When looking for drug treatment for a loved one, it is important to find a program that is specialized in their age group. Learn how to find the best drug rehab for young adults below.
Young adulthood can be an exciting time in one’s life, but it also comes with great challenges. Young adults today are often faced with societal pressures to go to college, get married, establish a career, and explore possibilities for their future. Many are just learning how to live on their own and support themselves independently. At the same time, young adults are going through a rapid period of development, and experiencing many biological, neurological, psychological, and social changes.
It is no wonder why so many young adults are vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction. According to the latest national data, close to 40 percent of young adults in the United States have used an illicit drug in the last year. This means that approximately 2 out of 5 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have used marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, and other illicit substances. In some cases, this abuse will escalate into a drug addiction, or substance use disorder.
Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of young adults battling a substance use disorder seek help.
If your loved one is battling a drug or alcohol problem, you may need to be the person that helps them back on course. Young people often do not know when it is time to get help for an addiction. Many do not recognize when a problem exists. By finding a rehab program that is designed for young adults, you can position your loved one for the greatest success.
The question is, how do you find the best young adult rehab program? What should you look for when researching the many options? As a recognized substance abuse treatment center for young adults, Turnbridge has compiled a checklist for parents who are seeking a top-notch treatment program for their son or daughter. The below criteria is based on our experience with young adult drug treatment, as well as the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) principles of effective treatment for youth.
Top Criteria of a Young Adult Drug Rehab Center
- The rehab offers long-term, residential, and continuing care programs.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse underlines the importance of long-term and residential rehab for young adults battling substance addiction. Residential drug treatment allows young adults to live at the facility where they are receiving help, and gives them access to 24/7 care and support. This also allows them to live in a safe, stable place—minimizing their chance of relapse. Long-term drug treatment, meanwhile, ensures that young adults are positioned for the longest and best possible outcome. The NIDA recommends a treatment program of at least three months or longer. Longer stays in treatment are associated with longer periods of abstinence. Because relapse is a possibility in the recovery process, the NIDA also recommends a continuing care program following the initial treatment. Ask each young adult rehab center about their options for long-term treatment stays and continuing care programs.
- The programs are age-specific and gender-specific.
Young adults may be hesitant to enter a drug rehab program at first. This is yet another transition they will have to face, and many dread it going in. An age-specific and gender-specific rehab center can help ease the transition, and ensure your loved one will be comfortable while there. Essentially, this means that your son or daughter will be surrounded by other peers of the same age group and gender. This can allow them to share experiences, relate to others, and build connections with their peers in treatment, which is an important part of recovery.
Gender-specific and age-specific treatment is also beneficial in that the clinical staff will be familiar and specialized in a given demographic. Young adult rehab programs are equipped with clinicians who are specially trained in the experiences and treatment of people between the ages of 17 and 25. They are trained in therapies that work best for young people, and know how to get through to and engage young adults in addiction recovery.
- The rehab will tailor their program to the unique needs of your son or daughter, and can be adjusted along the way.
Young adult drug rehab is not one-size-fits-all. The best drug rehab program will offer a personalized treatment plan for your son or daughter. This treatment plan should be tailored to all his or her unique needs, even those beyond the drug abuse. This includes your loved one’s:
- Age and gender
- Family relationships
- Stage of psychological development
- Special physical or behavioral issues
- Mental health disorders
- Other medical conditions
- Academic level and needs
- Cultural and ethnic factors
- Legal considerations
Not only should the treatment program address these needs, it should also be flexible and adaptable. As your child grows and progresses through treatment, his or her needs may change. Therefore, his or her treatment plan may need to adjust. The right rehab program will work with you, your child, and his or her team of clinicians to ensure treatment is always evolving to meet his or her needs.
- The program values family involvement and therapy.
Research shows that family involvement is important for a young person’s recovery. By staying in touch and a part of your loved one’s treatment, you can help to improve their treatment outcomes. Family involvement often translates to higher engagement and participation in their rehab program, and higher rates of success and abstinence. When researching young adult rehab centers, ask about their perspectives on family therapy and involvement, and how they incorporate family members in the treatment process. As suggested by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it’s important to find an evidence-based program that helps “strengthen family relationships by improving communication and improving family members’ ability to support abstinence from drugs.”
- Behavioral therapies are offered and encouraged.
In addition to family therapy, it is critical to find a young adult drug rehab center that offers evidence-based, behavioral therapies. Behavioral therapies are highly effective in addressing adolescent and young adult drug abuse. Delivered by trained clinicians, methods like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can strengthen a young person’s motivation to change, and give him/her the skills to do so. CBT specifically helps young persons learn how to cope with difficult cravings and relapse triggers, and replaces previously-known drug habits with rewarding, healthy activities. Behavioral therapies can also improve problem-solving skills and facilitate better relationships with family and peers.
- Dual diagnosis and trauma-informed therapy is available.
Last, but certainly not least, is the importance of dual diagnosis treatment for young adults. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 75 percent of mental health disorders develop by the age of 24. This means that many young adults are already facing issues with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and other debilitating mental health conditions. Sometimes, they do not understand their symptoms and do not seek help. Many young adults will try to manage mental health issues on their own, and may even turn to the bottle or to drugs to cope. This can spiral into a substance addiction.
As a result, many young adults today struggle with both mental health and substance use disorders. When these two types of disorders intertwine, it is called dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders are very complex issues that affect the brain, and can severely exacerbate symptoms. For example, drug abuse can worsen symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Not all drug rehab centers are equipped to treat co-occurring disorders. If it possible your loved one is suffering from a psychiatric disorder, an eating disorder, or any other mental health related struggles, we highly recommend finding a program that specializes in young adult dual diagnosis treatment. Mental health and substance use disorders should always be treated at the same time and place. The right young adult rehab program will be prepared to address issues like:
- Anxiety disorders
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Behavioral/conduct problems
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Personality disorders
- Eating disorders
- Suicidal thoughts
- Trauma (physical, sexual, emotional, or other)
Finding the Best Young Adult Drug Rehab for Your Loved One Starts Here
The best young adult drug rehab is one that offers individualized treatment that takes into consideration all of your loved one’s needs and circumstances. In addition, a great treatment program will provide all of the support and services needed to fulfill those needs, whether that be in a residential setting with 24/7 care, or a family therapy session where both parents and the client are present. As you set out to find the best drug rehab for young adults, it is important to first ask yourself, “What will be best for my son or daughter? What does he or she need to succeed in a treatment program?”
From there, you can begin your search.
If you would like to learn more about Turnbridge’s dual diagnosis and drug rehab programs for young adults, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Call 877-581-1793 to speak with an admissions counselor about our programs and your potential options. You may also explore our programs more online: