Young Adults Rehab Finding the best treatment programmes & recovery options

Drug use and addiction is an especially delicate issue for young adults. For most people, the human brain is not yet fully mature until around age 25 – yet nearly half of young people use illegal drugs before they graduate high school. As this drug use among young people occurs while the brain is still in development, the maturation process can become disrupted and addiction itself becomes significantly more likely. For these and other reasons, rehab for young adults takes on a special urgency, as timely intervention and recovery is even more essential.
The good news is that teens are less likely than older people to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using drugs or alcohol, meaning that quitting can be easier on the body.
Young adult treatment centres generally provides treatment and support for people between the ages of 18 and 30. This article explores some of the relevant risk factors for addiction, and how the proper rehab programmes for young adults can get them back on track – and in control of their lives once again

Substance use amongst young adults

Risk-taking behaviour is highest among younger people. A combination of inexperience, curiosity, hormones, peer pressure, and less developed emotional centres often leads teens and young adults to take unnecessary risks, including the use of illegal drugs. These drugs can impact brain development, leading to lower IQ scores and adverse effects on memory.
Statistics from the US National Institute of Drug Abuse show that drug and alcohol use often begins early in life. A majority of high schoolers have tried alcohol, while data surrounding marijuana use show only slightly lower prevalence. Although marijuana itself has been decriminalised in some areas, such a reclassification should not be taken as a testament to harmlessness; the drug is known to negatively affect brain development among young people who use it.
Many young people also use more dangerous drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines. Yet even prescription drugs (used by 15% of high-school age people in the US) can have serious side effects. Prescription drugs are, when used correctly, generally safe. Yet as the ongoing opioid crisis has shown with great clarity, even prescription drugs can lead to dangerous addictions requiring treatment.
Signs of possible drug abuse may include frequent mood changes, headaches or stomachaches, difficulty sleeping, declining academic or athletic performance, low energy, feelings of anxiety, and tendencies toward self-harm.

Risk factors for addiction in young adults

Some drugs are more addictive than others, yet some people are also more susceptible to addiction than others. Many factors help determine who is more likely to become addicted to a dangerous substance, even after a relatively low amount of exposure to the drug.

Genetic predisposition

Genetics play a major role in determining how vulnerable each person is to the forces of addiction. People with a history of addiction may pass along a genetic predisposition for it to their children or grandchildren. Where this kind of family history is present, one must be extra alert about the potential consequences of consuming addictive substances.


As mentioned above, teens and young adults are in particular danger of becoming addicted, because their growing brains have not yet had the time to fully develop. When this development is interrupted by repeated exposure to addictive chemicals, the brain is more likely to form a dependence on those chemicals.


An unstable, high-stress environment at home can weaken the brain’s defences against addictive substances, causing young adults to rely on chemicals to make up for the lack of a healthy growing environment.

Mental health

Addictions are often indirectly caused by trauma or other underlying mental health issues. Responsible rehab programmes for young adults take this additional risk factor into consideration, treating their clients’ mental health condition as well as the addictions themselves.
Psychology puzzle head concept with a human face in side view made of connected gears and cogs with a group of red cog wheels shaped as a jigsaw piece as a medical metaphor for cognitive intelligence function.

Rehab Programmes for Young Adults

Different types of treatment may be appropriate depending on the length and severity of the addiction, their present living environment, as well as their current stage of recovery.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment may be recommended for mild forms of addiction, particularly if your loved one has a supportive living environment that is generally free from triggers, stress, and peer pressure. Under such conditions, close supervision and 24-hour care may not be necessary.
  • Detox: More serious instances of addiction may require an initial period of detox, which includes close medical supervision by experts. If your loved one is likely to suffer from withdrawal symptoms upon giving up addictive drugs, a medical consultant will typically recommend that s/he undergo a period of detox before primary treatment.
  • Residential treatment: Residential treatment involves living on location, generally for a period of one month or more, at a residential treatment centre that provides drug rehab for young adults. The benefits of this form of treatment include constant care, physical separation from daily triggers and other sources of stress, as well as more intensive counselling to help your loved one overcome the forces of addiction.
  • Sober living: For those who have completed their period of primary care and are now ready to begin re-integrating with society, sober living facilities offer a stable home in a controlled environment, monitored by addiction professionals and shared with others who are similarly recovering from addiction. This supportive and regulated environment can help your loved one ease back into a productive and healthy daily routine, one step at a time.

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How drug rehab for young adults works

Rehab for young adults is a complex process that involves many different types of therapy. At its core is cognitive therapy and behavior modification, an evidence-based approach to helping your loved one overcome addictive urges as they arise.

Group therapy is an excellent way of providing young adults with a network of social support from peers during the recovery process. By facilitating open discussions where problems and solutions can be talked about freely, group therapy creates a valuable social resource for recovering addicts. Individual therapy is also essential, however, as it allows experienced counsellors to provide your loved one with a tailored and personal approach to overcoming their addiction.

Addiction can be a challenging and emotionally exhausting experience for the family members and loved ones of the addicted person. Family treatment programmes are designed to help families better understand the nature of addiction, as they learn how to provide help and support during the recovery process.

A highly effective resource for people struggling to overcome addiction, 12-step programmes are based on a clear understanding of the personal and social stages necessary for a lasting recovery.

As part of a holistic approach to addiction recovery, many young adult rehab centres include therapeutic activities alongside their psychological treatments. These may include nature walks, yoga sessions, mindfulness exercises, and other recreational activities to bring the mind, body and spirit into harmony as a way of facilitating the recovery process.

Relapse is a particular danger faced by all recovering addicts. By showing young adults how to recognise the common symptoms of relapse as they arise, as well as how to avoid falling back into the arms of addiction, relapse prevention education may make the difference between a short-lived recovery, and long-lasting sobriety.

All standard facilities offering drug rehab for young adults will focus on evidence-based therapy as their core treatment strategy. CBT, as well as dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and other effective measures, can help young adult’s brain learn to disentangle itself from its chemical dependence, resist urges when they appear, and channel their thoughts in a more positive and helpful way. 

Many addictions are caused in part by pre-existing trauma or other mental health issues. The effort to reach lasting recovery from addiction often depends on resolving these underlying mental health issues as well. Many young adult treatment centres are able to treat these co-occurring conditions (dual diagnosis), putting your loved one on a path toward real recovery and sobriety.

Many young adults turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of dealing with anxiety or social phobias. As part of the recovery process, many treatment centres offer social skills development, if needed, in order to help them feel more comfortable interacting with other people in a relaxed and positive way.

Specialised young adult treatment centre

Young adults often have different needs than their older counterparts when attending a rehab facility. Many rehab centres for young adults accordingly provide special services to meet those needs.
  • Gender specific rehab: In order to maintain focus on the task at hand, rehab centres may offer the option of undergoing segregated addiction treatment based on gender. Such arrangements may also make group counselling sessions more relevant to the participants, by helping them feel more free to discuss the personal issues that apply to them.
  • Activity-based programmes: Some young adults may prefer to base their recovery programmes around activity-based sessions that can help them develop the necessary qualities of motivation, focus, discipline, and having a healthy mindset. A more active approach to treatment may help certain clients respond better to counselling than a purely psychological-based programme.

What to look for when choosing a rehab centre for young adults

When selecting a rehab centre for young adults, it is important to ensure that the environment will be one that is conducive to their recovery. Young adults often need extra support and guidance as they gain life experience and find their way forward in the adult world. They may need extra help making consequential decisions, dealing with elevated stress and hormones, confronting their fear of failure, and generally developing their emotional maturity.
The ideal rehab centre for young adults should provide counsellors who are specially trained to provide this type of support in addition to the standard requirements for addiction recovery. Of course, these counsellors should be experienced in helping clients from your loved one’s age group, and have qualifications from respected and relevant learning institutions.
Your chosen rehab centre should deliver a variety of evidence-based treatments, including both group and individual counselling. It should also provide detox services (if needed), and the ability to address co-occurring conditions. Treatment should revolve around evidence-based approaches, while maintaining physical separation from stressors and triggers.

Residential rehab for young adults in Thailand

Rehab in Thailand is a very sensible option for young people in need of addiction treatment. Thai rehab facilities offer a truly unique and professional experience, whose benefits include:

  • Highly qualified, Western-trained counsellors from Australia, the UK and USA
  • Evidence-based treatment, using CBT, DBT, and other standard methods
  • Beautiful and peaceful environments, in a warm climate
  • A holistic approach to rehabilitation
  • Plenty of recreational activities, and opportunities to go exploring
  • Inpatient care and medically-supervised detoxification
  • Extremely affordable treatment, compared to similar services in the West

If you would like to learn more about rehab for young adults in Thailand or addiction treatment options in general, feel free to contact us. We can help you find the best treatment centre that meets the needs of your loved one. This is a no-cost consultation, so please call us now or fill out the contact form below.

Cameron Brown
  1. American Addiction Centers Editorial Staff. “Study Indicates Pot Really Can Lower Your IQ.”, 11 June 2019,
  2. “Biology of Addiction.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 8 Sept. 2017,
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs.” NIDA,

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