Teen Drug Rehab for Today’s Youth

Substance abuse and addiction continue to be among the most pressing health concerns confronting today’s young people. Across the United States, millions of parents struggle with the challenge of teen addiction, and those problems don’t always conform to adult expectations of drug abuse trends. Across America, teens between the ages of 12 to 17 make up roughly 7.5% of all admissions to treatment programs. The largest percentage of those admissions involve young people who require teen drug rehab for dependency on marijuana – some 65% of teen addicts regularly use that substance. Another 15% are addicted to other illegal drugs, while 10% or more have alcohol dependencies. Teen drug rehab can be essential for helping these teens overcome their addictive behavior.

Treatment Levels Can Vary

Addiction levels are different from patient to patient, and thus treatment levels vary as well. The American Society of Addiction Medicine has drawn up some guidelines for defining the major treatment levels, and there are different levels of therapy recommended for each level of addiction. Typically, a patient’s addiction is assessed, and then therapies are recommended based on that assessment. These therapy types include:

Early Intervention

Early intervention efforts are usually targeted toward teens who are considered to be at risk for developing an addiction, but whose abuse has not yet reached that level. Early intervention may also be used in instances where addiction is believed to have already started, but there is insufficient evidence to diagnose actual substance abuse. For many parents concerned about drug use that has not yet manifested as dependency, this is the first option for treatment.

Outpatient Rehab Services

Outpatient rehab services are more intensive, and can take several forms – depending upon the severity of the addiction. Those services can typically be divided into three distinct levels of outpatient care:

• Standard outpatient treatment provides teen drug rehab at a rehab facility. The patient generally participates in fewer than six hours of therapy and recovery therapy each week during the treatment. This therapy is usually recommended for teens who have not yet advanced to actual addiction.

• Intensive outpatient treatment provides a more extensive array of rehab services, encompassing more than six hours each week. As a result, this type of outpatient service is a better option for patients who have dual diagnoses. Services are provided in a way that accommodates the teen’s school schedule, to ensure greater participation.

• Partial hospitalization can be used for more advanced addiction for patients who don’t need continual monitoring or care. Patients may receive as many as 20 hour of services or more each week, and still maintain their outpatient status.

Residential Teen Drug Rehab Services

For teens with ongoing addiction or those for whom outpatient services have failed to yield positive benefits, inpatient treatment may be a better option. This treatment requires that the addicted teen leave the home and live on a temporary basis at the rehab facility. Treatment at the facility is provided on a continual basis by staff who are trained in drug rehab therapy. This staff generally includes health care professionals, mental health experts, and substance abuse treatment professionals. Many of the patients who receive this residential care are suffering from multiple addictions, and have failed in other less intensive rehab efforts. Treatment can include:

• Low-intensity residential therapy, designed to help patients transition to outpatient services. There is an emphasis on recovery skills, and prevention of relapses.

• Medium-intensity therapy is typically used for addicts whose efforts at outpatient therapy have been unsuccessful. Addiction and treatment experts provide the therapy, without involvement from medical professionals.

• Medically-monitored therapy is the most intense level of drug rehab in an inpatient setting. It is typically used in cases of serious addiction and requires supervision and monitoring by medical professionals to track patient vitals and health records during detox and rehab. It also includes counseling, therapy, and other services as needed. In the most severe cases of addiction, ongoing nursing care is also provided.

Is Teen Drug Rehab Effective?

Experts have long questioned the efficacy of teen drug rehab, pointing to the fact that rehab alone cannot end dependency. They’re correct, of course. If you have a teen suffering from dependency on alcohol or any type of drug, merely showing up for therapy sessions will never be enough to end that addiction. His or her recovery must be a personal decision – in much the same way that adults must actually want help before drug rehab can work for them. Still, when your teen is committed to ending the cycle of addiction, drug rehab can help them accomplish that goal.

That doesn’t mean that you must wait for your child to tell you that he wants rehab, however. Teens are subject to outside influence to an extend that goes beyond that experienced by most adults. As a result, the teen drug rehab experience can impact even teens who are not yet ready to make different life choices. Rehab can open their minds to new information, make them aware of the problem, and help to shape their emotions and attitudes about their own life, health, and wellbeing.

It is also important to understand that other factors can impact the success of any rehab effort. Often, teens have problems at home or school that influence their success in any treatment program. A relatively large number of teens also suffer from co-occurring disorders like ADHD, depression, anger issues, and various mental health concerns. It is generally helpful for rehab staff to be made aware of these disorders so that they can be properly addressed in a way that enhances the rehab effort.

Finally, teens who undergo successful teen drug rehab need a recovery strategy that facilitates success. Relapse is a common occurrence for addicts of all ages, so efforts need to be made to address the recovering teen’s entire environment. Often, it is necessary to modify much of the teen’s lifestyle to ensure that relapse is preventable. It may mean a new school. It almost always means at least some new friends. Most importantly, however, it will mean a new commitment from the entire family to provide the support that the recovering teen needs to avoid substance abuse and renewed dependency in the future.

In the end, teen drug rehab is just the beginning of a lifelong effort to maintain sobriety and avoid a return to dependency. The good news is that targeted rehab, sound recovery planning, and continuing education can help to provide your child with the tools needed to live a life that is free from the chains of dependency.

If you or someone you know needs to learn more about treatment for teens and adolescents, please call (855) 202-4220 or visit Teen Rehab at Family Center for Recovery


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