Outpatient drug treatment programs are a good place to start if you suspect your teen is using drugs or alcohol beyond the experimental use that can happen with teenagers. These programs specialize in evaluating teen drug use and providing treatment. They provide services while the teen lives at home and are the least restrictive settings for teens with drug problems.
What You Need to Know About Outpatient Drug Treatment Programs for Teens
Not all teens who use drugs will develop an addiction but drug use has serious negative effects on a teen whose body and brain are still developing. Therefore, it is very important to follow through with the drug treatment program that is spelled out in your teen's evaluation. Making a serious commitment to your teen's treatment will help your teen make the same commitment to their health.
Outpatient drug treatment programs have staff specifically trained to look for and deal with teen drug use. The goal of outpatient drug treatment programs is to provide support and therapy to help teens stop using drugs by providing services to include:
- Evaluating the extent and severity of teen drug use through structured written assessments and laboratory drug testing.
- Introducing the process of recovery to include the 12-step program, positive peer support and drug education.
- Monitoring drug use through random drug testing.
- Providing a structured, supportive, positive drug-free environment.
- Teaching teens how drug use impacts their body and mind.
- Helping teens recognize the consequences of their drug use through individual therapy and group therapy sessions.
- Identifying teens who have underlying mental health issues and may be using drugs in an attempt to feel better.
- Assisting parents in setting reasonable limits and improving communication in family therapy sessions.
- Educating and supporting parents to recognize the signs of drug use and deal with possible relapse.
The goal of outpatient drug treatment programs for teens is not only to get the teen to stop using drugs but also to make lifestyle changes, identify reasons for drug use and determine if other issues are contributing to their drug use. It’s important to get treatment started as soon as you become aware of the problem and to support your teen in completing the program.
The primary advantages to outpatient drug treatment include the lesser expense compared to residential programs and the opportunity for active family involvement in your teens’ recovery.