Posted in Addiction Recovery on April 5, 2017
Last modified on May 8th, 2019

5 Differences Between Teen and Adult Rehab

Addiction doesn’t discriminate between teens and adults. Adolescents who experiment with drugs and alcohol can fall victim to the power of addiction just like their adult counterparts.

Treating addiction in teens and adults looks a little different. Rehab programs for teenagers have to take into account the unique traits of teens, including their dependency on parents or guardians and their developing brains. Here are 5 primary differences between teen and adult rehab.

  1. Family involvement is especially critical for teen rehab. Addiction recovery extends beyond the initial detox and rehab. For long-term success, additional resources are needed. Due to teenagers’ dependency on family for money and transportation, keeping the family involved in the rehab process increases the likelihood of follow-through.
  2. Outpatient rehab programs for teenagers are common. The idea of going to a residential facility can seem very frightening to teenagers, who may view it more as a punishing confinement. Therefore, intensive outpatient rehab programs, which allow teens to stay at home and surrounded by family during rehab are quite common.
  3. Teens are more comfortable in residential treatment programs that separate teens and adults. Teens enjoy the company of other teens and tend to see adults as authority figures whom they can’t easily relate to. Rehab programs designed specifically for teenagers give them a safe space in which to open up and share their experiences.
  4. The teenage brain requires information to be presented in a different way. Teens don’t always make logical decisions, and there’s a reason for that: the teenage brain is still in development, and information is processed in a different way. Emotional reasoning works better than logical reasoning in rehab programs for teenagers.
  5. Teens need to know that caregivers actually care. They can be reluctant to open up to a stranger, so rehab specialists have to be seen as a mentor or friend in order for teens to dedicate themselves to the rehab process.

Addiction can take quite a toll on the teenage brain, but with rehab the brain can heal and continue to develop. Does your teen require addiction rehab services? Call us today for a confidential consultation.


Doc Talk: The Difference Between Adolescent and Adult Treatment in Addiction Recovery

Editorial Staff

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