Alcohol & Drug Rehabs for Teenagers
It is not unusual for teens and young adults to struggle with addiction, but they often have unique needs when it comes to treatment and recovery. Because of these specific needs there are some drug rehabs for specifically teens and adolescents. In other cases, some rehabs will offer programming for people of different ages but have a specific teen addiction treatment program. If your teenager or young adult needs help, you should explore these options.
Substance Use in Teens & Adolescents
While substance use in teenagers and young adults is often talked about, addiction is not. Alcohol and marijuana use may seem popular in the “rebellious” teen years, but these substances aren’t without their dangers. Both can be addictive or may be a gateway to the use of other addictive substances. Like with adults, misuse of any drugs may lead to dependence and addiction.
Signs Your Teen Needs Rehab or Other Care
While teenagers are often depicted as drinking underage or smoking marijuana, your child’s substance use may be more than casual, recreational use and is not something to ignore. Your child could be addicted to these substances, and the longer they go without help, the more severe the consequences may be. The best thing you can do as a parent is learn the signs of adolescent drug abuse and intervene sooner rather than later if needed.
While every young adult is different, your child may need to get treatment or go to a teen alcohol rehab or teen drug rehab if they:
- start spending time with a people who are bad influences
- have drugs or drug paraphernalia in their room, backpack, or car
- withdrawal from friends and family
- let their grades slip or start skipping classes
- are no longer interested in their hobbies or extracurricular activities
- are especially moody (beyond normal teenage angst)
- develop unusual sleep habits or show a drastic change in their energy level
- start lying frequently or seem to be keeping a lot of secrets
- stop eating or eat a lot more than normal
- neglect their personal appearance or look unwell
- smell like drugs
- start acting erratic or have drastic changes in their behavior
If your child is exhibiting many of the signs, getting them into an adolescent rehab or other treatment program may be necessary. Substance use can have a significantly negative impact on the developing brain of a teenager, and early drug abuse raises the risk of a substance use disorder in adulthood.
Benefits of Rehabs for Teenagers
Because addiction is a family disease, a drug rehab program for young adults may not help your child but also your entire family.
Some of the biggest benefits of substance use treatment for adolescents include:
- A new environment: When an individual enters a teen alcohol treatment rehab, or an alcohol treatment for young adults, they enter a fresh environment. They are removed from the normal pressures of their lives, including their usual triggers to use drugs, and can focus solely on their recovery. The time away gives them a fresh start, fresh perspective, and fresh opportunities.
- Breathing room: When a young adult or teenager is struggling with addiction, the entire family is affected. When the teen enters rehab, it gives the teen and the family a much-needed break. Parents can step back and take a deep breath. The physical distance between family members can also help start a healing process.
- Open learning: Because they have not lived a life filled with drug use, teens tend to be more open to change than adults. They are also typically able to absorb new information better and learn more quickly. When put in an environment that guides them to learn healthier patterns of behavior like a teen drug rehab, many will do quite well.
- Healthy structure: While at an adolescent rehab, the teen will adhere to a strict schedule of programming, and many thrive because of it. They know what to expect each day, so life doesn’t feel out of control. This structure also helps teens develop healthy routines to maintain their sobriety after rehab.
- Peer Support: Teenagers may struggle with peer pressure, bullying, fitting in, schoolwork, juggling extracurriculars, and the daunting task of trying to figure out their future after high school. Because these issues are often unique to young adults, a program or rehab for teens allows them to connect with peers who are facing the same struggles. This peer support can also remind them that they are not alone.
- Family support: A drug rehab center for teenagers will often include family therapy. This can prove helpful during the teen’s stay, as well as when it’s time for the teen to come home. Final sessions cover how the teen should transition back into family life as well as what rules are appropriate for parents to establish. Family support can prove invaluable to creating a healthy environment at home and helping the child find lasting recovery.
What happens at Addiction Rehab for Teens?
Teen drug abuse and alcohol abuse differs in many ways from adult substance use. For example, adolescents more frequently binge substances, are slower to recognize their use is a problem, and are more likely to have a dual diagnosis mental health disorder than adults. Teenagers are also more likely to be influenced by their friends.
For many years, youth addiction treatment involved the use of program protocols designed for adult populations, but drug and alcohol treatment professionals have come to understand that this population require a different treatment approach.
While some parts of rehabs for teens near me will be the same as a facility for adults, there may also be some unique aspects as well. In general, rehabs for teenagers will include:
- Regular individual therapy sessions
- Evidence-based therapy treatment modules
- Support groups
- Family therapy
- Medical check-ups
- Academic work
- Regular meals and snacks
- Exercise or recreational physical activity
- Holistic therapies or activities
- Supervised free time with peers also in recovery
- A strict routine and structure (possibly with tiered levels, with increasing amounts of freedom based on success)
Together this programming can help teenagers and young adults establish a solid foundation for recovery that they can continue to build off after treatment is over.
How to Get a Teen into Addiction Rehab
Many parents who suspect their teenager may have a problem with alcohol and drugs are unsure where to begin. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) advises enlisting the help of your child’s doctor, an addiction treatment provider that is near you, or even a school counselor.
Once you’ve determined that your child does indeed have a problem with substance abuse, a medical or drug treatment professional can help to assess the severity of the problem and determine an appropriate treatment approach. There is no one-size-fits-all addiction treatment for young adults, and what worked for one teen may not be right for another. You can call to speak to one of our admissions navigators to discuss any potential rehabilitation options for your son or daughter.
Finding the Right Adolescent or Teen Addiction Treatment Program
Finding the right adolescent drug treatment program is a challenging task that many parents struggle with. Addiction is hard enough when your adult loved one is struggling, but when your child is affected, the stress and worry may be particularly devastating. It is important to remember that you do have options and that specialized rehab treatment for teens does often work.
Teen Drug & Alcohol Detox
When a teen or young adult goes to treatment, they may first go through detox. Medical detox that takes place in a facility is especially important for those who detox from alcohol as there are withdrawal symptoms that may be uncomfortable or even potentially dangerous. Teen detox, where a substance is cleared from the body, provides patients with medical care, detox medications, and other symptomatic/supportive medications, if necessary.
Residential Addiction Treatment Centers for Teens
Residential treatment centers for teens with drug and alcohol addiction can be an important milestone on the road to recovery from substance use disorders, especially for teens who are dealing with severe addiction-related issues.
These facilities provide 24/7 supervision and care while your teenager resides there for the duration of the program. This structured environment removes the temptations of the outside world, including drug-using friends, and creates a setting that is conducive for recovery.
Hospital-based programs offer around-the-clock medical care from healthcare professionals, but many non-hospital-based residential programs also facilitate access to medical services when needed.
Should your child be directed toward this type of program, the length of their stay will vary based on their unique needs. NIDA finds that programs under 90 days may be of limited efficacy and that longer durations of treatment tend to result in better outcomes.
Outpatient Rehab for Teens
Staying overnight at the treatment center may not be needed in all cases. Other treatment options include standard outpatient therapy and care such as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs).
With these programs, your teen will not stay overnight at the facility but will still participate in a regular schedule of therapy. The time commitment associated with these programs depends on the level of care and the facility but can range from several hours a week to only one.
Young Adult & Teen Alcohol Treatment
Alcohol use is a problem among teenagers and young adults, and statistics on teen alcohol use can paint a concerning picture. In 2021, for people aged 12 to 17, 7.0 percent (1.8 million people) used alcohol in the past month. And 3.8 percent (995,000 people) binge drank alcohol in the past month.1
With alcohol abuse as an issue for young people, alcohol use treatment can be very important.
When getting treatment for alcohol abuse, rehab may be inpatient rehab for teens or outpatient rehab for teens, depending on the needs of the patient. Both provide support and programs that include individual and group therapy. Therapy may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, contingency management, family counseling, and 12-step programs.
Mental Health Treatment in Teen Rehab
Mental health challenges can be common for teens and young adults. Dealing with mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, may lead teens to try to self-medicate in an attempt to manage their feelings and struggles. This, in turn, may lead to substance misuse, abuse, and potentially addiction. There are teens and young adults dealing with a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder and both need to be identified and treated for the individual to have the best chance at recovery.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Teens
Just as addiction must be treated for your teen, any dual diagnosis mental health issues must also be addressed, as lingering conditions that aren’t treated may result in relapse. Mental health problems are unfortunately common in the youth population. If your teen struggles with a substance use disorder and a concurrent mental health issue like depression, anxiety, panic disorder, or bipolar disorder, research dual diagnosis treatment programs for teens.
As you look around for addiction treatment for teens, ask program staff what levels of care they have, what types of therapies they offer, what specialty programs they have, how long they’ve been treating teens, whether they reassess treatment plans, and any other questions you may have. You may also want to ask about whether they help patients develop thorough aftercare plans or outline specific steps to take to maintain recovery after treatment. This could include beginning outpatient counseling, continuing family therapy, or even attending a recovery high school.
Finding A Teen Rehab Near Me
Rehabs centers for teens and young adults are located throughout the country. Some rehabilitation centers that mostly cater to adults may accept and treat teens as well. This means you’re not limited to facilities in your own city.
Some teens and their families may prefer a teen treatment center near to their home while others may find it more beneficial to change scenery and get away from their normal triggers. This is a personal choice and should be a family discussion. Our rehab directory can help you search through treatment providers throughout the United States and find the right program for your child.
How to Pay for Rehab for Teenagers
Publicly-funded facilities (or state-funded rehabs) are available in many locations; however, these programs can be difficult to get into and may have long waiting lists. Private treatment centers can get expensive; however, insurance will often cover some or all the cost, depending on the plan and provider.
If you have no insurance or your plan covers very little, there are also ways you may be able to alleviate the financial burden. You can inquire with the treatment center about options like loans, financing, and even scholarships (which may be given on a case-by-case basis according to need).
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