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Teen Addiction Treatment

Teen drug addiction can require more specialized treatment and attention than adult addiction.

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How Teen Addiction Treatment Works

Teens addicted to drugs or alcohol struggle with an adult issue, but their psychological and emotional needs differ from an adult’s. Rehabs that recognize these needs help your teen get the most effective treatment.

Teens are separated by gender and age during inpatient treatment. Many outpatient programs allow teens to stay in school during treatment.

Teen Treatment Options

There are numerous treatment programs tailored to help teens and their parents beat teenage drug addiction. These programs can address teen addiction rehab, ongoing recovery or building a healthier home environment for the whole family.

Behavioral Treatments

Many teens struggling with drug abuse also face underlying disorders such as depression or anxiety. Behavioral therapy can help teens address psychological issues that lead to drinking or drug use.

Behavioral therapy is hands-on for both teens and families. Teens learn skills to resist drug use and cope with triggers, or stressful situations and emotions that lead to cravings.

During behavioral therapy, parents learn communication skills to bring their families closer together. The ability to hold open, honest discussions between family members helps keep the home environment healthy.

Individual and group treatment are effective for helping teens overcome drug abuse.

Behavioral Treatment Programs in Outpatient Rehab

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MTE) One to three therapy sessions inspiring teens to take part in drug addiction treatment. MTE is paired with other therapy methods to motivate teens to plan for recovery.
Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) An intervention method that helps replace negative environmental factors with healthy ones. A-CRA focuses on improving teens’ support systems. Their communication, coping and problem-solving skills are also built.
Contingency Management A treatment system using instant, real rewards to encourage positive, healthy behavior. Teens can earn prizes for participating in addiction recovery and not abusing drugs. This method is often combined with other teen rehab methods.

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With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.

Family-Based Therapies

Many treatment exercises include the teen’s support group of family and friends. These “family-based therapies” target many potential problems, including:

  • Co-Occurring disorders
  • Peer pressure
  • Problems with work or school attendance
  • Family communication and conflict

Family-based therapies are often conducted in outpatient settings. The teen remains under parental supervision and receives emotional support while undergoing treatment.

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Family-Based Therapies in Outpatient Rehab

Family Behavioral Therapy Therapy sessions improving communications skills between teens and parents. The goal is to create a healthier, drug-free home environment. Parents and teens receive prizes like cash vouchers after meeting each treatment goal.
Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) Twelve to sixteen therapy sessions targeting drug abuse in the family. It can be practiced in outpatient treatment, during inpatient treatment or as post-rehab care.
Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) Blended family- and community-based treatment for troubled or violent teens. MDFT sessions connect families with a school or the juvenile justice system so all parties can work together to help addicted teens recover.

Recovery Support Services

Support groups and resources can help teens stay sober once treatment ends. These programs resemble adult support groups like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. Their community settings give teens a place to share their experiences.

Other programs focus on continued care and treatment for psychological withdrawal symptoms like depression. Recovery support services aren’t stand-ins for addiction treatment or rehab.

Alternative Options for Recovery Support

Assertive Continuing Care (ACC) A doctor-assisted recovery program hosted at addicted teens’ homes. ACC helps build problem-solving and communication skills to help recovering teens stay healthy.
Peer Recovery Support Services Community centers for recovering teens. Support services connect teens with peer leaders who have experience overcoming addiction.
Recovery High Schools High schools created to educate recovering teens. Students are surrounded by peers continuing drug addiction recovery in a controlled environment. Recovery high schools are often included as a supplement to formal teen addiction treatment like behavioral or family-based therapies.

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Inpatient and Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Many teen addiction treatment options are outpatient programs. This means addicted teens stay home with their families during treatment and recovery.

Family support is often crucial for a teen’s long-term recovery. Outpatient programs typically include parents and siblings in addiction treatment exercises. This helps the whole family heal and prevent the recovering teen from relapsing.

Supervised, medical detox might be necessary for severe addictions. Quitting some drugs, like prescription painkillers, without medical supervision can be lethal.

Inpatient treatment programs offer 24-hour care to families battling teen drug addiction. Doctors treat life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, and therapists teach teens how to quit using. Many treatment centers offer programs specifically for teens.

Determining whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is right for your family depends on many factors, including what drug is being used and the severity of the addiction. Whatever your teen’s needs, help is available to overcome addiction.

Contact a treatment provider today for more information about addiction treatment.


MeadowWood Behavioral Health

New Castle, DE


Huntington Creek Recovery Center

Shickshinny, PA


Newport Academy – Teen Rehab Center

Bethlehem, CT


Recovery Institute of Ohio

Sandusky, OH

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