Can A Teenager Go To Rehab?
Technically, you as parents have the discretion whether to send your teenager to a residential rehab center, when all else fails. It is a difficult and heart-breaking decision, yet you will have no other choice, especially when your teen’s life and future are at stake.
In terms of legality, you can place your teens (age 17 and younger) into a residential rehab facility without requiring their consent. However, it is still worth taking to let them understand the importance of this effort to help them gain sobriety and get back to their healthy lifestyle.
Signs That Your Teen Has An Addiction
Often, it is daunting to tell if your teenager is having an addiction or a mental illness because the two can occur simultaneously. With that, you need to observe their activities, behavior, and emotions.
Here are some noticeable symptoms when your children are having an addiction:
- Missing out curfews
- Bloodshot eyes
- Exhibiting a secretive behavior
- Dilated pupils
- Instant and unpredictable mood swings
- Easily irritated
- Extreme sensitivity to light and sounds
- Unexplained tiredness of the body
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Sudden increase or decrease in body weight
What Is Involuntary Commitment
It is the technical term used when parents enroll their teenagers for rehab without their consent. There are 37 states around the U.S. which implement involuntary commitment or juvenile drug rehab treatment plans, while below are the states which do not implement this program:
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
How Does Involuntary Commitment Work
All the states allowing juvenile rehabilitation treatment plans have their respective laws for the grounds of sending a teenager for this program. In general, the parents must have substantial evidence to prove that their teens are abusing substances or having alcohol use disorder.
Furthermore, you need to refer to a professional when it comes to gathering evidence about teenage addiction.
Teens’ Rights and Juvenile Rehab Program
Despite having the allegation that a teenager is an addict, he or she has the right to an attorney in case he or she wants to fight against the involuntary commitment petitioned by their parents.
Moreover, the teen can ask his attorney to file a writ of habeas corpus at any moment of his or her juvenile rehab treatment. If the court finds the detention unlawful, then the teenager can be set free in an instant.
How Long Does Involuntary Commitment Last
Technically, it will depend on the recovery status of the teenager and how the court sees the improvement. Generally, a juvenile treatment program lasts between two days to three weeks, yet it will all depend on the court’s decision based on the teen’s improvement.
In line, juvenile rehab treatment can either be an inpatient or outpatient type, whichever seems fit for the victim. If you want a more solid answer, it is best to refer to your state’s laws on involuntary commitment or refer that to an attorney.
To ensure the success of the recovery program, the teenager should understand the importance of this effort towards sobriety. When both the parents and teen are on the same page, things will go smoothly and the patient will be motivated to recover from substance abuse.
Importance of Intervention Before Rehab
Parents have the legal rights to push their teens to go into rehab when it is justified in court, and when they have tried other measures yet it failed. However, it is still highly recommended that an intervention is to be conducted for the teenager so that he or she can deeply understand the severity of one’s condition and how this treatment program can help.
When conducting an intervention, the patient’s loved ones are gathered around to give positive sentiments regarding the teen’s condition and how this juvenile rehab treatment program can help him or her gain sobriety.
Practically, the teen’s reaction can vary depending on the feedback heard from his or her loved ones, yet the inevitable importance of enrolling into rehab must be well-emphasized during the intervention.
13 Principles for Adolescent Addiction Treatment Programs
Meanwhile, to further guide you, here are the 13 working principles of the National Institute on Drug Abuse about adolescent addiction treatment plans.
- Early detection of addiction is highly important.
It is highly critical that there is early detection of substance abuse during the adolescent stage since it can be brought and worsened during adulthood.
- Intervention is a great tool to stop the early manifestations of substance misuse and addiction.
Parents must be very vigilant and sensitive to observing the habits, activities, and peers of their teenagers since they can experiment with different substances. Undermining this situation can lead them to substance misuse and later form an addiction.
As parents, you need to talk to your teens about this matter, so they can feel your genuine concern and stop this negative habit as early as possible.
- Schedule a yearly medical check-up which is a wise way to inspect any signs of teenage addiction.
Medical practitioners have the expertise and tools to efficiently help you with this matter. Moreover, it is a smart and subtle move to check if your teenager is abusing any substances.
- Family support and intervention to motivate the patient to finish the treatment program.
Teenagers can be placed under juvenile rehab treatment programs under legal grounds by their parents or guardians. During the treatment program, family members can push and give moral support, to boost the patient’s determination to complete his or her treatment.
- Customized Rehab Treatment Program
Let a professional assess your teen’s substance abuse disorder so they can formulate a tailored-fit rehab recovery program for the patient.
- Treatment Programs Must be Holistic
A rehab treatment plan never focuses on the addiction alone, rather it provides an all-around treatment plan for the patient. It must help improve all aspects of a person – emotional, physical, behavioral, and mental health.
- Never Undermine Behavioral Therapies
A trained professional must undertake this effort, and it’s an important aspect of every treatment program because it helps the patient modify one’s behavior to achieve sobriety.
- Moral Support and Positive Communication
The patient’s loved ones and community plays an essential role in recovery since it will boost the patient’s motivation and confidence to succeed in his or her treatment plan.
- Treating Any Co-Occurring Mental Disorders
A teenager or adolescent suffering from addiction will likely have a co-occurring behavioral disorder, which worsens the situation. With that, a separate treatment plan must be incorporated to medicate this dual disorder.
- Identify any traumatic experiences which moved the patient to commit addiction.
Based on statistics, most teenage addictions are also caused by any severe traumatic experience like sexual harassment or physical abuse. This aspect must be looked into when letting the teenager undergo treatment.
- Monitoring Treatment and Improvement.
Keeping close monitoring of the progress of treatment is highly important so that we can tell if the patient can readily go back to his home in no time. Alongside this, triggers and risk factors must be avoided by the patient to prevent any relapse.
- Substantial treatment period and aftercare program
In general, the duration of treatment depends on the intensity of the patient’s addiction and his or her progress along the way. Typically, a good rehab treatment program lasts for three months or longer.
Once the patient completes his or her rehab program, an aftercare plan is highly recommended to prevent any relapse. Moreover, this post-treatment plan will help the patient maintain sobriety.
- Testing for the presence of sexually transmitted disease like HIV, Hepatitis B, and C
Oftentimes, individuals suffering from substance abuse are engaged in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex, sharing of needles for tattooing, or consuming illicit substances.
By undergoing a rehab recovery program, the patient will be monitored by medical personnel regarding his or her condition and progress. Moreover, tailored-fit medications and behavioral therapies are given to teenagers to help them recover from addiction.
If you need further advice or consultation, then get in touch with an addiction professional.