Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Selecting the Right Adolescent Alcohol Rehab

If you have any doubts about the importance of adolescent alcohol rehab to the health of today’s teens, consider the latest statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of the alcohol in the US is consumed illegally by young people between the ages of 12 and 20. Out of this group, 90 percent engage in binge drinking, a dangerous practice that can take a big toll on a teenager’s physical and mental health. If your teen has a drinking problem, selecting the right adolescent alcohol rehab could mean the difference between whether or not he recovers successfully.

Meeting the Needs of Teenagers

Alcohol rehab facilities were once dedicated to serving the needs of adults only. When teens needed treatment for substance abuse, they had no option but to participate in a rehabilitation program for mature alcoholics. These programs rarely paid adequate attention to the psychological or neurological needs of teenagers, or to the effects of heavy drinking on adolescent development.

These days, teens and their parents have far more options when it comes to addiction treatment. Individually tailored treatment plans for teens take all of their young patients’ needs into account, including:

  • The need for strong family support throughout the recovery process
  • The need for teens to continue their education while they’re in rehab
  • The need for teenagers to develop trusting relationships with therapists
  • The need for teens to have a positive source of peer support

Teenagers are still in the process of developing emotionally and psychologically, and alcohol abuse can interfere with this process. The rehab program you choose should offer recovery services that help teens strengthen their sense of self-esteem as they build their adult identity. Because the opinions of their peers are so important to teens, a rehabilitation program should consist of young people who are committed to getting sober. Through group meetings, adventure treks and counseling sessions, the clients at a teenage rehab facility can motivate and support each other.

Dual Diagnosis Rehabilitation for Teens

In teens and adults alike, alcohol abuse often goes hand in hand with psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. According to the University of Utah, 27 percent of people with major depressive disorder also have problems with substance abuse, while 61 percent of those with bipolar I disorder also abuse drugs or alcohol. Forty-six percent of people with schizophrenia have a substance use disorder.

In teens, the incidence of mental illness and substance abuse is even higher than in the adult population. Teens who undergo treatment for addiction should be thoroughly evaluated to determine whether their substance use stems from a co-occurring psychiatric disorder. Unless adolescents with a dual diagnosis receive treatment for both their addiction and their mental illness, they are likely to have a relapse of their psychiatric symptoms, a return to drinking or both.

Integrated treatment programs address both a teenager’s alcohol problem and his psychiatric condition, giving him the very best shot at a complete recovery.

Questions to Ask a Rehab Facility

Finding the right rehab program for your teen may not be a quick or easy process. Before you make this important decision, take the time to find out whether the facility will meet your needs. Ask these questions as you do your research:

  • Is the facility licensed by the state governing body that oversees addiction treatment programs and accredited by national agencies?
  • Can the facility provide information about the recovery rates of its graduates?
  • What detoxification services are provided to help teens get through the risky stages of early alcohol withdrawal?
  • Does the program include individual therapy as well as self-help groups for teens?
  • Does the facility offer counseling and education for family members as well as teens?
  • Does the program’s schedule include classroom time to help young students keep up with their education?
  • Are experiential therapies like adventure trekking, martial arts and outdoor sports included in the curriculum?
  • Will the facility continue to provide support for my teen in order to help him keep up with his recovery goals after treatment?

The more you know about a rehab program in advance, the more likely you are to be satisfied with your choice. If you’re looking for an innovative treatment program for teenage boys, consider Muir Wood. Our exclusive addiction treatment facility is tailored to teens who need support and guidance as they prepare for adulthood. Through our broad range of recovery services, we give our young clients a solid chance at the future they deserve. Call our central intake number to find out for yourself what we have to offer.