Drug and alcohol addiction has become an epidemic problem among all demographics in the US. However, there is no demographic that is more at risk of developing drug and alcohol addictions than teenage girls.

Thankfully for parents of addicted teenage girls, there are drug and alcohol treatment programs specifically designed to help their daughter achieve full recovery and sobriety.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs for Teen Girls

Currently, there are numerous types of drug treatment programs for teens to choose from, including therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, wilderness therapy programs, and intensive outpatient treatment options. 

However, before choosing a drug treatment program, it would be wise for parents to first become educated in a few key factors regarding today's drug epidemic.

By learning about the reasons why teenage girls are more at risk of developing life-altering addictions, what to look for when diagnosing a possible addiction problem, and, finally, what to look for in a drug treatment program, parents increase their chances of selecting a viable treatment program, and most importantly, increase their daughter's odds of achieving full sobriety. 

In the following article, we will cover three main topics that include: 

  • the reason why girls develop drug and alcohol-related issues at higher rates
  • why parents of teenage girls who are abusing drugs and/or alcohol should seek immediate treatment for their daughter
  •  what parents should look for in a drug and alcohol treatment facility when seeking treatment for their child

Elk Mountain Academy uses a Christ-centered therapeutic/educational approach to assisting teenage girls in achieving full rehabilitation from harmful substances and other self-sabotaging behaviors. 

Troubled girls in our care attend individual, group, and family therapy sessions with our staff of highly skilled professional counselors. In addition to providing drug and alcohol treatment, we at Elk Mountain specialize in treating mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and abandonment issues. 

For more information please call us today at (208) 266-1122

Why Are Teenage Girls More Likely to Become Addicted Than Males? 

All recent clinical studies and poll reviews indicate that teen girls are more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol than boys of the same age. As to why girls are more susceptible to developing substance abuse-related issues, there is no one answer. Rather, there is a myriad of contributing factors to consider. 

According to a SAMHSA study, one reason teenage girls are more susceptible to drug and alcohol addictions has to do with their heightened proclivity of giving into peer pressure. 

What’s more, according to the same study, teenage girls are more likely to develop co-occuring disorders (living with one or more addictions as well as one or more mental health disorders). 

Girls are More Likely To Turn to Alcohol or Drugs as a Means of “Self-Medicating” 

Statistically speaking, teenage girls are more depressed than any other demographic. Unsurprisingly, teenage girls are also more likely to develop a dependency on drugs or alcohol in order to “escape” their current state of mind. 

According to clinical research conducted by Drug-Free America, girls are increasingly likely to develop drug and alcohol-related issues as a means of self-medicating mental or emotional disorders. 

Teenage Girls More Likely to See ‘Benefits’ of Drug Use

It’s no secret that teenagers are prone to overthink and even obsess over their personal appearance. But whereas teenage boys are more likely to strive for muscular development - sometimes even resorting to illegal performance-enhancing drugs in order to achieve said goals - many teenage girls strive to simply be thinner, sometimes developing an unhealthy 'at any cost' attitude in order to do so. 

According to Drug-Free America, females are more likely to develop dependency issues relating to hardcore stimulants both prescribed and illicit narcotics -such as amphetamines, cocaine, methamphetamines etc. - in order to lose weight.   

More than seeing potential weight loss benefits, teenage girls are also more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol in order to ‘enhance’ their overall lifestyle.

According to research conducted by The Partnership in a study titled Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), teenage girls are more likely to perceive the potential 'benefits' of using drugs and alcohol. 

The results of the study found that: 

  • 68% of substance abusing girls resort to abusing drugs and alcohol because of family-related issues
  • 53% reportedly use drugs in order to forget or escape their problems
  • Marijuana use increased 29% in teen girls from the previous year

Even more concerning, the study found that the once-taboo nature perception of drugs is becoming increasingly more mainstream and accepted among teenage girls. The study found that roughly 25% of girls don’t perceive party drugs such as ecstasy are dangerous or addictive, while only 33% said they don’t associate with drug-abusing peers.

Girls are More Likely to Have and be Influenced by Friends Who Drink

As we all know, a person (especially an impressionable teen) is more likely to participate in activities that other members of their social group participate in. But, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study of 2,300 sets of twins, this social influence is all the more pervasive in adolescent females. 

With the help of a twin-study of behavioral development and health from Finland, researchers were able to conclude that the females in their study were more susceptible to their friends’ drinking - especially if their friends were of the opposite sex. 

Girls are More Likely to Have Co-occuring Disorders

Alcohol and drug abuse have been used to combat mental health disorders like depression and anxiety since the beginning of human existence. However, according to one Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) study, girls between the ages 12-17 are especially at risk of developing a co-occuring mental health and substance abuse disorder than boys of the same age. 

The SAMHSA study also found: 

  • Girls are more likely to experiment with harmful substances at  an earlier age than boys
  • 23% of girls live have mental health disorders coupled with substance abuse problems, compared to only 18% of boys
  • Girls are more likely to require drug and alcohol treatment for their substance abuse issues than boys

What Can Parents of An Addicted Teenage Girl Do? 

While the nation’s statistics regarding teenage drug abuse and addiction are alarming, parents of addicted teens should take solace in knowing there are effective drug and alcohol treatment programs available for them to utilize. 

That said, it is imperative for parents seeking drug and alcohol treatment to do their research before choosing a drug and alcohol treatment program for their daughter.

Does Your Teenage Daughter Suffer From Addiction? 

Before parents look for a drug and alcohol treatment program, they should determine the severity of their daughter's substance abuse. Specifically, whether their daughter struggles with drug dependence, or if their child's substance abuse is purely experimental (tried a drug once or twice and otherwise is consistent in making good choices).

Treatment is highly recommended only if a teen has an addiction, or is likely to develop one due to other negative behaviors. 

That is not to say that drug and alcohol experimentation is not harmful. Rather, experimenting with a substance more than once or twice is itself, a potentially life-changing endeavor that is likely to become an eventual addiction if not properly addressed. 

Signs of teen drug and alcohol abuse to look out for include:

  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Borrowing or stealing money
  • Spending time with different friends than usual
  • Appetite changes
  • Sleep habit changes
  • Excessive secrecy
  • A sudden drop in grades or academic performance
  • Drug paraphernalia in their bedroom

Choosing a Viable Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program

 While there are a plethora of options to consider when seeking drug treatment, parents should be made aware that not all programs are created equal. Unfortunately, there are just as many unreliable treatment options as there are viable ones.

With that in mind, below is a comprehensive checklist that will help parents when selecting a potential program. 

According to an In-depth 2004 National Survey drug treatment programs should have the following nine key features: 

  • Assessment: should include an individualized treatment plan that is specifically designed for an individual teen
  • Integrated treatment model: the program in question should be able to address and clinically treat all aspects of a teen’s life and mental health-related, underlying issues
  • Family involvement: any type of treatment program for troubled teens has a much higher rate of success if the parents and other family members are involved in the child’s treatment
  •   Developmentally appropriate: treatment should be as age and demographically tailored as possible, gender-specific if possible
  • Engaging and effective in building trust: teenage girls are only able to achieve full recovery if they trust clinical staff in charge of providing treatment
  • Clinically qualified staff:  a treatment facility MUST employ clinically licensed mental health professionals in order to be able to provide effective  mental health treatment  
  • Gender and cultural sensitivity: a potential program should be considerate of a teen’s gender and cultural background as much as possible
  • Aftercare/transitional care: the most competent drug treatment programs for girls will provide students with an aftercare program that can assist them in transitioning back into society

Fortunately for parents who are being selective in choosing the most viable treatment option for their daughter, Elk Mountain Academy is a residential treatment facility that checks every one of the aforementioned therapeutic boxes.

Elk Mountain Academy is a Residential Treatment Center With 20 Years Experience in Treating Addicted Girls

Elk Mountain Academy is a reputable Christian drug and alcohol treatment program with 20 years of experience in saving the lives of troubled girls. 

In addition to treating drug and alcohol addiction, EMA specializes in providing expert and licensed therapeutic counseling for teenage girls who struggle with: 

    • Anger
    • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
    • Depression
    • Self-harm
    • Attention-deficit (ADD)
    • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
    • Eating disorders
    • General rebelliousness

Elk Mountain Academy uses a Christ-centered therapeutic/educational approach to reconciling the hearts of the daughters to the Heart of God. Our hope for our students is that they would choose to live the outward mindset (life of love modeled by Jesus). Our objective is her transformation (the mind of Christ) and the total restoration of her family.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

For more information about our one-of-a-kind residential treatment center, please call us now at Call (208) 266-1122