How to Find an Adolescent Treatment Program - The Palm Beach Institute
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How to Find an Adolescent Treatment Program

guy arguing with his son - How to Find an Adolescent Treatment Program

Coming to the realization that your child or young adult has a drug problem can cause a wide array of emotions to be felt.  There may be anger towards your adolescent because of the stresses their use and abuse has caused the family.  There may also be feelings of fear regarding the health and well-being of your young adult.  Finding a treatment program for your adolescent can present a formidable challenge, especially if you don’t know where to start looking or know what to look for regarding quality adolescent treatment programs.  The following tips and information, while not an exhaustive list, will nevertheless provide pertinent information in regards to finding an adolescent treatment program.

Educating Yourself

The foundation to finding the best options for adolescent drug treatment is to educate yourself regarding drug abuse and what treatment options exist for adolescents.  Knowing the differences between inpatient services, outpatient services and residential treatment options will help set the stage for further investigation and research into drug treatment programs geared for adolescents.  It is also important to note that in your search, finding treatment programs that have approaches that are specifically geared towards the special needs of adolescents and not just modifications of existing adult treatment approaches.

There should also be solid, empirical evidence from outside and impartial research agencies which can show the effectiveness of these drug treatment programs regarding treatment success, program retention and completion and long-term outcomes.

Family Involvement

Great adolescent treatment programs allow for the engagement of the family in the process of recovery.  Having parents that are proactive and engaged in the recovery process increases the chances that the adolescent will stay in treatment, complete the treatment program and is able to sustain meaningful recovery.  Adolescent treatment programs should also be set up to allow families to participate in twelve step meetings, counseling, and other drug education programs.



Another key factor in finding a great adolescent treatment program is looking for those programs that are run by highly trained, qualified and licensed staff.  Staff must not only be well-versed in substance abuse and addiction but also have great working knowledge of adolescent development, family dynamics, and be able to recognize psychiatric problems.  These facilities should be of a size that is manageable for staff and staff should also be supervised by more senior staff.


Quality adolescent drug treatment facilities should also have effective continuing care services in place.  Most adolescents will relapse within the first three months after completion of treatment.  There should be follow-up plans in place as well as life skills training and periodic check-ins done by treatment staff.  Aftercare programs should also be set up to provide frequent referrals to other services within the community that can benefit the recovering young person.  Some of those referrals can be to twelve step meetings, and continuing drug education for example.



The overall cost of adolescent drug treatment can vary widely depending on program, its proximity to the patient and the type of care offered.  Generally, residential programs are the most expensive since the patients live in the facility and are supervised around the clock by qualified and trained counselors.  Outpatient services are the least expensive and the patient lives at home. Another consideration is whether the drug treatment facility in question accepts insurance and what kinds of insurance are accepted.

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