When teenagers begin using drugs or alcohol, it can be hard on parents and loved ones. It may be difficult to understand why they began using the substance and parents may feel uncomfortable with the idea of sending them into a rehab program.
Even though it seems difficult, a teen rehab program is very different from the programs that are available for adults. By understanding the differences, parents can feel confident in their decision to seek professional help.
Evaluating the Needs of Individuals
PBS explains that teenagers have very different needs and a rehabilitation program must recognize their specific situations and needs. Every teenager is different, but HBO points out that they are still growing and developing.
A teen rehab program recognizes that they may not have the same cognitive abilities as an adult. The brain of a teenager is still developing and they may not even recognize the way that an addiction will impact their future. A rehab program helps them understand the long-term consequences of their addiction so that it is possible to focus on healthier choices.
Teen rehab programs often offer academic courses to help teenagers keep up with their education and studies. Even if they are not currently attending school, the program will often offer educational classes along with the treatment so that they are ready to return to their education after completing the treatment plan.
Teen rehab program will often involve the family more when compared to an adult program. Although any rehab program strives to get family members involved in treatment and counseling, it is not always possible with an adult program. Adult rehabilitation may focus on the needs of the individual and may have limited contact with loved ones during the initial stages of treatment.
In a teen program, the family is involved in counseling and treatment from the start. Even if a teenager is going through a strict program, parents may be involved in counseling with the family or may be asked to participate in other ways. It helps improve relationships and encourages parents to openly communicate with their teenaged child.
As a minor, teenagers are not making the decisions for their medical health or needs. A parent can send a teenager to a treatment program, even if he or she does not agree.
Adult programs are usually voluntary unless it is related to legal requirements or the individual is incapable of making a decision and a doctor determines that it is medically necessary. Since adults are able to make the decision, many are willing to enter the treatment program.
Teenagers who are not willing to enter treatment must be handled in a way that differs from a voluntary program. The professionals recognize that they may not be trying to recover and look for alternative ways to motivate their recovery.
The activities that are available in a teen rehab program may differ from the options that are available for adults. Teenagers often have different interests, hobbies or goals when compared to adults. According to HBO, peer pressure may also be a primary contributing factor when teenagers abuse drugs or alcohol.
Social activities and sports may be encouraged during treatment. Furthermore, the program may offer a greater range of unique activities that are designed to appeal to younger generations. Depending on the individual interests of a particular teenager, the program may focus on activities that are personally appealing. It may also include adventure therapy and spending more time outdoors to encourage natural forms of exercise.
Adults and teenagers are at different stages of life, which can impact the way that they respond to treatment. A teenager may be influenced by peers and is still developing physically and emotionally. Treatment plans that are designed for adolescents recognize the differences and take measures to ensure that a program recognizes the needs of each teenager.