If your teen is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you may be unsure how to help him or her. A good first step is to find and contact an addiction treatment center about their services. These centers have trained professionals who can provide support and help you navigate intervention, treatment, support groups, etc. While every center is different, treatments tend to fall in either inpatient or outpatient services. Read on to see which one would be right for your teen.
Which Teens Typically Need Inpatient Services?
Inpatient services are usually reserved for severe drug addictions and for patients that need to detox and/or are going through serious withdrawal symptoms, like fatigue, sweating, hallucinations, anxiety, etc.
Because withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous for your child's mental and physical well-being, inpatient services are vital since doctors and other medical professionals will be able to monitor your teen 24 hours and provide help.
While inpatient services are often used for severe cases, this route of treatment can be beneficial if a teen is having too hard breaking from external triggers—like gangs or peers that introduced them to drugs in the first place. Inpatient services can help these individuals break the cycle and start to separate themselves from poor influences.
Keep in mind that some teens may be combative and frightened by the separation of inpatient services. Some may feel that it's a punishment; so it's important for friends and family members to visit and participate in the family therapy aspects of therapy.
Which Teens Typically Need Outpatient Services?
If a teen is too anxious to stay overnight at a facility, then an outpatient program can be great since the teen can get the help they need and still remain at home.
Outpatient services can be good for teens who may have experimented with drugs and/or have not yet developed a dependency. Unlike inpatient services, which have a set period of treatment, outpatient services are more individualized and can be adjusted as needed by teens and their families.
One great aspect of outpatient services is the focus on mental health through counseling and various therapy modalities. While a lot of research still needs to be done to treat adolescent drug abuse and prevent relapse, one survey found that family-based therapy and motivational enhancement therapy (MET) have great empiric support for helping teens and preventing relapse.
While some teens are drawn to drugs because of peer pressure, some may be drawn to drugs because they are trying to self-medicate a mental health disorder. Outpatient services are especially beneficial for teens struggling with their mental health since they can learn coping mechanisms and find healthier ways to manage their symptoms.
Reach out to a company like Bridgeway Recovery Services Inc to learn more about teen drug outpatient programs.