Parents looking for drug rehabilitation for an adolescent will quickly discover there are rehabilitation programs in New Jersey available for adults and for teens. Still, when a teen needs help with a drug addiction, experts report that they should receive services from a program specifically addressing the unique challenges faced by teens. Modifying adult programs or putting teens in a group with adults is not as effective in many situations.
Parents often contact rehabilitation centers due to a crisis. In this initial contact the staff will probably ask screening questions. The questions are designed to help understand the teen’s problem and its severity. Sometimes, a more thorough assessment will be needed.
Effective treatment is based on this assessment. Rehab centers that are unable to provide appropriate care to meet a certain teen’s needs should refer the parent to another program that is better suited to the particular problems.
Programs should be designed to meet the developmental needs of teenagers. They should also be designed to actively engage the teen’s family. In addition, it is important that the program offer help in other areas of the life, including peer groups, recreation, school and healthcare. If the adolescent is in treatment due to juvenile court or as a part of probation, the program must also meet the regulations of the court and report in the required means.
Since many teens in drug treatment programs are already behind in school, the program should also provide opportunities for students to earn credits that will transfer back to the school. If they will not be returning to school but have not graduated, the program should work at making preparation for the GED,
Treatment should be tailored to the individual needs of the adolescent. Some will need a longer stay in a rehabilitation facility than others. For some, an outpatient program may provide the needed help. Others will need the change in environment and safety provided through an inpatient facility.
A teen’s relationship with a therapist can greatly influence the extent of the program’s effectiveness in providing treatment. Staff should be qualified in working with youth. They should be trained in treatment for substance abuse as well as being able to recognize other types of mental illness. Quality staff can work with both the adolescent and the family.
It is often beneficial for programs to offer separate therapy for male and female clients. Just as there are significant differences in adults and teens, there are also differences in the needs of males and females.
Females are sometimes more likely to have a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mental illness. They may have been the victims of physical or sexual abuse.
Males must often deal with conduct disorders. They may have also been victims of sexual abuse. By dividing the groups into males and females, group sessions can focus on issues that adolescents find difficult to cover in mixed groups. Teens in same sex groups are more likely to focus on their problems than members of the opposite sex. Counselors can provide positive role models for clients of the same sex.
Parents may be concerned about paying for services. Many treatment centers accept private insurance and a growing number accept Medicaid payments. If the court orders treatment for the adolescent, it may also cover part of the cost of rehabilitation.
With treatment it is possible for the teen’s substance abuse to be treated effectively. While there is no cure for addiction, the symptoms can be managed. Parents should strive to find the program with the best outcome for the teen.