Teens are known to experiment with many things in adolescence. It is a time to test boundaries and find new means of self expression. Some teens choose to experiment with drugs and alcohol during this time for many reasons, however, casual use can turn into abuse or addiction. Teenage addiction affects families, friends, school and possibly future employment opportunities. Treatment options are available but choosing the right one for a loved one can seem daunting. Review some available options to decide what may seem the best fit for a teen who is struggling with addiction.



Catching teen drug or alcohol addiction early is key to preventing more serious problems which may occur if left untreated. Addiction treatment requires an individualized approach with teens having different needs than adults. Some key components of an addiction treatment program for teens may include:

  • Behavior therapy
  • Family involvement
  • Healthcare services
  • Home visits
  • Peer to peer support
  • Psychiatric assessments, treatment
  • Recreational activities
  • Social interaction


Steps to Treatment


When a teen checks in for treatment, some basic steps are followed to ensure the best possible opportunity for success. The following steps are a guideline which include assessment, detox, treatment and aftercare support.

Assessment: prior to undergoing drug addiction treatment, a teen must first go through a substance abuse disorder screening and assessment conducted by an addiction specialist. Doctors, psychiatrists and licensed clinical psychologists are on hand to help answer questions about the teen’s drug or alcohol use. An addiction specialist will diagnose a teen with a drug dependence based on answers to the questions with an addiction treatment care plan drawn up at this time.

Detox: once a teen stops taking drugs, withdrawal symptoms begin within several hours to a few days. Symptoms vary but often become uncomfortable and even dangerous. Medical supervision is usually recommended during this period. While in detox, medical professionals can help alleviate symptoms and ensure detox goes smoothly.

Psychological and pharmacological treatment: youth addiction treatment programs generally require mental and emotional support to navigate issues. Individual and group therapy sessions address the issues which can be one of the most important aspects of treatment. Family counseling is also a critical component of teen substance use treatment. Dysfunctional family relationships need to move towards health and stability to support the entire unit. Some teens may also need medication such as opiate replacement therapy, antidepressants or other medication.

Aftercare: after a teen completes treatment for addiction, the teen needs to continue with an aftercare program. Aftercare may be residential or outpatient but generally involves at least weekly individual, group and family therapeutic sessions. This part of the program may last several weeks or years post treatment to support long term recovery.


Being a teen is stressful. Add addiction to the mix and it can be a dangerous combination. Treatment Now provides resources and assistance to families who seek help for a teen addicted to drugs or alcohol. Call today for more information on how we can support your family’s journey. 844-438-8689.