities checking in and out of rehab or the next new drug parents needed to know their thrill-seeking teens might try. More recently, the press is all about the opioid […]

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My Teen has Oppositional Defiant Disorder: How Will DBT Help?

If your teen has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or ODD, life can be a never-ending power struggle. While it’s normal to have an increase in conflicts with parents during adolescence, teens with ODD are constantly irritable, sarcastic, or aggressive (either verbally or physically). They may frequently shrug off rules and use obscenities or curse words. You […]

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How to Avoid a Holiday Relapse

For most teenagers, the winter holidays mean lots family time. If you’re a teenager in treatment for an alcohol or substance use disorder, family time can be very challenging. From Thanksgiving all the way through to New Year’s Day, you’ll go to parties, dinners, and get-togethers that bring everyone together to eat, drink, and share […]

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After a School Shooting, Some Teens May Refuse to Go Back to School. Here’s Why, and What You Should Do About It.

Just this week, there was a tragic school shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, a city in Los Angeles County, California. The 16-year-old shooter killed two teenagers and wounded three other teens before classes began for the day. At Evolve Treatment Centers, we are extremely distressed by this incident. We offer our sincere […]

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I’ve Met Someone Online. They Want to Meet in Person. Now What?

So, you met a guy online. Or a girl. (For purposes of stylistic ease, we are using the male pronoun here, but this person could be of any gender.) It could have been Facebook. Kik. Fortnite. He seems so nice. Flattering. Sweet. And he really likes you, it seems. He understands, accepts, and supports you […]

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Can a Teen Be Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder?

Diagnosing a teen with Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is “tricky,” says Elise Guthmann, LMFT, Clinical Program Director at Evolve Residential Treatment Center in Ojai, California. That’s because some of its defining features are very common to adolescents in general. Emotional instability, moodiness, identity issues, and sensitivity to rejection are all fairly typical in teens. […]

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I Caught My Teen Sexting. Now What?

You might have gotten the call from another parent, who was appalled. Or the school administrator. Or maybe you found out about it yourself. Inadvertently saw some of the photos on your teen’s phone. Read some of the racy texts. How you discovered it doesn’t matter. Ultimately, you caught your teen sexting. Help! My Teen […]

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What Causes Borderline Personality Disorder in Teens?

Borderline personality disorder in teens is marked by high levels of impulsivity, repeated self-harming and suicidal attempts, conflicted relationships with others, and high emotional sensitivity and reactivity. But what causes this disorder? Experts can’t point to one single cause of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in adolescents. Mental health professionals believe it is caused by several […]

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What Age Should My Child Get a Phone?

The time has come. Your child, or adolescent, is asking for a phone. But not just any phone will do, of course. They need a smartphone. Preferably the latest model.  “Everyone has one,” they’re telling you. (Which may not be 100% true, by the way.) But before you go and purchase said smartphone, you decide […]

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Teens: These 9 Phrases Might Be Alerting Predators to Your Social Media Pages

When you hear about sex trafficking, you probably think, That will never happen to me. Teen sex trafficking occurs when an adolescent becomes dependent on someone who then uses her to provide sexual services for others. Sometimes, teens could become involved in a trafficking ring by force – such as via kidnapping. (Which is why […]

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How Horses Can Help Teens Overcome Mental Health Issues

Equine-assisted therapy, which involves interacting with horses, is a widely used therapeutic tool, especially with adolescents. The unique sensitivity of horses, and their oft-cited characteristic of being “nonjudgmental”, helps teens develop the same characteristics towards themselves. In equine-assisted therapy (EAT), teens are required to be fully present. They need to watch for and respond to […]

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How Art Therapy Will Help With Trauma

What does painting have to do with mental health? Lots, actually. Art therapy is a popular intervention for those with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, low self-esteem, trauma, and more. PTSD and other childhood attachment issues like neglect are particularly amenable to art therapy. Many studies analyzing children with PTSD find that the participants in the treatment […]

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TikTok: A Ticking Time Bomb for Teens

Some call the app “digital karaoke.” On it, teens can create 3-15-second videos of themselves singing, lip-syncing, dancing, or doing anything at all – antics and silly pranks included — to background music. The videos, by default, loop on repeat, making it often addictive to keep watching. Popular TikTok videos mostly show young adolescents, often […]

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Why Am I Vomiting So Much? Do I Have CHS?

If you find yourself throwing up constantly, for no apparent reason, your doctor might ask whether you smoke marijuana. And how often. Don’t get annoyed at the doctor’s seeming nosiness. There’s actually a link between heavy marijuana use and vomiting. Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Increasing case reports have shown that people who use marijuana often, and […]

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Hostile Aggression in Sports: What Causes Some Athletes to Fight During a Game?

If you’ve ever watched a youth sports game, you’ll inevitably see some athletes playing more aggressively than others. Certain teens will push, roughhouse, and be overly hostile to their opponents, even going above and beyond the instrumental aggression necessary to win. Two Types of Aggression Researchers identify two types of aggression related to sports: instrumental […]

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Suicide Prevention Month: When It Comes to Suicide, We Can All Save a Life

September is National Suicide Prevention Month in the U.S. In honor of this month, we’ll share resources and highlight ways that everyone can make a difference in the life of a suicidal teen or adult.  If you have a family member or friend who is struggling with depression or another mental health issue, they might […]

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Teen Athletes: Are They More Likely to Have Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues?

Sports have a host of benefits for teens. From social advantages to academic enrichment to physical health, it seems like there’s nothing better than playing on your high school team. At the same time, there’s a dark underbelly in the world of teen athletics. Research looking at thousands of teen athletes around America has produced […]

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The Link Between Aggression and Male Jock Culture

In previous articles, we discussed the link between sports and aggression. We presented studies indicating that athletes in high-contact sports (like football or wrestling, for example) are more likely to be aggressive even off the playing field. However, we concluded by reminding parents that there could be several factors at play (no pun intended!) in […]

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The Benefits of Sports for Teens

Eight million teens played sports in high school last year, based on a survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). That was a record-breaking high. In fact, the number of high school athletes has been increasing for the last three decades. With so many adolescents playing sports, it’s worthwhile to talk […]

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This School’s Mental Health Awareness Program Tackles Real-Life Teen Stressors

Sometimes, the signs are clearly visible—people can read you like a book. Other times, no one can even guess what you’re struggling with inside. This dichotomy was the inspiration behind Colorado’s new statewide mental health campaign, “Below the Surface.” This attention-grabbing awareness campaign stemmed from a wave of student suicides in high schools around Colorado […]

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Mental Health in High School: Roundup of Clubs on Campus

Mental health issues in adolescents are ever-increasing. According to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, more than 30% of high school students around the U.S. reported “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” in 2017. More than 17% have seriously considered suicide. And more than 13% have even made a plan. These numbers have been rising […]

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How to Survive the Transition From Middle School to High School

For a teen, perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking academic transitions is the one between middle school and high school. There’s a new, bigger school building you have to acclimate to.  New peers, which mean new cliques. Brand-new teachers and classes—and many of them. A faster pace at school. Anticipating all of these new social […]

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Team Sports, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Mental Health

A story published by National Public Radio (NPR) in May caught our attention. Here’s the headline: “Playing Teen Sports May Protect From Some Damages of Childhood Trauma” Like many things we see in the media that intersect with our specialty – helping adolescents struggling with mental health and/or substance use disorders – we thought to […]

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Your Friend is Addicted to Drugs. Are You Enabling Their Behavior?

If your friend is addicted to drugs—whether it’s opioid pills like Oxycontin or recreational drugs like weed or crack—you may feel obligated to help. Whether or not your friend asks you for help, you may feel like you need to stop their dangerous cycle and get them back on track. First, we’ll be straight up […]

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How Do I Stop My Bully?

Marilyn* was getting bullied at her public school. Girls made fun of her clothes and her appearance. She didn’t drink or go to clubs or bars, and they made fun of her for that, too. They called her names, threw her hostile looks, and taunted her behind her back. Every time she walked into the […]

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What to Do When You Have Bad Friends

Sometimes, our friends are the best parts of our lives. They give us emotional support, spread cheer, and/or help us become better. Whenever we’re around them, you feel happier and a better version of yourself. On the other hand, certain friends are simply bad for you. They can be difficult to be around. They might […]

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Envious of a Friend? What They Have Won’t Make You Happy

Emily, Abigail, and Hannah were sitting together at lunch. The end of the shool year was just a few weeks away, so the three high school friends were discussing their summer plans.             “We’re going on a cruise to Alaska,” said Emily, flipping her hair over her shoulder. “My mom found this amazing cruise line […]

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Can I Ever Be Happy? Five Things You Can Do That Will Make Yourself Happier

Our founding fathers worked tirelessly to ensure all U.S. citizens would be given the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” According to our founding documents, happiness is a core value of American society. However, America has never been so unhappy. Just look at the rate of depression in teens today: at any […]

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I Don’t Like the Way My Medication Makes Me Feel. What do I Do?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health or behavioral issue, you might be on medication. Adhering to your medication regiment daily is something to be commended for. You know that medication will help you feel better, so you’re doing your job in the recovery process. However, many medications come with side-effects, which you may […]

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Breaking the Myth: Heroin is Not a Party Drug

Parents often call us when their adolescent is having substance abuse issues. Sometimes, when they mention that their teen has used heroin, they’ll follow up with a statement like, “But they say they’ve only tried it a couple of times at a party…” Unfortunately, we’re here to break your bubble: Heroin is not a social […]

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Why Benzodiazepines are Dangerous for Teens

Two years ago, popular celebrity Lena Dunham shared her personal experience with benzodiazepines, otherwise known as benzos.  Although her doctor prescribed benzos to manage her anxiety, Dunham found that she was becoming dependent on them. So much so, in fact, that she was taking the medication about every day for three years. They are only […]

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Why Are Friends So Hard?

It’s summer, and you’re away at camp. Your friend back home calls you often to talk. But you don’t always answer, because you’re busy with your camp friends, or you simply miss her calls. She’s insulted. She thinks you’re leaving her in the dust. You’re incredulous. You wonder: Is she really that insecure in your […]

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Help! How Can I Stop a Panic Attack?

If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you’re probably familiar with the symptoms: Your heart is pounding, hard. Your body starts shaking; your thighs might be trembling, and you can’t stop. The blood is rushing to your head, and you’re getting hot flashes or chills. Your mind feels like it’s swimming. Your breath comes out […]

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Gay Pride Month: Spotlight on Substance Use and LGBTQ Teens

For decades, research on rates of alcohol, substance use, and addiction in the adult LGBTQ community yielded conflicting data. Many studies showed high rates of binge drinking and illicit drug use in gay men. Others showed high rates of alcohol use disorder in lesbians. Still, other studies showed no significant differences in alcohol and drug […]

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June is Gay Pride Month

Every year in June, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Intersex community organizes and participates in a series of marches, festivals, celebrations, and events to raise knowledge and awareness about the presence and history of LGBTQ individuals in our society. Collectively, the events are known as Gay Pride Month. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Gay […]

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Why Do I Have to Take Medication for My Depression?

If you’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression, you might have been prescribed medication in addition to therapy. There are a number of different medications that treat depression. The most common class of drugs is called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which include Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and Lexapro, to name a few popular ones. Oftentimes, many […]

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Am I Normal?

Have the following thoughts ever occurred to you? How come everyone around me seems to be functioning well—if not perfectly—and I’m the only one who isn’t?   Everyone else seems to be doing okay in school, having normal relationships with their families, their friends, breezing through life. Why am I not?  Am I normal? Am […]

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12-Step Programs: Do They Actually Work?

Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Codependents Anonymous…If you’re a teen who has struggled or is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug abuse, or other mental health issues, you’ve probably heard of the 12-step approach to recovery. These mutual-help groups, as they’re known, operate under a set of 12 guidelines that encourage self-searching humility, faith, and honesty as […]

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Do I Have Anxiety?

It’s common to worry from time to time. Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences at some level. In certain situations, anxiety even helps us achieve goals. For example, you need a healthy measure of anxiety to motivate you to write a good report or study for a test (you don’t want to fail, […]

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Teens: How to Evaluate Your Year

You’ve heard the saying before: Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. It’s attributed to the writer/philosopher Georges Santayana. Originally wrote went like this: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. It’s survived the test of time because it’s wise. And true. But there’s something in the […]

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Where is Your Teen Going This Summer?

International Summer Programs for Teenagers International summer travel programs for teenagers have been around since the early 1960s. The first programs were organized by summer camps and private schools whose administrators realized that some of their students, particularly those between the ages of 14 and 17, were at a crossroads. They didn’t need a summer […]

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Summer Planning for a Troubled Teen

When the teenage years arrive, behavioral issues become far more difficult to manage than when your kids were younger. Things once black and white become confounding shades of gray. When a teenager experiences emotional distress, you can’t always fix it with a hug. When they display disturbing behavior, simple behavior management strategies – like taking […]

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I Don’t Believe in God. Are the 12 Steps For Me?

If you’re a teen who has struggled or is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug abuse, or other mental health issues, you’ve probably heard of the 12-Step approach to recovery. The 12 Steps were originally founded in 1935 to treat alcohol addiction—hence the start of Alcoholics Anonymous. Now, myriad groups and organizations have adopted their tried-and-true […]

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I Think I Have ADHD…What Do I Do?

You have trouble sitting still in class. It’s hard for you to do homework, study, read, or pay attention for long periods of time. When you have a long conversation with someone, you zone out. So, do you have ADHD—attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? First of all, it’s important to consider environmental or lifestyle issues. Before […]

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In the News: The Link Between Cannabis Use and Psychosis

A study posted on March 19th, 2019 by the U.K. medical journal The Lancet – “The Contribution of Cannabis Use to Variation in the Incidence of Psychotic Disorder Across Europe” caused quite a stir in the U.S. media in the weeks following its publication. The headlines generated by several high-volume, high-exposure media outlets trended toward […]

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I Can’t Focus. Do I Have ADHD?

Maybe you’re trying to read, but your thoughts keep wandering to your weekend plans. Perhaps you’re trying to listen in class, but your thoughts wander to what happened in the latest episode of Game of Thrones. You’re in a serious conversation with someone, but you keep zoning out. If you’re an adolescent, it’s normal to […]

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Alcohol Awareness Month: Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow

In 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) established Alcohol Awareness Month. Their goal was to reduce stigma around alcohol and alcoholism by reaching out to the nation each April with facts about alcohol, alcohol abuse, and recovery. In the beginning, a primary purpose of Alcohol Awareness Month was countering the idea […]

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Transgender Teens: A Parent’s Guide

Adolescence is a time of radical transformation. Teens develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. They form their own identities, distinct from their parents. They engage in an evolving, instinctive process of trial and error to learn about themselves and find their place in the world. Through a series of successes, failures, and everything in between, […]

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In the News: The Link Between Adolescent Depression and Social Media Use

If you check online news feeds regularly, you’ve probably noticed a trend over the past three months: there’s been an abundance of headlines in national media outlets linking social media use with depression in adolescents. When we see these types of headlines, we take them with a grain of salt. Online news media survives by […]

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National Single Parent’s Day

Some people say parenting is the hardest job on earth. If that’s true, then single parenting is in a category all by itself. And if that’s true, then being the single parent of teenage children – well, let’s just say anyone doing that job alone deserves special recognition. This post will focus on them. But […]

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Why Is My Teen so Mean to Me? Part 2: Causes of Adolescent Behavioral Issues

In part one of this series, we discussed the difference between normal teen defiance and behavior that necessitates serious help. While some noncompliance is normal during adolescence, chronic verbal or physical aggression is not. In this article, we’ll explore why some teens develop serious behavioral issues that involve temper tantrums, verbal aggression, and/or physical outbursts. […]

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Adolescent Self-Injury: An Overview

In honor of Adolescent Self-Injury Awareness Month, which occurs annually during the month of March, we’re helping raise awareness about this important topic by posting useful information here on our blog, on our Facebook page, and on our Twitter account. This post offers a brief history of Adolescent Self-Injury Awareness Day and Month, then moves […]

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What is the DBT House of Treatment?

With every passing year, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is gaining more and more exposure in the mental health world. Parents and therapists recognize DBT’s remarkable value in helping teens with emotional dysregulation, self-harming behavior, suicidal ideation, and other mental health and/or behavioral issues.   But even if you’re familiar with DBT, did you know that […]

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How Can Parents Tell If a Teen Is a Perpetrator of Dating Violence?

Teen Dating Violence: One Part of a Bigger Problem  Relationship abuse is an issue that eats at the very core of our society. The long-term consequences of abuse are almost too many to list: PTSD, alcohol and substance use disorders, depression, difficulty forming healthy relationships – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In […]

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So, You Don’t Want to Go to Teen Rehab

So, you just heard you need treatment at a teen mental health or addiction treatment center. Your first thought is No…No way. That’s understandable. Maybe you don’t think you need treatment. Maybe you can’t imagine your life being any better, or don’t think going for treatment will even help. Perhaps you’re embarrassed of the “stigma” […]

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Teen Dating Violence: Eleven Signs to Watch For

Teen Dating Violence Warning Signs in Victims Unexplained bruises or injuries Discoloration, pain, or bleeding in, on, or around genitals Pain during urination or bowel movements Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. Visit the CDC website for a fact sheet on STDs. Abrupt changes in academic performance Increase in anxiety Mood swings Symptoms of depression: persistent […]

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Stalking Awareness Month: Stalking Among Teens

This post follows up on our recent article National Stalking Awareness Month: Know the Facts About Stalking. That piece outlined the basic facts everyone needs to know about stalking: the legal definition, what types of behavior constitute stalking, and offered five steps to take if you think someone is stalking you. For your convenience, we […]

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What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

If you have the winter blahs, they might be more than just a personality quirk. They may well be a specific sub-type of depression. According to the well-known psychiatrist who coined the phrase in 1984, they could be a legitimate psychiatric disorder known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of […]

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Five Tips for Managing Holiday Triggers

Family Time: Triggers Everywhere Holiday time is family time. For people in recovery – especially those toward the beginning of their recovery journey – the holidays can be a minefield of triggers. Why? If you’ve been in treatment, therapy, or support group meetings, chances are you’ve heard someone say this: “Of course your family knows […]

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Community Support for Teenagers

Drug and Alcohol Help for You If you’re a teenager and you think you may have a problem with alcohol or drugs, don’t despair: you have options. You probably know the first option is to tell your parents. They will most likely make an appointment with a mental health professional, get you a full addiction […]

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Homeless Youth Awareness Month: Debunking Myths

Facts About Homeless Youth in the United States  November is Homeless Youth Awareness Month. We’re going to share facts and statistics throughout the month about homelessness, homeless families, and homeless youth. We’ll start this effort by acknowledging that homelessness is a problem we all need to address together. Local, state, and federal agencies, in cooperation […]

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Common Sense Media: Teen Social Media Use 2012-2018

The researchers at Common Sense Media deliver again: this time, with an in-depth look at social media use among adolescents. The report “Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences” examines answers to salient questions that adults – including parents, educators, mental health professionals, and public policy makers –  want to know about teen social […]

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Halloween Costumes: Perpetuating Negative Stigma

While researching ideas for articles to share with you for Halloween, we came across something that hadn’t occurred to us: the fact that many Halloween costumes reinforce negative stigma attached to mental illness. An article in Psychology Today points out that some of the most respected and widely-read news outlets in the nation, including the […]

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For Teens: Five Ways to Reduce Stress

Are you stressed out? First round of mid-terms got you all in a twist? Worried a bad grade might ruin your chances at getting into a good college? We can’t eliminate stress from your life, but we can offer these five easy things you can do to manage it. Five Simple Tips for Reducing Stress […]

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Mindfulness and Recovery: One Person’s Journey

Mindfulness: The Heart of Recovery by Anonymous  [Note: Typicaly we post topical, third-person articles on subjects related to addiction and recovery. For this article, we make an exception. It was written by one of our colleagues. We think it may help anyone struggling with alcohol or substance use disorders, because it connects the dots between […]

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The Common Sense Census Part 1: A Report on Media Use by Tweens and Teens

In November 2015, Common Sense Media published a large-scale study that examines the way young people in the United States use media and technology. The study, conducted over six weeks in the early spring of 2015, included 2,658 children age eight to eighteen. Tweens were defined as children age eight to twelve. Teens were defined […]

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CRAFT: Family-Based Approaches to the Treatment-Resistant Adolescent

Intervention. Obviously a scary word. It’s also a word most of us associate with another relatively scary word. Or phrase, rather. Tough love. We all know what tough love is. Tough love is when you tell someone you care deeply about something they don’t want to hear. For example, tough love can be trivial, between […]

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Are You at Risk of Dating Violence? Take the Quiz

Physical and Sexual Dating Violence Among Teens Teenagers date, have significant others, have romances, and have flings – but you know that, because you’re a teenager and you see it every day. Not that you need a CDC study to confirm what you already know, but here it is anyway: a large-scale, national report shows […]

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LGBTQI Youth at Evolve

The entire staff at Evolve Treatment has a message for all our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Intersex Clients. We want to thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for letting us help. We’re honored you let us in.  We’re proud to be part of your family. We understand that as an […]

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Summer Sobriety Tip: How to Say No

It might be the first word you ever learned. Just ask your parents how much you loved saying it when you were a toddler. Want another cracker? No! Want more juice? No! Want to play with your sister? No! We know, we know. You don’t remember a thing from when you were two years old. […]

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Marijuana Decriminalization: Effect on Use in Teenagers

Back in 2012, when citizens in the states of Washington and Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana use, critics predicted doom and gloom. People who see marijuana as a gateway to harder drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine were convinced things would go haywire. Legal pot would mean easier access for everyone, not just the […]

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What Do You Want Your Parents to Know About Your Online Activity?

An article published in the Washington Post in January called What Teens Wish Their Parents Knew About Social Media got us thinking: what do teens really want their parents to know about what they’re doing online? Everything? Nothing? Somewhere in between? The article’s author interviewed teens about these very questions. But what we’re more interested […]

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Teenage Guys: #youtoo?

STOP NOW. JUST STOP. Hey, you. Teenage boy. Yeah, you. Are you the reason teenage girls are saying things like this? “Every single guy I meet online and start texting always asks ‘do you send nudes.’ I say no of course. But they won’t stop bugging me. It’s like I can’t have a real guy […]

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Teens: Before You Dab, Get the Facts on Wax

Marijuana is the most commonly used and abused drug in the United States. In teenagers, marijuana comes a close third after alcohol and tobacco. In their 2017 survey Monitoring the Future, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) published a set of self-reported statistics from teenagers across the country. The report estimates that: 1% of […]

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I’m Underage – What Happens if I Get A DUI in California?

We’ll skip the standard admonishments: You shouldn’t be drinking in the first place. If you do drink, you definitely shouldn’t drive. You could hurt yourself. Or someone else. You could end up on probation, doing community service, in real adult jail, or in juvenile detention. It’s expensive. You can end up paying ridiculous amounts of […]

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Long-Term Effects of Cyber and Traditional Bullying

The Negative Effects of Bullying The first scientific studies on bullying began to appear in the 1970s. Since then, the negative effects of bullying for both bullying victims and the individuals engaging in bullying behaviors have been well documented. A landmark study published in Children & Schools: A Journal of the National Association of Social […]

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Teens Obsessed with Online Gaming: Do You Have a Problem or Just Love Video Games? Take the Test

It’s not easy to tell the exact moment when something you love turns into an obsession. Not that being obsessed with something is always a bad thing. A better word for something you’re completely into might be passion. Obsession has kind of a sinister ring to it. They do have similar meanings, though. An obsession […]

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Treatment Spotlight: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) at Evolve

Here in the Parenting Tips and Advice section of our website, we share articles designed to increase awareness and understanding of issues relevant to parents of adolescents experiencing behavioral challenges or emotional distress. We focus on topics related to treatment of and recovery from significant mental health issues such as substance use and mood disorders, […]

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Teens in Treatment: Five Good Reasons to Try Yoga

Treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders has come a looooong way in the past few decades. Rehab used to be a miserable, brutal experience. Ask anyone your parent’s age, and they’ll tell you horror stories about what their friends went through. You’ll hear stories about the cold, unfriendly, hospital-like conditions, one-size-fits-all, punishment-based approaches, or […]

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Teens in Treatment: What is Mindfulness and Why Should I Care?

Mindfulness, self-care, stress reduction, self-efficacy, coping skills, triggers, letting go, minding your side of the street…if you’ve been in therapy of any kind in the past decade, you’ve heard every one of these words or phrases too many times. And if you’re in treatment for drugs or drinking, we can guarantee you’ve heard that first […]

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Why Do I Feel So Much More Depressed During the Holidays?

The holidays are here. School’s out and you have plenty of free time. You’re supposed to be happy and cheerful. You’re supposed to enjoy good food and enjoy your family. And you’re supposed to give and receive gifts. But wait – there’s more. You’re supposed to be grateful for everything you have. Plus, you’re supposed […]

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FML: I’m So Depressed

How many times have you said this to yourself or one of your best friends? Probably about a thousand. Or more. The numbers aren’t all in yet, and it’s still early. By tomorrow it may be two thousand. It all depends on what happens. The thing is, there’s depression, and then there’s depression. Real depression […]

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What If My Parents Are Addicts?

We know teenagers hate cliches. You hate tired platitudes. And supposedly-wise adages make you want to scream. But we’re going to open this blog with one of them anyway: “Kids are more likely to do what you do than do what you say.” You may be thinking, “Tell that to my parents, not to me.” […]

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Back to School after Rehab

As summer winds down, teenagers around the country head back to school. Some start in the beginning of August, while some start later, around Labor Day. In the Los Angeles area of Southern California, where Evolve offers substance abuse and addiction treatment for teens, high school tends to start in the middle weeks of August. […]

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How Therapists Can Help Parents Accept the Need for Teen Residential Treatment

Therapists who treat teenagers struggling with mental health problems, addiction, and/or substance abuse disorders tend to encounter resistance from their clients at some point during the therapeutic process. Typically, resistance comes from the individual in question – the teenager – but if you’re a therapist working with adolescents on these issues, be prepared: parents may […]

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I’m Afraid to Talk to My Parents

Something happens when you grow up: you stop talking to your parents about everything in your life. When you’re little, your parents are the first people you want to tell when anything at all happens. Maybe you don’t remember, or maybe you were brought up by your grandparents or an aunt, uncle, or someone else. […]

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Facts About Secondhand Marijuana Smoke

Dangers of Secondhand Smoke First, let’s talk about cigarettes. Secondhand cigarette smoke is a huge health risk: nothing new there. That’s why restaurants, bars, and even nightclubs across the U.S. are smoke-free. If you’re a teenager reading this, you might not know it used to be perfectly legal and socially acceptable to smoke cigarettes virtually […]

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Conquering Addiction: Pro Surfer Tom Carroll

Hall of Fame surf pioneer Thomas Victor Carroll was Born in 1961 in New South Wales, Australia. To say his career was impressive is an understatement: he won the world championships in 1983 and 1984, twenty-six world tour stages, three trophies in the legendary Pipeline Masters competition, and was the first surfer to secure a […]

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Understanding Peer Pressure in LGBTQ Spaces

Most people understand the bullying, exclusion, and violence that LGBTQ youth sometimes face from straight and/or non-LGBTQ people in their wider community. But something many people don’t know is that the pressure to look and act certain ways that teens experience from their LGBTQ peers can be just as damaging to their wellbeing. As television, […]

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How to Help Your Teenager Make Friends

For teenagers, a solid group of friends can enrich life and make the ups and downs of adolescence a fun, shared experience. Friends can help teens manage school, romance, family troubles, sports, and everything else that goes along with being a teen. But not all teens make friends easily, and sometimes life events interrupt friendships […]

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How to Tell if a Teen Needs Residential Treatment

If you worry your teen is getting off track this fall, you’re not alone. Parents across the country understand that the stress and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic can have a wide range of negative consequences for their teens. Shelter-in-place orders, social distancing guidelines, and virtual school all mean things teens previously took for […]

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