What Is Different With Adolescent Addiction Treatment

Drug rehab is focused on overcoming addiction, one day at a time, and rehab programs for teens share that same fundamental goal. But in adolescent drug rehabilitation programs, how they get there is different. For example, one of the biggest obstacles in treating teenage drug users is simply getting them to admit there’s a problem. Adolescents typically harbor deep feelings of denial, in part because they’ve only been using for a couple of years — they haven’t yet lost a spouse or a career because of addiction.

If they don’t seek help, of course, teen addicts may never have a spouse or career, and an overdose could end their lives before the age of 20. Adolescent addiction treatment programs specialize in bringing this message home to teens — sometimes through the use of peer counselors and other young adults with whom these clients can better relate.

Another unique offering of most adolescent drug rehab programs is education. Oftentimes a teen will have to go to treatment during the school year, or they may have already dropped out of school completely. All of our adolescent drug rehab programs offer G.E.D’s or daily tutoring to keep teens up-to-date with their studies while attending treatment. To learn more, call 888-634-4546.

The most important step is for the addicted teen to enter treatment. An addiction intervention may be necessary in convincing the adolescent there’s a problem. Because denial is so prevalent in younger addicts, concerned parents may have to force their child to seek help — threatening, for example, to kick them out of the family house if that doesn’t happen. Did you buy your son a new car for his 18th birthday? Threaten to take the keys back. You may be saving your child’s life.

Once a client enters adolescent drug rehabilitation, the process usually goes something like this:

  • Treatment begins with an intake process that will identify any particular issues, in addition to substance abuse that the client is struggling with – such as eating disorders or mental illness/dual diagnosis.
  • The next important step is detox, a difficult but necessary process that removes all drug toxins from the body.
  • Once the addict has detoxed, the intensive residential treatment stage (sometimes 30 days, sometimes longer) kicks into high gear, complete with individual/group therapy and family counseling. Unlike adult drug rehab centers, adolescent drug treatment includes an academic component. Teens will continue their studies while in rehab, ensuring they return home healthier, happier and still caught up with their classmates.
  • After the teen returns home, continued outpatient treatment is an essential part of a successful recovery. Relapse prevention requires a sustained effort, and outpatient care may include counseling or attending local 12-step support groups.
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