Parenting a troubled teen is not an easy undertaking. It can be emotionally draining, particularly for those parents whose teenager is dealing with drug problems – You may be constantly worried about his or her whereabouts, or incessantly fearful of the physical harm your teen is doing to his or her health. You’re likely heartbroken that your teen has made this choice to use drugs, or hurt by distance that has been built in your family as a result. Right now, you may be feeling conflicted and more alone than ever.
First, it’s important to know that you are not alone – at all. Across the United States, there are about 10 million young people (ages 12 to 29) in need of drug rehab, and there are many professionals who can help you and your teen overcome these troubles. Turnbridge, for example, offers evidence-based help for troubled teens battling substance addiction and other co-occurring disorders.
Secondly, as a parent, you should know that your son or daughter’s drug problem is not a choice – and no one is to blame for it. Not you, not your teen. While the initial experimentation with drugs is voluntary (see reasons why teens might use drugs here), no one chooses to become addicted. Addiction is a chronic disease that can happen to anyone, of any age and upbringing.
That said, if you are looking for a troubled teen rehab program, consider adjusting your perception of your son or daughter first. Your teen may be struggling with drug use, legal issues, academic problems, even a mental health disorder, but know that those issues do not define who he or she is. Your teen is still your son or daughter, and still has great potential. This is an important recognition to make as your teen begins any treatment program. As a parent, you are your child’s biggest advocate. Your teen needs to know that you see the best in him/her, no matter the circumstance. When you can do this, so can your teen. A positive outlook, family support, and self-confidence are all key to a teenager’s success in recovery.
Now, how do you find the best recovery program for your teenager? How do you find help for troubled teens who typically do not want any help at all?
There are many core components of a successful teen rehab program. A long-term, residential facility is typically recommended for troubled teens who require close and watchful care, as they are given the time and space needed to focus on healing, without outside pressures. Even more, parents should look for a program that specializes in helping troubled teens specifically, rather than all different age groups. This indicates that the staff knows how to engage teens in their recovery, so that they stay active, interested, and committed to their treatment plans.
You see, due to their stage of brain development, most teenagers are inherently resistant, rebellious, and removed from the things that are best for them, such as family or healthy activities. They may be especially resistant to any help as a result. By choosing a troubled teen rehab program that engages young people – that interests them – more progress can be made.
Below are some of the many components of Turnbridge’s residential treatment programs for teenagers:
Substance Abuse Treatment
The clinical and support staff at Turnbridge are each trained in helping teens overcome not only their drug use, but also the factors contributing to it. We use a combination of evidence-based therapies to help adolescents move past their troubles, including the drugs, and to establish healthful goals for the future. Therapy sessions are often individualized, allowing our counselors to listen to each client, to get to the root of their drug use, and to develop a custom treatment plan that is unique to the teen. We also facilitate group therapy sessions, which allow teens to share their experiences and feelings with one another, to connect with peers of similar age and experiences, and to help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. This also helps teens develop healthy relationships in recovery.
Integrated Dual Diagnosis
Many adolescents who develop drug problems simultaneously battle a mental health disorder – depression, anxiety, ADHD, an eating disorder, and trauma are just some of the many co-occurring disorders teens might face. These disorders often lead teens into using drugs, as young people may use drugs for self-medication (particularly with depression). If there is the possibility your teen is battling a co-occurring disorder, it is important to seek out a treatment center that is equipped to treat it at the same time as the drug problem. This is called integrated, dual diagnosis treatment.
Recreational and Experiential Therapy
In addition to counseling and the traditional “talk therapy,” troubled teenagers also benefit experiences that are emotionally, mentally, and physically fulfilling – and therefore productive to their recovery process. Music sessions, meditation and mindfulness, art, and yoga are just some examples of the holistic experiences that are in reach to Turnbridge residents and that help facilitate the healing process. We also offer a range of recreational activities for teens throughout recovery – outdoor activities like skiing and hiking, group outings to local events and shows, sober team sports leagues, and more. These enriching experiences allow clients to engage with one another, to exercise and experience nature, and to find joy in hobbies and activities without drugs or alcohol.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Involvement of a family member… in an individual’s treatment program can strengthen and extend treatment benefits.” Studies support this, indicating that family involvement often brings better engagement, higher rates of success, and increased participation in an extended care or sober living program. Turnbridge finds this is especially the case for young people, who benefit from positive reinforcement and an increased sense of self due to strong family relationships. That is why we offer many options for family therapy, including workshops, family counseling sessions, and support groups. We also encourage our clients to maintain an open channel of communication with their families, including weekly phone calls with family members.
Choosing to enter a residential rehab program should never require your teen to put education on hold. Turnbridge sees education as an essential ingredient to a teenager’s recovery, and therefore offers several arms of academic support for our teens and young adults. These academic services (for young men and young women) are customized to meet each client’s academic needs and aspirations, and can include academic advising, tutoring, workshops, study halls, help with college applications and interview prep, and more. We may also coordinate with your teen’s current or previous schools as needed.
Life Skills Development
Another important component of our teen rehab programs are the life skills that we teach throughout each phase of treatment. While working towards sobriety, the teens at Turnbridge simultaneously learn how to cook healthy meals, follow an exercise routine, attend regular 12-step meetings, build healthy, sober relationships, and ultimately develop more responsibility in their lives. They are held accountable through volunteer and work opportunities, as well as their academics. Clients are required to have a sponsor and participate in the 12-step program (including ongoing meetings) throughout treatment and beyond. Our staff also helps them develop social skills, coping skills to manage difficult emotions and situations, as well as goals for the future.
Getting Help for Your Troubled Teen
Most often, teenagers do not recognize when they have a drug problem. Other times, teens are scared to seek help out of fear of what others might think. Teens are often afraid to be different or to be seen in a certain light. Teenagers may also just be resistant and skeptical in regard to rehab. Only 10 percent of teens (ages 12 to 17) get professional help.
Your teen needs your support. While your teen may need help for his or her troubles, it is important to not view your teen as morally wrong, or as a failure during this time. Instead, encourage your teenager to get the help that he or she needs, so that your teen can become the best possible person he/she can be. To learn more about Turnbridge’s young adult and teen dual diagnosis rehab center, or for more guidance on getting help for troubled teens, call 877-581-1793 today.