Teenage Rehab

Authored by Helen Parson

Edited by Alexander Bentley

Reviewed by Michael Por

What is teenage rehab?


Teenagers are more susceptible to use drugs and alcohol due to being at a vulnerable age. Middle school and high school aged adolescents often begin using drugs and alcohol to fit in with others. Some begin using drugs and alcohol because their friends have already started. Drug and alcohol experimenting is common and soon, it can lead to full blown addiction11.A. B. CEO Worlds Best Rehab Magazine, Newport Academy | Amenities, Reviews, Education, Cost (Verified), Worlds Best Rehab.; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.worldsbest.rehab/newport-academy/.


What seems like innocent partying as a teenager can lead to chemical dependency when an adolescent reaches their late teens and early 20s. Drug and alcohol usage by teens can have detrimental effects on their brain and physical development. For example, heavy psychoactive drug use alters the brain’s reward circuitry.


You may notice your teenage child’s interests change as they grow older. This is natural, but heavy drug and alcohol use can completely change an adolescent’s priorities. Teenagers have different rehab needs than adult substance misusers. Teenage rehab also provides young people with education, co-occurring mental health disorder treatment, family issues, and much more.


Signs of teen drug & alcohol addiction


Specific signs will present themselves if your child is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Different substances will present different signs of misuse and abuse22.K. C. Winters, A. M. Botzet and T. Fahnhorst, Advances in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166985/. It is natural for parents to be suspicious of their child using drugs or alcohol.


If you are one of these parents, then you should be on the lookout for these signs of teenage addiction


  • Changes in physical appearance not related to athletics or hobbies
  • Borrowing or stealing money
  • Spending time with different friends or new friends
  • A complete change in friend group
  • Excluded from School with ADHD
  • Appetite changes
  • Sleep habit changes
  • Excessive secrecy or lying
  • A sudden drop in grades or academic performance
  • Drug paraphernalia in their bedroom

Teenage Rehab Vs Therapeutic Boarding School


The best teen rehab centers are facilities that use multiple approaches to treat drug and alcohol addiction. A comprehensive and holistic approach to substance misuse is oftentimes the most effective way to treat addiction. Teenagers are unique and so are the addiction treatment needs. A rehab that treats them individually and not as a number can provide healing for the long-term.


There are multiple options for teens when it comes to rehab. The most effective treatment for teens is available at residential rehab. Residential rehab, also known as inpatient rehab, provides a number of benefits to adolescents. Teenagers will receive full-time, around-the-clock care.


An individual remains on campus day and night allowing them to detox, attend therapy, and be removed from the environment that bred substance abuse. Doctors and staff will be on hand 24 hours a day providing teenagers care with every need that arises.


Outpatient rehab is also available for teens. Teens do not remain on campus 24 hours a day. Adolescents attend time specific appointments during the day with their therapists and/or counselors.


Therapeutic boarding schools


Therapeutic boarding schools are another treatment option for teenagers. These schools provide diverse recovery programs and use proven techniques from a number of ideologies. Students live on campus at the boarding school working on sobriety, self-esteem, and academic development.


Teenagers will undergo a rehab curriculum that uses medical treatment combined with therapy focused on improving behavior33.B. Tang, Y. Wang, Y. Gao, S. Wu, H. Li, Y. Chen and Y. Shi, The Effect of Boarding on the Mental Health of Primary School Students in Western Rural China – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7664204/. The ultimate goal of a therapeutic boarding school is to offer treatment based on discovering and dealing with potential conditions such as depression. Teenagers will learn to create a regimented program to correct emotional and anger-based problems. These issues may not all be related to substance abuse.

How does teenage rehab work?


Substance abuse is different in each individual. It is also different in teenagers than in adults. Adolescents are more likely to be binge substance abusers rather than being able to access drugs and alcohol regularly. In addition, teenagers often have co-occurring disorders.


In more recent time, rehabs have designed and implemented programs specifically for teenagers. Previously, programs for teens were simply the same once used for adults. Teen rehab programs will use a combination of multiple approaches to treat issues.


Some of the ways a rehab will treat adolescents include:


  • Individual and group therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Contingency management
  • Family therapy
  • 12-step programs
  • Medications to manage withdrawal or cravings


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most used methods by rehabs. CBT helps an individual see how their thoughts fuel behavior. They learn how to change negative, destructive thoughts. CBT enables a teenager to identify high-risk situations which lead to drug use. It helps them build coping skills to deal with cravings and triggering events. CBT is one of the most widely used therapy methods and most teens and adults in rehab will experience it.

Does my teenager need rehab?


You must determine whether your child is truly struggling with drug and alcohol addiction before seeking out a rehab. Experimenting with drugs or even simply a change in their personality free of drugs, does not warrant a trip to rehab. There is a big difference between addiction and experimenting.


Teens often find more independence in high school. They meet new friends and participate in new activities. Not all activities include drug and alcohol use. Rather, it is the teen growing up and their life changing.


Drugs and alcohol offer a forbidden allure. It is one of the main reasons teens turn to substances. Experimenting with these substances can turn into addiction. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that many kids who try drugs and/or alcohol do not continue using them.


How to choose the right teen addiction treatment


You should research a teenage rehab before sending your child to it for treatment. Along with reading reviews of the rehab, you need to learn about the treatment methods used at the center. It is helpful to tour the facility to ensure it is safe, clean, and offers an atmosphere you would like your child to be a part of.


In addition, make a list of questions to ask the staff you encounter at the center. This will give you more insight into rehab’s processes and treatment. It is vital to do your research. A teen rehab that is not of high quality means your child may return to substance abuse and addiction upon returning home.


Finding the Right Teenage Rehab


Substance abuse issues for teenagers represents a different set of problems compared to adults. That is why finding a rehabilitation center designed for teenagers is so important. Keep in mind that any teenager who is 17 years or younger in the United States can be put into a rehab center without their consent. As their parent or legal guardian, you have the choice about whether to send them to a rehab center or get outpatient treatment.


But you will need to find a rehab center that is designed to address the issues teens are facing. This means narrowing your search by using the following guidelines:


Fully Trained, Licensed, & Professionals


Your search should begin with treatment centers that are fully licensed with the state and local authorities. This includes the staff who should also be fully trained, licensed, and professional in their approach. This will help you eliminate centers that do not meet local and state standards for treatment. You should go over all the treatment centers in your immediate area and eliminate the ones that do not meet proper standards.


Treatment at Teenage Rehab


From evaluation to creating a custom plan to helping the teenager overcome their addiction and getting them back to normal life, the treatment center should offer a complete plan from start to finish. This does not mean that the teenager is cured. But rather that they have overcome their current substance abuse condition and now have the tools to identify and prevent issues that might cause relapses to occur.


Age Specific Teen Treatment


Adolescents are not the same as adults, which is why a treatment center dedicated to teens is going to be more effective than one which mostly focuses on adults. By creating a proper atmosphere, it helps to motivate teens to accept treatment faster. Being surrounded by those who are the same age can help immensely in terms of support. This is why your search should focus on centers that provide primarily teen substance abuse treatment and teenage mental health issues.

Custom Plans for Teenagers


A typical rehabilitation center will create a full profile in terms of psychology, biology, and social assessment. Such evaluations will need to be based on evidence, tested over time, and have proven to be effective in determining the root causes of the substance abuse. In addition, custom plans need to be developed based on the information provided


The center you choose should be able to recognize different disorders happening at the same time, be sensitive to the unique dynamics of your family, and perhaps most importantly understand the relevant social factors that may have contributed to this situation.


Cultural & Gender Considerations at Teen Rehab


While each treatment center will have a diverse population of teenagers, the clinicians will also have the proper treatment that is geared towards gender, minorities, LGBTQI, and other cultural considerations. In other words, teens that have unique challenges will have the right treatment geared to them. All this while being in a healthy, diverse environment that assists in overcoming their addiction.

Family Support at Teen Rehab


Any plan for treatment must include the family. This means parents, siblings, and grandparents along with primary caregivers and anyone who has a daily involvement with the teenager. Studies have shown that family participation is a vital element in the recovery of the teen. This means a greater chance that the substance abuse can be overcome.

Trust at Teenage Rehab


One of the key elements of any successful rehab center dealing with teenagers is to gain the trust of their patients. Teens are certainly different than adults in this regard, so a center that has been successfully treating teens is one that needs to be evaluated.


Gaining the trust requires time, involvement, and activities that engage the teenager. This allows the teen to adjust to their new life inside the center. By adapting to the environment, engaging in activities, and spending hours each day undergoing treatment they stand a far better chance of becoming sober and maintaining sobriety for the rest of their lives.


This is why gaining trust is so important. Otherwise, the teen tends to withdraw and may make the situation worse for their long-term health.

Tracking Results from Rehab


Proper rehabilitation requires tracking results and evaluating the current status of the teen. By monitoring the progress that is made, adjustments to their care can be added to ensure a greater chance of success. In addition, by bringing in new techniques that keep pace with the best practices, this allows the clinicians to have additional tools in the treatment of their patients.


By knowing what is happening now, it helps the clinicians to provide the proper treatment for tomorrow. This translates into greater chances of success when the teenager returns home. But the tracking does not end there. It will continue to evaluate the life of the teen over the next several months to see if the treatment is still working.

Outpatient Caren Vs Teenage Rehab


The treatment does not end when the teen walks out the door and goes home. Aftercare plans are put into place that monitor the teen’s recovery efforts. Putting into place strategies for sobriety, how to deal with the pressures of falling back into their old habits and providing community-based options for continued support.


This means that a proper aftercare plan will include access to local organizations such as NA, AA, Refuge Recovery, SMART Recovery, and other twelve-step programs that help teens as they reenter their normal lives. By providing proper aftercare, teens will have a place to go when tempted to return to their old habits.


Addressing the needs of teenagers while undergoing substance abuse treatment is no easy task. However, teenagers do have some advantages over adults when it comes to overcoming substance abuse. One benefit is that teenagers do not have decades of abuse in their past that may hinder the effectiveness of treatments to adults.


By entering your teen into a proper rehab center that is dedicated towards helping teenagers, you can increase the chances that sobriety becomes a part of their lives. Plus, they are provided with the tools and support needed to help them stave off future temptations to fall back into substance abuse.


Previous: Couples Rehab

  • 1
    1.A. B. CEO Worlds Best Rehab Magazine, Newport Academy | Amenities, Reviews, Education, Cost (Verified), Worlds Best Rehab.; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.worldsbest.rehab/newport-academy/
  • 2
    2.K. C. Winters, A. M. Botzet and T. Fahnhorst, Advances in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166985/
  • 3
    3.B. Tang, Y. Wang, Y. Gao, S. Wu, H. Li, Y. Chen and Y. Shi, The Effect of Boarding on the Mental Health of Primary School Students in Western Rural China – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7664204/
Website | + posts

Alexander Bentley is the CEO of Worlds Best Rehab Magazine™ as well as the creator & pioneer behind Remedy Wellbeing Hotels & Retreats and Tripnotherapy™, embracing ‘NextGen’ psychedelic bio-pharmaceuticals to treat burnout, addiction, depression, anxiety and psychological unease.

Under his leadership as CEO, Remedy Wellbeing Hotels™ received the accolade of Overall Winner: International Wellness Hotel of the Year 2022 by International Rehabs. Because of his incredible work, the individual luxury hotel retreats are the world’s first $1 million-plus exclusive wellness centers providing an escape for individuals and families requiring absolute discretion such as Celebrities, Sportspeople, Executives, Royalty, Entrepreneurs and those subject to intense media scrutiny.

We strive to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the web so our readers can make informed decisions about their healthcare. Our subject matter experts specialize in addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare. We follow strict guidelines when fact-checking information and only use credible sources when citing statistics and medical information. Look for the badge Worlds Best Rehab on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information. on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate or out-of-date, please let us know via our Contact Page

Disclaimer: We use fact-based content and publish material that is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by professionals. The information we publish is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider. In a Medical Emergency contact the Emergency Services Immediately.

Worlds Best Rehab is an independent, third-party resource. It does not endorse any particular treatment provider and does not guarantee the quality of treatment services of featured providers.