Every day, New York parents face the unwanted crisis of confronting an adolescent child about the use of drugs or alcohol. Many parents are unprepared for the confrontation and are at a loss for selecting a treatment program that can meet the needs of their child. Choosing the right rehab program is important as the program selected can make the difference in the child’s success or failure in overcoming his or her substance abuse.
It is important that the rehabilitation program views the use of drugs or alcohol as the primary issue and not simply a symptom of the teen’s emotional problems. Rehab should give direct attention to the chemical abuse as the source of the problem. While teens have many other emotional issues, these are more effectively dealt with once the issue of substance abuse has been addressed.
The most effective programs maintain absolute abstinence contracts with teens. Even minimal use should be considered abuse for the adolescent battling addiction. While substance abuse may not be curable, it is a treatable disease. Many teens have been through rehab and are now living productive lives that are drug free.
The environment should be drug free. In order for a individual to deal rationally with the behavioral and emotional issues that lead to his substance abuse, he or she must be free of mood altering chemicals. The only time a mood altering chemical is appropriate during the adolescent’s treatment is during detox. Parents should be notified before medication is prescribed and if their teenager refuses medication.
Effective New York rehab programs include staff members who are both recovering and non-recovering. While there are some benefits to the staff members who have successfully undergone treatment and consider themselves as in recovery, there are also benefits from staff members who have never suffered an addiction problem. The balance is more like what the teenager will experience once released into the real world.
The best treatment programs also include a family component. The teen’s addiction problem affects the entire family. The best programs offer help for parents, siblings and other significant family members. This type of program allows parents to learn to set and enforce boundaries for their teenager.
As with adults, adolescent programs often include a 12 step program. While the teenage patient will likely focus on step 1 while in the residential program, he should begin working on the remaining steps when the aftercare program begins. Once the program is completed, parents should encourage them to continue working with the 12 step group.
While the student is in the treatment program, he or she should undergo an intensive therapy process. If he or she has an extended history of abusing drugs or alcohol, a residential program will work best. If drug use is discovered to be more at the experimental level, an outpatient program may give the desired results, provided they are committed to follow the program.
Substance abuse affects every area of the individual’s life. Thus, it is essential to choose a program that provides progressive integration back into life. Good programs provide assistance as the adolescent restructures interactions in areas of family, friendships, school and recreational activities. This allows the teen to structure his world in such a way to avoid temptation to fall back into older life patterns.
When dealing with a teenage substance abuse problem, parents may opt for a local program if one is available. The local program allows parents to take part in supporting the teen in the process. If they are in programs that are not located near the home, parents should make every attempt to attend weekend meetings and provide telephone support to the adolescent.
The program and the parents should exchange information on a regular basis. While some programs are reluctant to provide updates on the progress of the residents due to confidentiality laws, the parent remains the legal guardian of the child and is entitled to medical updates. In a good program, parents are kept in the loop.
Parents should check the ratio of staff to patients. In residential adolescent programs each staff member should be responsible for no more than six patients. If counselors have heavy caseloads, the interaction between the patient and counselor will suffer.
Program cost often varies according to the services that are provided during treatment. Parents should expect to pay more for a residential program than for an outpatient program. When dealing with a teenager, cost should not be the primary consideration.
Parents will find there are many New York teen rehab programs available. It may be beneficial to select the facility that offers the most effective program for your child but allows you to be a part of the support process.