Addiction treatment programs for teens are sometimes provided on an outpatient basis, in facilities located close to the family home. The proximity of these facilities can allow parents to stay involved in the day-to-day treatment process, but the location might also allow teens to remain connected to the drug culture. According to a study conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, almost half of high school students know of another student who sells drugs at school. If these teens stay in their communities, they might stay in touch with their dealers, and recovery might be difficult. By going to facilities in distant communities, these teens might break ties with bad influences, and their lives might begin to improve. These are three ways parents can transport their teenagers to these facilities.
Head Out as a Family
As much as teens claim they don’t like their parents and don’t want their help and advice, they may still be apprehensive about leaving the family behind. They may also be worried about how the family will function when they’re not present and able to contribute. While traveling to an addiction treatment facility isn’t likely to top a teen’s must-do list, the trip can allow families to draw a little closer. They can continue to discuss the addiction issue as they move from home to treatment, and the parents can ensure that teen settles in and feels comfortable. For parents and teens with close relationships, this can be a good option.
Ask a Sober Relative to Help
Transporting a teen isn’t easy for some parents to do. These parents might have addiction issues of their own to contend with, or the bond between parent and child may be strained due to the ongoing use and abuse of drugs. Parents like this might simply feel as though they can’t take the child on a demanding trip, but there might be others within the family network that could help, including:
- Older siblings
These sober relatives might be able to share their own stories of addiction and recovery during the trip, and they might begin a mentoring relationship that lasts for the rest of the teen’s life.
Hire a Sober Escort
During the trip from home to treatment, teens absolutely must stay clean, sober and focused on the future. Some teens become so desperate at the very thought of entering treatment that they look for dealers during the trip, or they simply escape and disappear into the night. It can be hard for families to handle these problems, but sober escorts may help. These professionals are trained to spot addicts with nefarious intentions, and they’re willing to do what it takes to ensure that the teens enter treatment in a timely manner, while remaining sober. Some interventionists even provide this service, and they can build on the lessons teens first discovered during their intervention.
All three of these options may sound frightening, but it’s important to focus on the outcome. Those teens who get help for addiction may resent their intro to sobriety as it happens, but they may also be thankful for the hard work their parents did in order to help them. If you’re ready to start this work with your adolescent boy, please call us at Muir Wood.