What are Drug Rehab Options for Teens?

Teenagers are at a vulnerable age where daily pressure from school, friends, and family sometimes feels overwhelming. To cope with stress, some teens experiment with drugs and alcohol. It is not unusual for teens to suffer from addiction or substance abuse. Teens suffering from substance abuse need emotional and physical support to conquer the addiction. For teens, treatment and recovery options must meet their specific needs. Unlike adults, teens may require additional assistance with education and family life.

Teen group support

Benefits of Drug Rehab for Teens

A drug rehab and treatment program for teens deliver adolescent-specific benefits. Some of the most important benefits include:

  • Peer Support – Support from peers aid in the recovery process. Connecting with other teenagers who also struggle with substance abuse helps teens not feel alone in the recovery process.
  • Structure and Stability – During recovery, teens must commit to strict schedules and develop healthy daily routines without regular drug use.
  • Family Therapy – Helps teens understand expectations of family life and improves communication with family inside the home. Helps teen transition successfully back into the family environment.
  • Environmental Change – Drug rehab facilities offer a different and fresh environment. When the teenager is removed from common daily triggers and life pressures, it provides a fresh perspective. Time away from home allows the teen to concentrate solely on treatment and recovery.
  • Open Learning – Hearing and reading about addiction and substance abuse help teenagers identify the negative consequences of drug use. Learning from the life experiences of others and educational tools on addiction help teens understand life without the use of drugs.

What is the Experience Like in a Drug Rehab for Teens

Similar to drug rehab for adults, rehab for teens helps create a strong foundation for healthy habits and daily routines. In most cases, the recovery process adheres to a tiered level structure with more privileges and freedom granted based on consistent success. A rehab treatment program for teenagers include:

  • Recreational and physical activities
  • Holistic therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Evidence-based treatment modules
  • Supervised time with peers
  • Strict daily routine and recovery structure
  • Individual therapy sessions

Steps to Get Teen into Rehab

Every teenager’s needs are different and will require a specialized treatment program for recovery. The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests suspecting parents should enlist the assistance of the teenager’s guidance counselor or primary doctor to help identify a substance abuse problem. After confirming a substance abuse problem, parents should consult with drug treatment professionals to determine the seriousness of the problem.

Teen Rehab Support

Parents can discuss a suitable treatment approach with treatment professionals at Garden State Treatment Center. Speak directly to an admissions representative at Garden State Treatment Center today to inquire about potential rehab options for your teenager.

Select the Right Rehab Treatment Program

Choosing the right rehab treatment program for your teenager is both stressful and challenging. Options for specialized rehab treatments for teens include:

  • Residential Rehab – These facilities are designated for teens with severe addiction issues. Residential rehabs require the teen to reside in the facility and receive 24/7 supervision and care. This treatment option offers the most successful recovery option as external triggers and stressors are eliminated from daily life.
  • Outpatient Rehab – This treatment option does not require the teenager to stay overnight. Outpatient rehab allows the teenager to commute from home but requires regularly scheduled therapy. Each therapy session can range from one hour to several hours multiple times per week.
  • Dual Diagnosis Rehab – This is a treatment option designed for teenagers suffering from substance use issues and co-occurring mental health issues like depression or bipolar disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment may require outpatient counseling, extended family therapy, or attending a high school specializing in recovery.

How to Pay for Drug Rehab

Depending on the plan and provider, medical insurance will help cover most or all of the costs of treatment and recovery for your teen. Some treatment centers offer financing options or scholarships, however, this is generally on a case-by-case basis. Private rehab facilities are expensive, but publicly-funded or state-funded rehab facilities are available in most states. Though publicly-funded facilities are less expensive, the waiting list is generally long, and difficult to get placement.

parents talking to teens

Speaking with Teens about Addiction

Many parents feel disappointment, anger, and frustration when recognizing a child is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse. Although these feelings are natural, it is not beneficial in the healing process of the teenager to be overly critical or judgemental. The goal is to help the teen recognize the connection between addiction and external negative consequences. Intervening in substance abuse requires professional assistance and offering drug rehab is the most viable option.

Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse Statistics

In 2018, The National Institute on Drug Abuse detailed that 47% of high school seniors used illicit drugs and 58.5% consumed alcohol.

In 2018, The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported only about 20% of high school seniors associated risk with smoking marijuana consistently.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, children who begin smoking marijuana before the age of 18 are between four and seven times more likely than adults to suffer from marijuana use disorder.

In 2020, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported:

  • 169,000 teenagers between 12 and 17 years of age received treatment for substance abuse
  • 3% of all teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 years of age had a substance abuse issue

In 2016, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported:

  • More than 5,700 teenagers between 12 and 17 used at least one illicit drug
  • 80,000 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 abused prescription painkillers

Signs Drug Rehab for Teens is the Right Option

Teenagers who experiment with drugs and alcohol casually are at risk to suffer from substance use disorder. The longer the teen battles the addiction without help, the more significant the consequences. The best plan for a parent suspecting a child of addiction or substance abuse is to learn the signs to combat the disorder. The goal is to intervene before the issue worsens.

While each teenager is unique, the teen may require treatment or drug rehab if:

  • They begin spending more time with bad influences
  • Drug paraphernalia or alcohol is found in the room, backpack, or vehicle
  • Grades decline or skipping class begins
  • A drastic shift in mood or energy level
  • Personal appearance declines
  • Smell of drugs or alcohol
  • A drastic shift in hobbies or behavior
  • A drastic change in eating habits
  • Lack of interest in extracurricular activities

If the teenager exhibits one or more of these signs, then drug rehab may be necessary. Substance abuse during these formative years harms the brain, and drug use this early on increases the risk of drug and alcohol abuse in adulthood.

Protect Teens

Tips to Protect Teens From Drug Abuse

According to the New York State Department of Health, only about 31% of teenagers learn the negative effects of drug and alcohol abuse from their parents. Parents should ensure teenagers are knowledgeable about drug and alcohol abuse. Here are three effective ways parents can help teenagers with drug and alcohol abuse.

1. Talk About Drugs and Alcohol

Setting the right example with responsible behavior is important. It is also important to discuss the topic of substance use early. Communicate the negative effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and body. Discuss the legal consequences of drug and alcohol use. Offer life experience or provide a circumstance where you refused drugs or alcohol. The Partnership at Drugfree.org reported children are 50% less likely to develop substance use disorder when they learn about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol from parents.

2. Recognize Potential In-Home Substances for Abuse

The NYS Department of Health reported that more than 4.5 million children have admitted to abusing prescription medications. Many children and teenagers are using the in-home medicine cabinet for drug use. Parents need to stay aware of the contents and quantity of medications in the cabinet to prevent prescription drug abuse.

3. Be Clear

Parents should strive to be good role models with positive and responsible behavior. For prescription drug use, it is important to convey to children the reason for the medication. Develop open lines of communication with children about any prescription drug use or recreational alcohol consumption. Make an effort to stay involved in the child’s understanding of substance abuse.

Recognizing the signs of substance abuse can help parents stay proactive in helping teenagers suffering from addiction get treatment. Parents need to intervene once a problem is identified and reach out to drug and alcohol professionals to develop a specialized treatment strategy for the teenager. Although choosing the right drug rehab for teens seems challenging, rehab offers the most successful method of recovery for teens struggling with severe drug-related issues.


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