Once a family has identified that a teen is struggling with substance abuse, the next step is to help this teen by enrolling him or her in a drug treatment program.
Attending an adolescent-specific rehab facility can offer many benefits to teenagers who are struggling with substance abuse.
Adolescent-specific inpatient treatment programs offer a controlled, structured environment that surrounds the teen with his or her peers.
One of the main reasons for choosing adolescent-only residential rehab programs is their high success rate. At an adolescent-specific rehab center, all services, including counseling and medical detox, are tailored specifically to the needs of the teenage patient. These treatment centers surround teens with the support they need to successfully begin the journey to long-term sobriety.
Benefits of Adolescent-Specific Rehab
Adolescent-specific rehab is designed specifically to help teens address substance abuse through a treatment program that not only provides medical drug detox and counseling, but also helps to build teens’ self-esteem and confidence. 30-day, 60-day or 90-day inpatient rehab programs in particular are very beneficial for teens who need a safe, structured environment.
Even after medical detox is successfully completed, teens who participate in adolescent-specific rehab will continue to benefit from programs that help boost their confidence through challenge activities like rope courses or outdoor adventures.
Additionally, adolescent-specific programs may also offer fully-accredited academic programs, which are beneficial to teens that may have fallen behind in school or need additional academic help to succeed.
Adolescent-specific rehab programs help teens to not only heal their bodies, but also their minds and spirits, and to better understand that sobriety is part of a happier and healthier long-term lifestyle.
Adolescent-Specific Rehab for Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis is a term used for co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. Teenagers who are diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder have two separate illnesses and each illness deserves its own treatment plan.
However, these two plans need to be integrated with one another in order to most effectively address the symptoms and the underlying issues trigger each condition.
For example, trying to treat alcohol abuse without addressing an individual’s depression is ineffective. Teens who are depressed or anxious may turn to alcohol as a way to cope with these complex emotions; failing to address underlying triggers for addiction can increase the likelihood for relapse and makes treatment more difficult.
The Link Between Addiction and Mental Illness
Addiction is common in individuals with mental illness; in fact, approximately half of all individuals with severe mental health problems are also struggling with substance abuse, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Substance abuse and mental health problems will not improve if they are not both treated.
Drugs and alcohol may be a form of self-medication; drug or alcohol abuse may worsen a mental health condition, and drug or alcohol abuse can also trigger mental health problems in an individual who is pre-disposed to mental illness but has never developed mental illness in the past.
Recognizing and treating mental health conditions and substance abuse in teenagers is not easy, but it is important. Denial, for example, can be common for teens who abuse drugs and alcohol. Even parents and teachers may mistakenly excuse suspicious behavior like sudden mood swings as part of “normal teen moodiness.”
Consequently, teens may benefit from receiving specialized dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders in an adolescent-specific treatment center.
Surrounded by their peers in a safe, structured environment, teens receive support from others who are experiencing the same challenges that they are. This peer support, especially with group therapy, can help isolated teens connect and feel more comfortable during the treatment process.
What to Expect from Adolescent-Specific Drug Rehab
Typically, most adolescent-specific drug rehab programs offer individualized care plans within the context of a dynamic treatment program that encourages teens to develop new life skills and rebuild damaged relationships with family members.
A variety of treatment options are offered and may include:
- Individual and Group Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Substance Abuse Education
- Holistic Therapies
Holistic treatments, such as yoga, acupuncture and meditation, can teach teens positive ways to cope with stress and anxiety that support whole body mental and physical health from the inside out. Many treatment centers also include sober recreational activities that help teens learn healthy, positive ways to have fun and interact with others.
Finally, most treatment programs also offer family counseling. Family counseling at a treatment center is important because the center provides a safe, structured environment for families to interact. This can help all parties involved feel like they have an equal voice and that their opinions are respected.
Finding Adolescent-Specific Treatment Programs
If you are the parent of a teenager who could benefit from substance abuse treatment, finding the right adolescent-specific program can make a big difference for your teen’s successful recovery.
Many treatment centers offer specialized adolescent care that integrates substance abuse detox with group therapy, family counseling, self-esteem building activities, and accredited academic programs.
To learn more about the different treatment programs in your community and to find the right program for your teen, contact an addiction specialist.