Finding out that a teen is using and abusing prescription drugs can be devastating for a parent. There’s no reason to give up hope, however, as these addictions can be successfully treated. The key is to find the right kind of program that delivers the right mix of services to help the child in need. Parents who follow a few simple steps can ensure that the prescription drug rehab program they choose will be just the right kind of program for their children.
Focus on Treatments Provided
Many parents limit their searches to a specific geographic location, ensuring that they can keep their children close to home as they receive care. Parents who do this might be missing out on programs that could provide their children with real help. For example, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that about half of young people who have addictions also have some sort of mental illness. Even so, not all treatment facilities provide care that can address a mental illness as well as an addiction. Teens who get care for only one problem while leaving the other in place could quickly relapse to poor habits.
Avoiding this problem means focusing on:
- Therapies provided
- Training of staff
- Success rates
- Customization options
- Scientific basis for the care provided
In some cases, the perfect facility might be located in another state, far away from the family home. The separation might be difficult for parents to consider, but the help a teen might get in a program like this could result in a full recovery, while the care provided close to home might leave a little to be desired.
Lean on Allies
Parents don’t need to make all treatment decisions on their own, without the help of any outside entity. In fact, there might be dozens of people just waiting to help the family to make the right decision. Families that utilize an interventionist, for example, might have access to a trained professional who has contacts within the treatment industry, and a significant amount of information about how treatment works and what it might do. Families that ask for advice from these professionals might be provided with all sorts of good information.
Insurance companies might also have a list of programs they have approved. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 65 percent of treatment facilities accepted private insurance in 2008, and many more were prepared to accept insurance in the years that followed. Insurance companies might look over the treatment plans, regulatory compliance issues and training of staff in order to determine the suitability of treatment programs, and families that ask for recommendations might gain access to at least some of this information. It could be helpful for some families to start their search in this way.
Treatment facilities are also willing to answer any questions family members might have, and often, they ask staff members to answer phones around the clock, just in case parents are investigating their options late at night or on the weekends. There’s no shame in calling and asking for help or advice from treatment facilities like this. In fact, at Muir Wood, we encourage it. We’d like all parents to feel comfortable in asking us questions and finding out more about our programs. If you’d like to know more about the work we do, please call us.