Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Youth Care Treatment Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Youth Care Treatment Center.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Signs & Symptoms of Substance Abuse & Addiction

For 30 years,  Youth Care Treatment Center has helped teens all over the United States overcome substance abuse problems. Our unique approach features superior clinical services, compassionate support, and an emphasis on respect, integrity, and accountability.

Understanding Substance Abuse & Addiction

Learn about drug addiction and substance abuse

Substance abuse occurs when an individual continually abuses drugs and/or alcohol even though a number of negative consequences have occurred because of that abuse. Impacting one’s behavior, general health, and cognition, substance abuse can have long-term effects if treatment is not obtained to put a stop to this abuse. While some people experiment with drugs and/or alcohol, the difference with substance abuse is when dangerous effects are ignored and the abuser’s health is placed at risk.

Cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, stimulants, and opioids are commonly abused substances. An issue that does not discriminate based on age, these substances can become the primary focus on one’s life and lead to the uncontrollable use of these substances with the most costly consequence of all being death. Thankfully, there is treatment for substance abuse available, which can help individuals of all ages achieve sobriety and a life free from the confines of substance abuse.


Substance abuse statistics

Research has shown that the use and abuse of substances in children and adolescents is increasing. Statistics from these studies have showed that individuals ages 12 and older make up 9% of the population that have used/abused drugs or alcohol, which translates to about 24 million Americans.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for substance abuse

Experts agree that a variety of causes and factors can lead an individual to abuse drugs and/or alcohol. However, while a specific cause has yet to be identified, consider the following:

Genetic: When there is a family history of substance abuse or addiction, an individual is more likely to develop similar abuse issues. Research has proven that this factor is a primary contributor to the development of a substance abuse problem, which is why experts have determined that one’s genetics play a role in substance abuse.

Environmental: Exposure to negative environmental factors, including watching caregivers abuse drugs or alcohol as a method of coping with stress, and/or going through trauma, neglect, or abuse, can all lead to the development of a substance abuse problem. Those individuals who abuse substances often do so because they do not possess the appropriate coping skills needed to manage their emotional pain.

Risk Factors:

  • Exposure to trauma / abuse / neglect
  • Easy access to drugs and/or alcohol
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Peer influence
  • Poor parental attachment
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Low self-esteem
  • Exposure to the use of drugs or alcohol
  • Chaotic /stressful home environment
  • Underdeveloped coping skills
  • Preexisting or undiagnosed mental illness
  • Poor parenting
  • Being male
  • Family history of substance use or abuse
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of substance abuse

The signs and symptoms of substance abuse depend on the type of substance that is being abused. Below are some of the behavioral, physical, cognitive, and psychosocial symptoms connected to substance abuse:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Stealing
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Damaging property
  • Unexplained need for money
  • Lying or omitting facts
  • Getting in trouble at school or in the community
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Switching friends
  • Slowed or rapid speech
  • Poor impulse control
  • Inability to adhere to responsibilities

Physical symptoms:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Dilated or constricted pupils
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Changes in sleep
  • Altered eating habits
  • Impaired coordination
  • Tension in muscles
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory impairment
  • Altered state of perception

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Drastic shifts in mood
  • Decline in motivation
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Changes in personality
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

Effects of substance abuse

The use and abuse of substances can increase one’s chances of suffering from both long and short-term consequences if treatment is not obtained. Depending on the type of substance being abused, the following can occur:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Collapsed veins
  • Exposure to viruses / infections
  • Malnutrition
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Disciplinary action at school
  • Academic failure / expulsion
  • Interaction with law enforcement
  • Memory loss
  • Damage or failure to vital organs
  • Demise of relationship
  • Worsening of a preexisting mental health condition
  • Addiction or dependence on substances
  • Withdrawal
  • Decline in mental health
  • Development of a mental health condition
  • Overdose
  • Death
Co-Occurring Disorders

Substance abuse addiction and co-occurring disorders

The presence of a mental health condition is common in those who struggle with substance abuse. Below are some of the most typical mental illnesses that are known to occur alongside of substance use disorder:

  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Conduct disorder
Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Substance abuse withdrawal and overdose

Withdrawal: When an individual has used a substance for an extended period of time and then attempts to abstain from use, he or she will likely experience a series of extremely uncomfortable symptoms known as withdrawal. In many cases, it is required that mental health professionals are involved in helping one go through his or her withdrawal period. Below are some of the signs and symptoms that one might display if he or she is struggling with withdrawal symptoms:

  • Muscle tension
  • Psychosis
  • Tremors
  • Bone pain
  • Clammy skin
  • Paleness
  • Anxious feelings
  • Agitation
  • Chills
  • Depressed mood
  • Panic
  • Intense cravings for continued use

Overdose: When continual substance abuse occurs, there is a greater risk for overdose. The signs and symptoms that an individual is experiencing an overdose can include the following, which should be treated as a medical emergency if present:

  • Presence of psychotic features / behaviors
  • Unresponsiveness or coma
  • Respiratory failure
  • Chest pain or tightening
  • Confusion
  • Heart failure
  • Sweating
  • Slowed pulse
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Changes in skin tone
  • Shallow breathing
Marks of Quality Care
  • AdvancED
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP)
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation

As a parent, I highly recommend Youth Care. We were involved in all aspects of my child's treatment plan, the staff provided a safe and friendly environment, we enjoyed parent day participation and, most importantly, the therapy my child received while at Youth Care was exceptional - pretty much life-changing. My child made more progress there than had been made in years of therapy elsewhere.

– Michelle S.