Best Drug Treatment for Teenagers

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Find the best drug treatment for teenagers with the help of

Is your teenager on drugs? If you answered “yes” you know the heartbreak and fear you have for your child. And you know that you will do anything in your power to get him the help he needs to get off drugs and stay off. Learning about the best drug treatment for teenagers will help you select the right rehab center for your child. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has outlined the best evidence-based approaches to treating substance use disorders in teens.

Juvenile drug rehabilitation programs usually include specialized treatment for stress, peer pressure, mental and behavioral disorders, abuse, family problems and other issues that the teen is struggling with. Treatment programs may include individual and family counseling and education, 12-Step programs, support groups, recreational activities, relapse prevention strategies and aftercare. Some of the drug treatments for teens that are supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse include:

Behavioral therapy is an approach that has the teen actively engaged in the recovery process. Some of the areas of treatment that are focused upon include:

  • attitude and behavior modification related to drug abuse
  • incentives to remain abstinent
  • improve communication and interactions within the family unit
  • enhance coping skills to manage stressful circumstances, drug cravings and triggers

Group therapy is another drug treatment for teens that provides positive social reinforcement based on peer group discussions that promote incentives to stay off of drugs and commit to living a drug-free lifestyle.

Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach is a treatment that offers help to your teen so he can achieve and maintain abstinence from drugs. This approach seeks to replace negative influences in your child’s life with positive ones through family, social, educational and vocational reinforcers. After assessing your teen’s unique challenges and level of functioning, a plan is devised to address problem solving, coping and communication skills. Your teen will also be encouraged to participate in social and recreational activities.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will help your teen identify their dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns that may have led to drug abuse. He will learn to anticipate problems and develop improved coping skills, and explore the negative consequences of drug abuse. This drug treatment for teens will help your child monitor his thoughts and feelings, identify high-risk situations, apply self-control and anger-management skills, enhance problem solving skills and refuse substance abuse.

Contingency Management is another juvenile drug rehabilitation program that rewards your child when he exhibits positive behavior. Rewards usually come in the form of vouchers that are good for purchasing consumer goods such as movie tickets, personal or food items etc. The focus of this treatment is to reward and reinforce behavior that is based on healthy activities and drug abstinence.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy helps your child deal with his indifference about engaging in drug treatment and stopping his drug use.

Family-Based Approaches engage the entire family including the teen, his parents, siblings, and perhaps peers and grandparents. The focus is on a wide array of issues such as: parental controls, rules and support, family communication and conflict, child abuse and trauma, the drug abuse problem, physical, mental or behavioral problems, learning disorders, work or school related issues, peer networks and more. The goal is to overcome the obstacles and work toward effectively solving the problems.

Other forms of juvenile drug rehabilitation programs can include: 12-Step Facilitation Therapy, Faith-based Therapy, Alternative Therapies and more. Medication therapies have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use on adolescents.

You and your family should be your child’s strongest advocate and support group, to encourage and assist him on his healing journey. Along with the best drug treatment for teenagers, your child can overcome his drug abuse problem and begin to live a healthy, active and drug-free life.