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Drug Treatment for Teens

How To Find The Right Drug Treatment Program For Your Teen

If you're the parent of a teen who's using drugs and/or alcohol, it's understood that you'll do anything you can to help. Finding a treatment program is probably the best thing you can do for your teen and yourself. But sometimes finding a program that caters to the needs of teens can be a hard task. To make it a little easier, we're highlighting a few great drug programs for teens.

Support Groups

If you feel your teen needs only a nudge in the right direction to stop using drugs or alcohol, support groups may work. However, participation in groups of these sorts is strictly voluntary, which means you can't force your teen into treatment, as you could with some others. If you feel your teen would do well in a support group, here are a few for you to check out:

Alcoholics Anonymous
P.O. Box 459
Grand Central Station
New York, NY 10163
(212) 870-3400

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a program geared toward recovering alcoholics. The members meet in groups, ranging from only a few to hundreds of people, to help each other beat alcoholism. By sharing their experiences, strengths and hopes, the members hope to help others (as well as themselves) during the recovery process.

Alcoholics Anonymous has groups in the United States, Canada and other countries and is highly regarded for first introducing the 12-Step Program.

Narcotics Anonymous
P.O. Box 9999
Van Nuys, CA 91409
(818) 773-9999

Through the 12 steps and 12 traditions adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous (NA), created in the late 1940s, is one of the world's oldest and largest organizations of its type. NA offers weekly meeting across the nation and is open to any drug addict, regardless of the particular drug, who wishes to become drug free.

Prescription Anonymous
P.O. Box 10534
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-0534
(301) 250-5650

Also adapted from the 12-step program of AA, Prescription Anonymous (RxA) was created in 1998 for people who are addicted to prescription and over-the-counter medications. With groups meeting all around the country, RxA members learn to cope and make responsible choices that will help them to stay free of prescription drug abuse.

Treatment Facilities

For parents who think their teens need hands-on, one-on-one services to conquer their drug addictions, there are many detox and drug treatment facilities. Here are two of the most well-known:

11505 36th Avenue North
Plymouth, MN 55441-2398
(800) 833-4497

Founded in 1949, Hazelden is one of the best-known private treatment organizations in the world and caters to helping individuals, families and communities struggling with addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Hazelden's Center for Youth and Families has been helping those ages 14 to 25 since 1981, and the center attracts clients throughout the nation.

During primary care, which varies in length from client to client, teens attend group-therapy, individual counseling and recreational services. For those who choose, spiritual activities are also offered. Hazelden keeps students on the right track educationally through tutorial arrangements with local school districts.

Because Hazelden believes addiction affects the whole family, parents and professionals are updated throughout the process. Parents are also encouraged to attend the four-day Parent Program, which is open to parents even if their child isn't at Hazelden. During the four days, parents attend lectures, watch videos, have discussions with small groups of other parents and attend a family conference with their child to gain knowledge about how to be supportive during the recovery process.

After completion of primary treatment, some men, ages 16 to 25, are referred to extended care services. During this time, young men have a longer period to heal and learn more about coping with life in order to maintain abstinence. Length of extended aftercare varies, but it may continue for up to 90 days.

A comprehensive continuing care plan is provided to assure that all clients have access to aftercare and support in their hometown community so that once they return home, they will stay on the sober path.

Prices vary from case to case. Insurance does sometimes cover a portion, but generally treatment is not covered by insurance. Hazelden is more than eager to work out payment plans for those who need it and will take on special cases based on need.

The Caron Foundation
Galen Hall Road
P.O. Box 150
Wernersville, PA 19565-0150
(800) 678-2332

The Caron Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that provides treatment for those addicted to drugs and alcohol, whether they be adults or teens. Founded in 1957, the Caron Foundation is one of the world's oldest and largest providers of addiction treatment in the United States and provides treatment services for youths ages 12 to 19.

During primary treatment (which averages about 30 days), teens at Caron are provided with a full spectrum of services, including residential treatment, medical services, individual therapy, group therapy, recreational, spiritual and educational services, all in a gender-separate environment.

During their stay at Caron, teens receive two to three individual sessions per week and daily group therapy where they have the chance to give and receive feedback on life skills and ways to overcome problems.

Teens who are in Caron's care also receive assignments from their home school, as well as assignments developed on campus. In most circumstances, teens can gain school credit for sessions while in treatment.

After primary treatment, some teens are recommended to continue treatment during an extended-care program (minimum stay of 90 additional days). During extended-care, teens are allowed to go home on passes and to have extended visitations, during which time they can get used to being back in their family environment. Recreational services during extended-care include activities like camping, paint-balling and white-water rafting. This is all a part of the foundation's mission to show teens that they can have fun without getting high.

Caron uses a tier-based pricing system, so prices vary. Insurance usually covers a portion of treatment, and Caron also provides payment plans and financial assistance to those who qualify.

Online Treatment

If you don't think your teen will do well in a face-to-face setting, or if you've tried support groups and traditional programs with no success, there are other options.

105 N. Bascom Ave., 2nd Floor
San Jose, CA 95128
(866) HELP999

teenGetgoing is an online drug treatment and awareness program launched in March 2003. The program allows teens to learn about and treat addictions all in the comfort of their own home. Armed with a headset microphone and special software (all of which is provided), teens sign on with a screen name and "attend" twice-weekly group therapy sessions that are led by certified counselors.

Because teens are given screen names, they are totally anonymous, making it a great environment for shy or embarrassed teens to beat an addiction.

After successfully completing the treatment program, teens gain access to a lifetime of "aftercare" and can get follow-up support and participate in counselor-led alumni group chats, if they choose.

teenGetgoing's treatment programs cost $1200 for 24 sessions. The sessions are broken down to twice-weekly for 12 weeks. They do offer discounts for those referred by a school, the legal system or other programs. teenGetgoing provides scholarships to some families that qualify and is more than happy to provide payment plans for others.

No part of dealing with an addiction is easy. From feelings of grief, anger, embarrassment and concern for their child's safety, a parent has enough worries. Now, finding reliable help in beating the addiction battle doesn't have to be one of them.

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