Currently, there are many adolescent treatment programs across the USA. They are focused on offering adolescent-specific treatment services, which differ in duration and format. Therefore, you can encounter services for all types of teenage substance addiction whether it’s Xanax, Heroin, Cocaine or other drugs.
Teen treatment services are made exclusively for adolescents and they typically follow five levels of treatment. Steven Yohay explains that depending on the intensity and continuum, they can be services for early intervention, outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment, residential and intensive treatment that’s medically managed.
Within these treatment services, the experts in this field use numerous modalities, which can be separated into two categories. They include therapy that’s family-based and individual or group therapy. At the foundation of this is changing the mindset of the one struggling with substance addiction and making sure they stay away from the things that trigger them.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the relapse rate for substance use disorders is between 40% and 60%, and it’s unfortunately considered a normal occurrence for the recovery of those that are in treatment. Each situation is monitored so that the teen who relapsed can get back on track and their treatment plan can be modified. Quality assessments and research are conducted for this purpose.
One effective program in Los Angeles is Key Transitions Teen drug rehab adolescent treatment program. They are well known for their teen outpatient rehab in Los Angeles, helping many young people in the area recover from their drug addictions, through therapy, structure and mentorship while helping them pave a path to get back on track in life.
What is Adolescent Substance Abuse Disorder
You become an adolescent after exiting the childhood period. Therefore, due to the constant gathering with friends from different backgrounds, it’s more common for addiction and substance abuse disorder to happen. Also, adolescent development, which includes both physical and mental changes, contributes to this. Young age and puberty sometimes are the main reasons that people justify the abuse disorder with.
It’s true that when you’re young you want to try new things all the time and uncover exciting experiences. So, the dangerous substances are something teenagers may want to try, especially as they are nearing the period of adulthood.
Adolescent substance abuse happens when young people aren’t able to control the use of alcohol, drugs, and other substances. This causes issues with their proper functioning and impacts their behavior.
Substance abuse may differ according to age. Understandably, it’s dangerous for any age. But it especially impacts the development of adolescents’ brains, which are more fragile and sensitive. What’s concerning is that substances like alcohol or drugs can leave long-term traces in your body, causing you problems not only in youth but later in life, as well.
Having said that, the different types of substances that lead to abuse are drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, opioid, and Xanax as well as alcohol. Usually, the drugs that are consumed are illegal.
Different types of substance abuse disorders and teen addiction treatments that are more common in Los Angeles. They include teen Xanax addiction treatment, teen marijuana addiction treatment, teen opioid addiction treatment, teen drug addiction treatment, and cocaine addiction treatment.
What Should be Substance Abuse Treatment Approach For Teens
Due to the different behavior of adolescents regarding substance abuse, the treatment programs should be adjusted to their level. That way, the treatment effectiveness will increase. Some characteristics that should be considered are teens’ brain development, their high binge use rates, lower recognition of problems, and higher rates of comorbid psychiatric issues.
Aside from these, teens tend to fall under their peers’ influence faster and more easily when compared to adults. Therefore, the treatment programs should incorporate this risk to prevent possible relapse.
Having this in mind, most adolescents substance abuse treatment programs incorporate an array of services and modalities. Firstly, there is a thorough assessment of their habits of using substances and the characteristics we mentioned. Afterwards, the teens are placed in one of the five treatment levels.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine patient placement, the five levels of treatment include:
- Early intervention services – These are usually services that don’t last very long. They contain educational interventions in order to prevent serious substance abuse. The whole process begins with communication and a conversation. Then, it progresses to professional help and more formal intervention.
- Outpatient treatment – This is a treatment level that requires teens to be present at treatment for a certain period. This depends on the plan of treatment and the progress they are making. But usually, it takes around 6 hours per week. Also, the patient lives at home and attends the treatment in a specialized facility.
- Intensive outpatient treatment – Another level for teens that live at home but come for treatment is the intensive outpatient one. Similar to the previous one, it’s more intensive and lasts for a longer time. More precisely, teens are required to dedicate around 20 hours per week to it over a period of a few months and even a year.
- Residential/inpatient treatment – Some substance use disorders need to be treated more regularly. Because of this, teens should stay in an institution outside of their homes. These stays can be between a month and a year-long and tend to give positive results.
- Medically managed intensive inpatient – In case the issues related to substance abuse as well as the emotional and biomedical state of the patient are more serious, medical assistance is necessary. Teens get medical care during the whole day and stay at the facility for as long as it’s needed to make progress.
Multiple Therapeutic Models
A plethora of theoretical models and modalities are at the disposal of practitioners and professionals when they are treating teens who suffer from substance abuse and addiction. Namely, the majority of inpatient as well as outpatient programs for youngsters use an approach where they integrate a variety of these models. Here we’ll shed a light on some of the most frequently used ones.
One of them is family-based therapy. Theory backs up this approach as a highly effective one because it’s believed that parents and family members tend to have the highest level of authority in a teenager’s life. This type of therapy involves both the young adult and another parent or a guardian.
Just like the family-based therapy, the individual and group types of therapy have the goal to reduce the youngster’s use of addictive substances including drugs and alcohol and end this unhealthy practice. Moreover, as the name suggests, individual therapy is when the teen is alone with the practitioner or therapist. On the other hand, group therapies involve a therapist and a group of patients who seek help for their situation. Usually, the latter one is more frequent lately. Within these types of therapy, there are multiple theoretical approaches that are thoroughly researched and used in practice. They are cognitive-behavioral therapy (or CBT for short), brief intervention/motivational interviewing (BI/MI), as well as the contingency management reinforcement approach.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, to begin with, focuses on the paradigm that people’s behavior is caused by their thoughts. Also, these thoughts impact how people perceive their surroundings. This approach tries to help youngsters to develop their self-coping mechanisms.
With the BI/MI, the youth have the tools to determine the pluses and the minuses of using the addictive substances. This can be used for setting personal goals and ultimately leading a healthy and balanced life. The practitioner gives feedback.
The contingency management reinforcement approach stimulates a healthy lifestyle among youngsters by showing them evidence of abstinence from drugs and alcohol. When real results are shown, the use of these substances decreases.
Twelve-step programs are centered around self-help. During these programs, people encourage themselves to be sober and have good health habits through 12 steps. With that being said, it has its roots in the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (or AA for short) Then, there is the therapeutic community (TC) method. The focus here again is self-help and know-how of the recovery and highlights the community as a driver of positive change. In the case of teens, this method encompasses a wide range of programs and therapies for long-term change. As such, this approach consists of twelve-step techniques, family therapies, counseling, and more. Pharmacotherapy approaches treatment from the aspect of taking medicine. These medications can help with addictions and include craving reduction, substitution therapy and more. However, it should be noted that research has been limited when it comes to application in young adults.
How to Measure Teen Treatment Outcome
Before we talk about measuring the outcome of teen treatment, we first have to define when treatment is considered successful and effective. In the world of psychological therapy, outcomes represent a difference in the client’s circumstances which is material. This may sound a bit vague. If we deduce from that, we can interpret that an effective outcome means that the goals that were set are met and the circumstances of the client are better after the treatment has ended. What’s interesting is that not all outcomes are directly linked to the goals determined during the treatment. Moreover, the client’s surroundings and actions outside the official treatment process may also positively impact the outcomes of the treatment.
So, how can we measure the effectiveness of the treatment outcomes? An outcome measure is usually an instrument that considers the degree to how much the situation of the teen has changed. These types of instruments are used to measure the effectiveness of individual therapy, group therapy, counseling, and more. The only thing that is different is the criteria as well as the elements of the measuring.
Choosing how to measure a treatment outcome is no easy feat. In turn, it’s quite complex and it’s done by experienced professionals who have the know-how and the practice to pull it off. Furthermore, let’s discuss some of the elements that make up for an effective treatment for adolescents.
Screening and comprehensive assessment are the first elements. What’s more, professionals who work in these treatment facilities should carry out a thorough analysis of the circumstances and the situation of the client. Then, they need to follow the situation and adjust the assessments when necessary. Connected to this, for a treatment to be effective, the facility should offer comprehensive services to address and cure the problem. This also includes family support. Family members and close friends are crucial in the effectiveness of the treatment efforts and in making the teen a better person.
With that being said, the services should be appropriate and developed for the client’s needs. Teens who face this problem may need specifically curated therapy. Plenty of cultural, age, gender, and other differences need to be considered, too. The strategies which are used to engage young adults and help them stay in treatment are another factor for the success of the overall treatment.
Further, the entire treatment should involve qualified staff who will know how to deal with every situation. Besides the actual treatment, the aftercare support that they will offer is another factor for boosting the treatment’s effectiveness. Also, the client will feel better when they have these services.
Eventually, after the program has finished, the treatment facility should gather all the data, analyze it and measure the overall outcomes. This will determine whether the program was successful for the client or not.
How Teens Recover from Substance Abuse Treatment Recovery
When teens recover from substance abuse like drug and alcohol abuse, they usually go through a series of six stages on the path to full recovery.
The first stage is called pre-contemplation. During this stage, the adolescent may realize they’re dependent on addictive substances and they may choose not to seek help.
During the second stage of contemplation, the youngster starts to accept the negative impact the addiction has on their behavior and health.
Then, the third stage is the preparation stage. Now the young adult realizes that the situation can be better and they’re set on getting professional help and join a rehabilitation program.
The next stage of action is when the person actually joins a program, is on therapy, or has other types of help.
The next stage, you have the maintenance stage. Some people may experience relapse, but it happens to people who haven’t fully devoted themselves to getting better. This stage is all about maintaining good health and positive practices.
The termination stage is the last. When teens reach this stage, it means that the recovery is complete and they have left the bad health and trauma behind.
Here we should mention that therapeutic elements and modalities which are found in professional rehab centers can greatly affect the efficacy of treatment. That’s why trusting an expert service provider makes all the difference when it comes to the success of the recovery and whether these stages will be completed efficiently. What’s more, these facilities usually offer a plethora of services for family members who are affected by abuse disorder and want to fight it. Some of them include companioning, Teen Sober Living, teen IOP, mentoring services, and more.
Of course, there is always the risk of relapse in teens who’re dealing with substance abuse. Some of the treatment variables that may impact the relapse include the discharge status, the counselor rapport, whether they attend aftercare, and similar. Moreover, relapse can happen due to some individual factors in each client such as poor coping skills, psychiatric comorbidity, the family may not be involved in the treatment, the client is still under influence of people who use drugs, etc.
Teen addiction is sadly present a lot among the youth of all ages, social and economic backgrounds. That’s why it’s important for youngsters to know the native effects addictive substances like alcohol and all types of drugs have on their health. For teens who are fighting addiction, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. And getting there is with the right professional help and treatment facilities that will help them get their lives back on track. Factors like participating in aftercare, being aware of disorders that coexist, the person’s coping skills, the influence of peers, parents’ support, and similar are vital during the process of treatment.
Also, treatment trends are constantly getting updated and upgraded. Services like aftercare, long-term recovery, and such tend to rely on advanced technology for an enhanced experience. The same goes for the analysis of the brain development of teens. All of this is the future of treatment.