How/When to Choose a Teen Drug Rehab
Resources for Concerned Parents/Caregivers
- Teen Drug Addiction Rehab Teen Drug Rehabilitation Drug Addiction Teen Treatment Centers
Find drug rehab and drug rehabilitation treatment centers listed here in an easy to use searchable directory. All of the nations best drug treatment centers and rehabs are listed.
- Teen Drug Abuse - Troubled teens are resorting to drugs.
Teen Drug Abuse-Providing help for parents who have a troubled teen in who has been struggling with teen drug abuse and or alcohol abuse.
Drug Problems Do NOT Go Away On their Own
First of all, I hope you never, ever have to. Second of all, know that you are not alone. If my experiences -- yes, plural -- can be of any help to you, I offer them here.
The reality is that with today's super strong weed (pot, marijuana), widespread use of meth (crank) and easy availability of potentially lethal pharmaceutials like Oxycontin and X, teens make the transition from experimentation to addiction much quicker.
In another Hub I share insights into how to know when your child is using and abusing drugs (Parents-the-Anti-Drug at www.theantidrug.com is also a very helpful resource on a variety of drug-related topics). If you do get to the point where you can no longer stand the way you are living, it's time to take action and reclaim your sanity and your household.
Bear in mind, as hard as it is to do (and as much as you are likely going to be "hated" by your teen for it) you MUST take action of some sort. Because legally, our little underaged darlings are still our responsibility. And, despite how mean and nasty they can be, we still love them. And let's face, it, when we get to the point where we know they're hooked on drugs or alcoholic, WE'RE SCARED TO DEATH!
So what options do you have to turn your baby's life back around? I will outline the ones we researched and found in our area. You may be more or less fortunate than I (living in California) to find better or more limited choices.
1. Chemical Dependency Outpatient Programs. These are typically after-school programs that require daily attendance for a set number of weeks. Some programs (the more intense ones) are day programs in lieu of school and go from morning till afternoon. Plus points: Good introduction to the concept of recovery. Can be done "discreetly" without the neighbors (like they don't already know what's going on!) or school/friends knowing. Also much less expensive than other alternatives. Minus points: LIke therapy -- if your teen is not interested in getting something out of it (and chances are your kid will not be) -- he/she will find ways to cheat the system, go through the motions and finish the program with no real progress. Outpatient is often a "first step" followed by more intensive treatments.
2. Inpatient Recovery Programs. Despite what I see as a HUGE need, there are very, very few inpatient programs for teens. The great granddaddy of recovery, Hazelden in Minnesota, has one. Betty Ford Clinic does not.
Our first time through we were lucky (or so we thought) to find one within 10 miles of our home. Desperate and unschooled in the fine points of rehab research, we based our decision on a 1/2 hour interview and the before-and-after video they showed us. I cried and said, "I just want my son back." My son actually did well there, until we discovered the director had himself relapsed. What I learned from this was to check the accreditation of the facility and the licensing of the personnel. Plus points of this facility (irrelevant, as it is now closed and the director facing legal action) were its proximity to my home and relatively low cost (less than $5K for a month's stay).
3. Therapeutic Boarding Schools. These are the kinds of schools you see advertised in the back of Sunset magazine. There are coed ones as well as male-only and female-only. A high percentage of them seem to be in Utah. By the time we carted my son off to his second round of treatment, we were out of patience. We were PISSED. His behavior had escalated to the point where we were on constant edge with him in the house. He was defying every rule, thumbing his nose at us day and night. And going downhill fast.
Based on the advice of people who told me he needed to be "broken down then built back up" I enrolled him in all-boys Liahona Academy in Virgin, Utah. Plus points: During the 11 months he was there (it's a lockdown facility) we know he was safe and sober. He also did some schoolwork and, because there is no TV, took up reading for pleasure for the first time. The on-site psychiatrist made a nice therapeutic complement to the "law and order/military" approach of the rest of the staff. Also, relative to other programs, the cost is reasonable (around $5K per month -- plus travel expenses when your teen "earns" visits from you, and later, a home visit). Minus points: Emphasis is on a wide range of behavioral issues, not just drug/alcohol abuse. The actual recovery program is minimal. The effects of the program seemed to wear off as soon as my son returned to his "real world" environment.
4. Wilderness Camps. Not long ago the TV show "Brat Camp" gave the world a glimpse into how these programs work. Teens are escorted out into the wilds, where they are summarily stripped of their old notions while being taught self-reliance. While I do not have any direct experience with these, I will tell you that 've heard mixed reviews. Like any approach, a lot has to do with the willingness of the teen to change.
5. Therapy-Based Youth Treatment Centers. My son's third visit to rehab this spring was about 180 degrees and several hundred miles away from Utah. I had looked into but dismissed ECHO Malibu (and programs like it) previously because I felt it would be too "cushy" and too much of a "reward." I kid you not. This is how crazy-making a child's drug addiction can be!
This time, however, he came to me asking for help. In my heart I was grateful that Liahona had kept him alive for those 11 months. But also in my heart, I knew sending him back there would be unproductive. A different approach was needed this time.
ECHO Malibu (in Malibu, California) works on the underlying psychological issues associated with teen dysfunction (including drug addiction but also suicide attempts, cutting, etc.). They also have a very strong family/parenting effectiveness program. Plus points: The facility only takes 6 teens at a time (coed). The ratio of credentialed psychologists/psychiastrists to teen is good, and the staffers are hip, caring and effective. The program digs deep, but also builds the teens up. My son came home transformed -- he looked, talked and acted like a different kid. Minus points: Because beds are limited, you may have to wait. Also, the level of intensity and shrink-power of this type of program doesn't come cheap. Price tag for a 30-day stay: $30K. And most teens stay substantially longer. The good news is there is a "step-down" program where teens can graduate to living in a nearby sober house with staff supervision.
Which of these program types will be best for your family? There is no right or wrong. I can tell you that paying more does not necessarily equate to a better outcome. Recovery is an extremely uncertain "science."
I know for certain had I sent my son to ECHO Malibu a year earlier, it would have been a complete waste of money. Only by experiencing Liahona and coming home "determined to relapse" (and doing so) was he able to acknowledge his inability to use recreationally, become willing to work on himself, and appreciate the ECHO program.
I will say this: If you are facing the demon of a drug-addicted or alcohol-addicted teen, take it seriously and take action.
There is no substitute for doing your own research. You are entrusting your child's welfare, and making an investment -- a large investment -- in keeping your child alive and (hopefully) restoring him/her to health. You owe it to yourself to read/listen beneath the marketing claims. If you don't feel comfortable with any aspect of the facility, program, or staff, look elsewhere. But the worst thing you can do is nothing. Because although rehab is expensive, the alternative can be deadly.
A Handy Resource for Desperate Parents
- Teens Drug Rehabs, Rehabs for Teens Addiction Treatment, Drug Rehabs for Teens
Best place to find drug rehabs for teens addiction. Find rehabs, addiction treatments, drug rehabs for teens.