Adolescent / Young Adult Services

Supporting young people and their families at this pivotal point in their lives

Adolescence and young adulthood can be difficult. In today’s times, our children are exposed to everything from a world of terrorism in their own schools, various forms of bullying (including cyber bullying), extreme pressures from education, sports and social media, anxiety, the dark web, drugs that are more powerful than ever, as well as the existential angst teens can experience developmentally.

Youth spend countless hours watching TV on Apps or in front of other screens, conduct many of their friendships and even relationships largely online, and are often prematurely exposed to sex and sexuality on the internet or through sexting.

When adolescents and young adults suffer from anxiety, school phobia, behavioral issues, substance use or disordered eating, their treatment needs to be tailored to their individual, age-specific situations.  Unlike adults, who have had time to develop coping strategies over time, younger people often lack the life skills that can only come through maturity and experience.

Adolescents and teens have unique treatment needs, including skill building or habitation, and benefit from an entire family support system.

When helping to assess and place a teen or young adult, these components must be included. A thorough history, any testing that has been done or needs to be done and well and the constellation of the family system must be included in finding a proper facility for your loved one.

As addiction treatment professionals, offering great empathy to anxious parents is a necessary component to the work we do here at Heather R Hayes and Associates, Inc. We know that it requires more than a weekly summary over the phone and more than a three-day family program.

We fully explain the paradigm shift that takes place from all-hands-on-deck before treatment to hands-off-upon-arrival-at-the-facility in order to ease the transition and demonstrate our partnership and shared goals with the family.”

Substance Use in Young People and Adolescents

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) can happen at any age and affect people of all backgrounds. However, it usually begins when a person is an adolescent or a young adult. Research now shows that the brain is not fully developed until a person is around 25 years of age. Most persons diagnosed with SUD report starting their use in adolescence. In fact, the average age of first use of a substance in the United States is 13- years old. Drug and alcohol use, trauma, disordered eating, excessive screen time, and behavioral issues (especially when combined with changing hormones) can be particularly damaging to an undeveloped brain.

Adolescents and young adults suffering with SUD have unique needs regarding treatment. It can be tempting for parents to approach their young loved one about their use of chemicals, but this often leads to denial, conflict, and strained relationships. Instead, it is safer and more appropriate to contact a licensed professional for help. Treatment placement, Trauma-Informed Responsive Intervention™ and recovery services can manage the situation safely and effectively so that your loved one receives the treatment they need, tailored to suit their unique requirements.

When we assess and place teens or young adults, we carry out a very thorough screening process. This is in order to get to know you as a unique individual. We carry out a comprehensive case history, check if there are any psychological or physical health testing that needs to be done, and look at the entire family constellation. In doing this, we build a very detailed picture of each client’s life, which enables us to deliver personalized treatment packages.

We understand that it can be heartbreaking for parents to witness their child’s addiction and its consequences, which is why we are determined and dedicated in our adolescent and young adult recovery services. We emphasize the importance of letting our clients know that they are not alone and incorporate the entire family system in the healing process so that clients can feel a real sense of love and support on their road to recovery.

Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse in Adolescents and Young Adults

Of major importance in setting your young loved one on the path to recovery is the ability to notice the signs of addiction. The following is a basic guide to help you figure out if the adolescent or young adult in your life is struggling with addiction.

Secretive Behavior
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Theft
  • Leaving the house late at night
  • Absence from school or work
  • Sudden use of air fresheners and strong perfumes or incense (to mask the scent of smoke)
  • Secrecy around friends and activities
Shifts In Habits


  • Sudden drop in grades
  • Changes in usual friend group
  • Sudden lack or increase of appetite
  • Shift in sleep patterns
Physical Changes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Significant weight change
  • Disheveled appearance
  • Cuts on lips
  • Unexplained wounds and bruises
  • Shaking
  • Sunken eyes

Recovery is Possible

All the research shows that a person need not want help or be willing to ask for help for the outcome to be successful. Today we have over 22 million persons in recovery in the United States. Many of these are adolescents and young adults. We have over 200 universities where there are Collegiate Recovery Campuses (CRC). The amazing thing about this is that CRCs are/were started by young adults who have been in recovery for a period of time and wanted support on college campuses as well as a safe social life such as sober tailgating and football games.

Many adolescents and young adults who get help early become happy, successful and productive members of society.  They would not have had this opportunity without their supportive families who worked with them to repair the family dynamic in the wake of their seeking help.

Our founder, Heather R. Hayes, is a prime example.  After nearly failing her freshman year at the University of Georgia, she entered treatment at 21 years old.  After recovery, she was able to graduate from Emory University with Honors, earned a graduate degree, and went on to help others.”

At Heather R. Hayes & Associates, our recovery support services are available for adolescents and young adults. We begin by assessing the need for treatment and allocating all of the necessary resources for recovery. We then act as a source of professional support and guidance to our client and their families throughout the recovery journey.

Addiction can be an all-encompassing condition, but it doesn’t have to be suffered alone. Please contact us today to arrange an assessment and/or consultation to discuss the next steps in your young loved one’s recovery.

For more information about recovery for young adults, please see:

The Role of Family Systems

Teen Drug Interventions

Sources of Strength for Young People

The Paradigm Shift for Parents with Teens in Drug and Alcohol Treatme

You are not alone

We will work together with you to develop a plan of healing for you and your entire family system.

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Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our team here at Heather R Hayes & Associates. We are just one phone call away. 

Heather Hayes & Associates is your trusted ally for navigating the complex world of treatment and recovery options for substance abuse, mental health issues, and process addictions.

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Heather R. Hayes & Associates, Inc, offers experienced, trained professionals with clinical oversight, providing discreet and compassionate services in any situation.
Heather R. Hayes & Associates, Inc. is committed to providing the highest level of care without compromise, and we are not employed by, nor do we receive any form of payment or compensation from, the providers with whom we consult for placement or referrals.

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