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What To Look For In a Teen Rehab

What To Look For In a Teen Rehab

Teenagers today have endless pressures put on them daily. From social media telling them how to look and act, to bullying at school and online, it is no wonder teens are turning to substances like opioids and alcohol to manage these pressures. But what happens when using these becomes an everyday habit that can’t be broken?

While Ohio teens are speaking out against drug use, 8% of 12-17-year-olds reported using drugs. For those who need help with addiction, SUN Behavioral Health is here to bridge the gap and provide resources to these teens. Today we are educating parents on what to look for in a teen rehab.

The Most Common Reason Teens End Up in Rehab

Anyone who chooses to use substances is at risk for becoming addicted. For teens, using drugs such as alcohol or heroin early in life can cause prolonged addiction leading into adulthood. Some of the most common reasons teens use substances are:

  • Unmanaged mental health conditions
  • Peer pressure
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as abuse or poverty
  • Family history of addiction
  • Lack of family involvement

It is important to note that there is not a specific gene related to addiction. However, there are genetic factors that can cause a predisposition for addiction.

The reason teens end up in rehab is that the brain is still developing. When drugs or alcohol are introduced during this time, the brain creates pathways quicker than in adults. These pathways adjust to expect the substance, which leads to addiction faster.

Substance Use Disorder and Teens

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 15% of high school students reported using illicit substances. Teens who use substances such as opioids are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex or sharing injections. These can lead to STDs or HIV, which can put more stress on the teen and will continue their addiction pattern.

The danger of substance use disorder in teens is that the brain is learning and creating new pathways every day. When the brain learns that these substances are becoming a part of life, it becomes much more difficult to stop using. Many adults who seek treatment for substance use disorder report having started using in their teen years.

Alcoholism And Teens

Alcohol affects teens differently than adults. For adults, alcohol works as a depressant, usually increasing calmness and slowing the body’s response system. In teenagers, alcohol has the opposite effect. When teens consume alcohol, they become more energetic and sometimes aggressive. Reckless behavior is common in teens who drink alcohol, and these feelings of invincibility contribute to the causes of teen alcoholism.

When Should a Teen Start Rehab?

There is no wrong time for a teen to start rehab. When substance use has become a part of their everyday life, a rehab program can work to address the underlying issues. Teen addiction occurs faster than in adults, so the sooner the substance use is treated, the better the outcomes will be.

The Professionals - What Qualifications to Pay Attention to

When choosing a professional for any job, qualifications are always important. You wouldn’t ask a dentist to put a cast on your broken arm. The same applies to finding professionals to help with your teen’s substance use. While therapists and psychiatrists are available, finding one for your teen may take some looking into.

Most therapists have a degree in some form of counseling or social science. To treat adolescents specifically, a degree in child and adolescent psychology or in family and child relationships is usually the most prevalent qualification. With this qualification, the therapist focuses on children and teens and uses treatments effective in that age range.

Assessment - The Role It Plays in Successful Teen Rehab

No two addiction stories are the same for adults, so why would they be the same for teens? The initial assessment done at teen rehabs will determine some of the underlying causes for the teen’s substance use and how to best treat them. The teen living with undiagnosed bipolar disorder will need a different treatment path than the teen who uses opioids because their parents have their whole life. By performing this assessment, the teen can voice their opinions and work with the professionals to outline treatment options and goals.

The Benefits of Sending an Adolescent to a Teen Specialty Rehab Program

Treating substance use disorder is more than just one-on-one therapy. In rehab programs, group therapy is a key part of the treatment process. When surrounding your teen with peers their own age, they are more likely to relate and gain valuable insight for themselves. The therapists on site will also be more geared toward helping the adolescent age group.

Finding the Best Rehab Facility for a Teen

While no parent wants to have to find a rehab facility for their teen, it is best to be prepared with all information possible. At SUN Behavioral Health Columbus, we have a specific teen substance use treatment program that also provides co-occurring diagnoses as well. Unmanaged mental health issues are often seen in teens with substance use disorder. Our staff provides complete treatment at our facility.

Teen Outpatient Program

For those who can’t get away from school, work, or home life, outpatient addiction treatment is available. Three options are available for outpatient treatment:

Partial Hospitalization (PHP) - for those who come for the whole day and receive therapy and medication management then spend the rest of their day and night at home. This program is very structured and cell phone access is limited. For those who are new to sobriety, this program is recommended if they’re not doing a residential treatment.

Intensive Outpatient (IOP) – usually around 9-15 hours of therapy per week including individual and group. This program allows patients to start transitioning back to a normal schedule of everyday activities.

Outpatient – around 1-3 hours of treatment per week. This is the most “hands-off” form of treatment, and patients now live at home and maintain normal activities. For those who have made strides in long-term addiction recovery, outpatient treatment is a great support.

Residential Treatment Program

Our residential treatment program consists of daily therapy and mental health assessments to find out the root causes of addiction. Your teen will stay at our facility 24/7 among their peers and our well-trained staff. The main therapies we focus on at SUN Columbus are cognitive behavioral, group, and recreational. We also promote wellness to teach stress management techniques and healthy coping skills.

If you are looking for a teen rehab, SUN Behavioral Health Columbus has you covered. Our team of experts treat all aspects of addiction including diagnosing mental health conditions and providing medications as needed. Call us today at 614-706-2786 to learn more about our adolescent treatment options.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process of rehabilitation?

Depending on the substances used, rehabilitation sometimes starts with detox and is followed by inpatient or residential treatment with extensive therapy. The patient then usually transitions to a less intensive program such as outpatient. Community and continued use of resources are key for long-lasting recovery.

What is the average age of a teen in rehab?

The average age range for teens in rehab is 12-18.

Why do teens seek new experiences and take risks with substance use disorders?

Substances such as alcohol can have the opposite effect on teens than on adults leading to an “invincible” mindset leading to risky behaviors.

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SUN Behavioral Columbus

900 E Dublin Granville Rd
Columbus, OH, 43229

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