What Kind of Monitoring Goes On in Teen Substance Abuse Treatment Centers?

What Kind of Monitoring Goes On in Teen Substance Abuse Treatment Centers?

There is overwhelming evidence that inpatient substance abuse treatment for teen drug abuse is effective. Since teenagers rarely admit to their addictions or seek help on their own, they often enter rehab unwillingly. Even when mandated by juvenile courts or parents, long-term inpatient care has a high success rate. Separating the user from family, peers and stressful influences is especially important if he has multiple addictions or if the addiction is coupled with a mental disorder.

Each individual addict is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all model for recovery. Therefore, the most effective treatments incorporate a variety of therapies, methods and services. A comprehensive approach addresses all the factors—physical, psychological, mental and emotional—that led to abuse. Duration of stay in substance abuse treatment rehab varies anywhere from one month to a year, but at any length, the young person is thoroughly monitored in every aspect of care. His/her team meets frequently to discuss progress and change or to adapt methods as necessary.

The best substance abuse treatment facilities have a thorough intake process that identifies the severity and length of the addiction. The patient is extensively interviewed by a licensed professional; at this time, accompanying mental and emotional problems are identified. Sadly, most adolescent addicts have other problems; depression and anxiety are common. Many users are also victims of sexual abuse or violence too. The rehab staff, which includes medical, psychiatric and behavioral specialists, accordingly devises a substance abuse treatment plan customized for each patient’s specific problems.

A heavily addicted person often requires detox upon entrance. Since withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous or even life-threatening, the patient is closely monitored by medical personnel. Medication may be prescribed until he is stable or weaned off the toxic substances in his body. Once this is accomplished, he begins meeting individually with therapists and attending group sessions.

Most substance abuse treatment programs start with a method called motivational interviewing. The addict has opportunity to meet one-on-one with a counselor who, without being confrontational or judgmental, guides the patient to an understanding of his problem. These talks help the teen see the need for change and envision a better life.

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) helps the patient identify deep-seated problems that he’s powerless to change. The therapist helps the client recognize feelings, events or situations that trigger abusive behavior and develop strategies for coping. This kind of counseling is action-oriented. The teen and his doctor set goals for reacting appropriately to stressors and behaving more rationally. When these are achieved, new goals are set and the patient continues moving on. In effect, CBT attempts to erase the addict’s “bad programming” and teach him better ways of thinking and reacting.

Family counseling plays an important role in recovery. Parents and siblings may have contributed in some way to the patient’s addiction. In other families, loved ones are devastated by the user’s illness and greatly in need of counseling themselves. A professional monitor presides over the sessions and encourages honest, open dialogue.

Substance abuse treatment centers typically establish a system for rewarding progress. Many issue vouchers that can be used for snacks, sodas, games or personal care products. Others, in cases of significant improvement over a long period of time, may reward the patient with outings to movies, restaurants or sporting events. These are beneficial in determining how well the teenager will adjust on his own in ordinary life.

Good substance abuse treatment rehab facilities offer, for a time, much-needed separation from influences that trigger abuse. The constant care they provide is crucial to a patient’s healing, sobriety and ability to thrive in his own world. The favorable results don’t lie—inpatient substance abuse treatment works.

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