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Teen Drug Rehabilitation

Location and cost are two important factors to consider when choosing a teen drug rehabilitation facility.

A teen drug rehabilitation facility may be the step your child needs if you suspect them of substance abuse. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
A teen drug rehabilitation facility may be the step your child needs if you suspect them of substance abuse.

Teen Drug Rehabilitation

Facing the task of finding a teen drug rehabilitation program can be a parent's worse nightmare. The two types of drug rehabilitation programs -- residential and outpatient -- each target a different point in the recovery process. Other factors to consider include location, cost and treatment plan. Choosing the right program can make all the difference in a successful outcome. A program geared specifically toward teens will most effectively address emotional and social issues of this age group. Additionally, residential programs will need to meet educational requirements. Teenagers who are physically dependent on drugs may first need to go through detoxification before a drug rehabilitation program can be effective. Detoxification allows the teen to go through drug withdrawal in a safe, medically supervised environment.

Types of Drug Rehabilitation Programs

A residential rehabilitation facility is a place where the teen may stay full-time for a few weeks or months. Teens may require this type of program if they are unable to stop using drugs without continual supervision, according to Drug-Rehab.com. As the treatment in a residential program progresses, the teen will eventually be able to spend weekends at home. Parents are also expected to visit the facility on a regular basis. A residential program should teach teens the skills they will need to continue with their recovery. Residential programs frequently include 12-step programs and relapse prevention.

Outpatient programs are for teens who are trying to stay drug-free, but need therapy to continue their recovery. The teen typically attends a therapy session after school, sometimes as often as four times per week, before spending the night at home. Outpatient programs may include teens who are transitioning from residential treatment to a normal daily life. This type of program includes other patients who have completed a regular treatment program, and they rely heavily on the support of family members and friends.

Structure of a Teen Drug Therapy Session

Drug rehab programs for teenagers are quite distinct from adult drug rehab programs, according to Drug Rehab Treatment.com. Teens are psychologically and socially different from adults and are more likely to attempt suicide and abuse multiple substances. Teens will also have a much more difficult time recovering from a drug addiction if they have a dysfunctional family, since they can't choose who they will live with. Some recovering teens will require an alternative home environment if the family difficulties cannot be resolved.

Teenagers usually respond best to group therapy sessions, but they must be able to handle the oppositional behavior that is common with teen drug users. Teen drug rehab programs must meet the patient's educational requirements and should also include the teen's family members. Successful drug treatment programs for teenagers must also help the patient with their social and psychological development in addition to treating the drug abuse. Group sessions may include trust-building exercises where the teens fall backwards and are caught by other members of the group. Therapy sessions may also teach the teen verbal skills and communicating emotions.

Comparing Teen Drug Rehabilitation Programs

Location is the most important factor in a teen drug rehabilitation program due to the importance of the parent's role in the teen's recovery. It is essential that the parents visit their child on a regular basis. Many facilities will not even accept teens unless the parents are willing to participate in their recovery. As recovery progresses, the teen will be allowed more time at home so a nearby program will facilitate back and forth trips.

Cost is another factor to consider when selecting a teen drug rehabilitation program. It is important to know what expenses will be covered by insurance and Medicaid in order to accurately compare facilities. Some programs may also cover expenses that the insurance does not pay for. However, for many families, teen drug rehab treatment is frequently limited to what insurance covers.

A teen drug rehabilitation facility should be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). There are several different levels of JCAHO certification and parents should ask about the specific one that the rehabilitation facility holds. Parents should also ask if the facility is licensed by the state.

Parents should carefully review the facility's treatment philosophy as part of the selection process. In addition to treating teens separately from adults, drug rehab facilities should use programs that are suitable for each teen. For example, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 12-step programs have a spiritual component and some teens may not be receptive to this approach. These programs also regard drug addiction as a chronic disease.

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