Substance addiction and mental disorders can affect anyone regardless of age, race or gender. Teens are at risk of substance abuse and mental illness due to the social stigma, peer pressure and bullying. Adolescents are also more susceptible because they are not yet fully developed, physically, mentally or emotionally. The frontal lobe in the teenaged brain is still developing, which is why teens tend to engage in riskier behavior than older adults.
When a teen develops a substance abuse problem or has been diagnosed with a mental illness, choosing the best treatment regimen can be very stressful for everyone involved. With many treatment centers to choose from and emotions at their peak, many parents may not know what to look for or where to start. Following are important seven important qualities to consider when choosing a treatment center for your teen.
It is important for the treatment center to incorporate family and loved ones. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process, and it is important that everyone in the immediate family becomes educated on this process so that they can support the child in need. Family counseling and family visitation days are extremely important.
2. Gender separation
Treatment centers that separate young males from young females allow the individuals to receive therapy without any unneeded distractions. The hormonal fluctuation in teenagers can lead to major distractions if individuals of the opposite sex are present.
3. Educational opportunities
Leaving school to enter a treatment facility can be stressful and cause a potential gap in a teen’s educational development. Therefore, it is important that treatment programs offer educational extension programs so a teen does not fall behind in his or her studies.
4. Updated credentials
It is important that the facility and the clinical staff hold the highest level of updated credentials and accreditations. It is also important that the center is fully accredited by the state and has Joint Commission accreditation. For more information about accreditations and licensure for behavioral health and substance abuse centers, please see the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
5. Trained clinical staff
The clinical staff at any desired treatment center should be fully trained and licensed by the appropriate state. Each staff member’s credentials should also be listed on the center’s website or brochure. A knowledgeable and compassionate staff can truly make a difference in the healing process.
6. Comfortable living environment
A chosen treatment center will be a teen’s temporary home and it is important that the center is clean, safe and comfortable. Ask about scheduled, extracurricular activities and meals and ask for a tour of the facility to ensure that it is an appropriate living space.
Spirituality, whether it is faith-based or not, plays a major role in the behavioral health healing process. It is important that the program focuses on some aspect of spirituality whether it is meditation, religious services or gratitude workshops.
Finding help at Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego
When looking for treatment for a teen, it is vital to remember that you are not alone in this process. There are many individuals who are trying to find the perfect program for their teen. It can help to attend community addiction meetings and inquire about the well-respected addiction treatment centers in your area. Personal recommendations and word of mouth can truly help aid in the process of finding the perfect fit for your teen.
If you or your teen is struggling with substance abuse or a mental disorder, Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is here to help. We provide comprehensive treatment for adolescents and teens aged 12 to 17 who are in need of help with a behavioral health problem. If you would like to learn more about our effective and individualized treatment programs, call our 24/7 helpline.
About the author
Kristen Fuller, M.D., is a senior staff writer at Sovereign Health and enjoys writing about evidence-based topics in the cutting-edge world of medicine. She is a physician and author who also teaches, practices medicine in the urgent care setting and contributes to medicine board education. She is also an outdoor and dog enthusiast. For more information and other inquiries about this article, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.