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Teen Drug Addiction: Treatment Options

Are there teenagers in your family with substance use disorders? Fortunately, addiction treatment centers now offer programs for teen drug abuse.

Between 2016 and 2020, there was a 61% increase in drug use among 8th graders. The number of teens struggling with drug addiction (and the attendant negative behaviors) has plagued society.

Sadly, few teenagers are seeking addiction treatment. It’s up to parents, guardians and concerned relatives to offer emotional support and get their teenage family members into rehab.

What are the teen drug addiction treatment options?

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Treatment Programs for Drug Abuse

Most of today’s addiction treatment centers offer programs for drug-addicted teens. If a teenager in your family is abusing drugs or alcohol, most treatment facilities can help him/her achieve lasting recovery with the following treatment options:


Detox is the start of addiction recovery, where the user commits to abstinence from drugs and alcohol. It takes at least three days for chemicals to clear the system. During this time, cravings peak. To avoid relapse, detox should always be done at a treatment facility under medical supervision.

For patients who experience withdrawal symptoms, American addiction centers offer medical detox. The doctor administers medications like benzodiazepines that help curb symptoms and suppress cravings, which typically peak on days two and three.

Residential Inpatient Treatment

After detox, most patients undergo 30-90 days of rehab at a treatment center. In residential rehab programs, patients stay at addiction treatment centers. Most rehab centers are located outside of city limits in a tranquil area where patients can recover in peace.

During the rehab program, patients engage in the following:

  • Individual therapy – where the patient meets privately with a counselor to discuss his/her issues with drug use and progress with the treatment process.
  • Group meetings – where patients meet in groups to share their struggles, triumphs and insights.
  • Wellness activities – such as art therapy, equine therapy (riding horses), hiking, exercise and other types of activities that occupy the mind and body without drugs or alcohol.
  • Health – in teen rehab, counselors encourage healthy eating and good hygiene.

In a teen drug rehab program, the young patient can overcome his/her addiction in a structured setting with no bad temptations or illegal drug access.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs also treat substance addiction. The outpatient treatment program generally covers the same ground as residential inpatient treatment. The main difference is that the patient stays at home and comes to the rehab center during the day for treatment.

There are two main types of outpatient programs:

  • Partial Hospitalization (PHP) – where the patient comes in daily for treatment for up to eight hours. PHP ranges from 20-40 hours per week. It treats rehab like a full-time job.
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) – where the patient comes in part-time, such as five times per week, four hours per day. IOP programs usually consist of 9-19 hours per week at the rehab center.

Outpatient programs are good for patients who have stable domestic environments, preferably with people who will supervise the patient. IOP offers a private and convenient option for teens with mild cases of substance abuse who wish to get clean and also maintain their studies and social lives.


For teens that still need guidance after rehab, most American addiction centers offer ongoing support. If the teen is out of school and seeking work, the treatment center might connect the patient with a local job-placement program.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Most rehab centers offer specialized treatment programs for teens who struggle with drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Teenagers deal with challenges that don’t apply to most older drug users, including:

  • Peer pressure
  • Parental abuse
  • Insecurity (about body, image, prospects)

Parents who abuse drugs or alcohol are far likelier to have kids who get into substance abuse. Teen addiction treatment options include group therapy, where teens interact with people in their age group.

To help teens struggling with insecurity, modern rehab integrates treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps the patient identify his/her depressive thought patterns and proactively reverse them.

Family Therapy

Addicted teens often come from dysfunctional homes with abusive or absentee parents. Concerned family members typically don’t know how to properly intervene. 

As part of the mental health treatment side of teen rehab, most clinics offer family therapy, where the patient and his/her family members are counseled together in group therapy sessions. This helps mend gaps between addicted teens and family members. 

The support and love of family are key components in the fight against teen substance abuse.

Mental Health Treatment

Substance abuse problems are often linked to mental health disorders. Today’s treatment providers recognize the correlation between drug and alcohol addiction and mental illness.

To help patients achieve long-term recovery, rehab counselors practice dual-diagnosis therapy, which helps the patient identify his/her co-occurring disorders, such as depression or anxiety.

A lot of mental health issues are rooted in childhood trauma. Isolating the cause helps counselors customize treatment for each individual.

At American addiction centers, mental health treatment programs are carried out according to the Mental Health Services Administration.

Teen Drug Treatment Providers

A substance use disorder can have devastating consequences unless the whole family gets involved and offers the emotional support and tough love necessary in these situations. If your teen has withdrawn from family life or fallen prey to drug and/or alcohol addiction, contact a local teen rehab treatment provider today.

Get Help Today

Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

Make a Call

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