Parenting addicted teens is the ultimate challenge for a mother or father. If you are facing this situation, you may feel helpless, alone or desperate to get your child well again. The best thing you can do for your addicted teen is to get him into treatment. Rehab facilities that are dedicated to helping patients are numerous, and by knowing what to look for, you can find the right treatment program for your vulnerable teen.
Look for a Teen Drug Rehab
Most rehab facilities treat people of all ages, but you might want to consider a program that caters to only teens and young adults. Teens have special needs as compared to adults. You may also consider an all-teen program to be a safer alternative for your child. Being surrounded by adult addicts in treatment is not necessarily unsafe, but he and you will probably feel more comfortable if he is around other teens.
The Best Treatment Is Evidence-Based
Another important factor you want to consider when choosing a rehab facility for your teen is how treatment is planned and utilized. The most effective treatment for addiction is based on evidence and scientific research. Statistics on teen drug use give researchers and treatment professionals plenty of information about what teens need to get well and to live drug-free lives. You don’t want to send your teen to a facility that ignores this important evidence on addiction treatment.
Target Mental Illness
Facts about teens doing drugs tell us that many are abusing substances while also struggling with symptoms of mental illness. It’s not always easy to identify and diagnose mental illness in teens. The symptoms can sometimes be confused with the normal mood swings associated with being a teen. Those whose illnesses are overlooked often turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate or feel better. This just makes the symptoms worse and creates another problem. The best rehab for teens will recognize the issue of mental illness and will include screening for any disorders. Following screening and diagnosis, the treatment plan should include a program for both the addiction and any mental illness. Without treatment for both issues, a teen will not have the best chance of being successful in recovery. Untreated mental illness often leads recovering addicts to relapse. Having a teen struggling with addiction is heartbreaking for any parent. You might feel like you failed your child somewhere along the way. You probably feel helpless, but you’re not. Start by researching rehab facilities and contacting experts who can help you make the right choices for your teen. If you don’t know where to begin, talk to your teen’s pediatrician. He or she can point you in the right direction and help you get started. The most important thing is that you do something for your teen. You are his best hope for overcoming addiction.