Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Son’s Drug Rehab

A good rehab is hard to find, especially when the patient is a teenage boy. There are so few programs dedicated only to providing addiction treatment for teenagers, let alone teen boys specifically, and yet it is imperative that a boy struggling with substance abuse get treatment that is tailor-made for his level of development and his unique needs and goals.

How do you ensure that the rehab program you’ve chosen for your son is the one that is most capable of helping him to right his course emotionally, physically, and academically? Getting thorough answers to the following questions can help:

  1. Can you describe the differences between your teen-centered program and the average adult drug rehab? What evidence is there to support the efficacy of the therapies you employ?
  2. Do you have the capability to treat mental health disorders, learning disabilities, and/or behavioral issues that my child is diagnosed with or may be struggling with? If my child does not have a current diagnosis but I believe that one or more of these may be an issue, do you have the capacity to provide him with the kind of thorough neuropsych testing that can help to accurately diagnose him? If my child is on meds, will he remain on them throughout treatment, or will he be put on a “med holiday” in order to accurately diagnose him and reassess his medication regimen?
  3. Do you have the ability to adapt your program to my child’s needs, or will my son be expected to adapt to the parameters of the program?
  4. How often will my son meet with a medical doctor and/or psychiatrist? What are the qualifications of the therapists who run the groups? What is the addiction treatment training for other support staff members (e.g., janitorial staff, drivers, chefs)?
  5. Is there a heavy emphasis on family-based treatment? How will you work to make sure that parents/guardians/caregivers are included in my son’s recovery? What kind of support and education do you offer to family members?
  6. What is the standard daily schedule for patients? Weekly? Is there any room for deviation from this schedule?
  7. How long will my son be expected to stay at the program (if residential) or take part (if outpatient)? Is there a way to extend his involvement if it is warranted?
  8. What do you teach in terms of relapse prevention? How can I support my son as he faces the urge to get high or drink and help him avoid relapse? How will the program support my son if he relapses during treatment?
  9. How will you support my son therapeutically after he completes the program? How will you assist with the transition from the rehab program (if residential) to life back home?
  10. How much does the program cost? Will you work with my insurance company? Do you offer financing or payment plans?

Learn more about the best answers to these questions in the next post.