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How to Choose a Residential Treatment Facility for Your Teen

Mother and father talking to a treatment facility representative about their treatment programs

Think about the amount of time, energy, research and travel expense many parents invest in picking out the perfect college or university for their teenage son or daughter. Why shouldn’t the same amount of effort be put into choosing an inpatient drug rehab or treatment center to help teens recover from a substance use disorder?

The following tips can help you choose the best treatment center for your teen:

  1. Examine the accreditation of each facility. The Joint Commission Behavioral Health accreditation is much like the “Better Business Bureau” of the addiction service organizational world.
  2. Talk with the staff who work and volunteer at the treatment center. Do they seem to be professional and experienced? If you can’t trust the staff, your child likely won’t be able to either.
  3. Find out how flexible the facility team is regarding how long your teenager will stay in treatment. Does the facility adhere to a 30-day or 60-day regimen pretty rigidly? Or are they open to accommodating varying inpatient treatment lengths based on the recommendations of your teen’s doctor?
  4. Consider the physical location of each facility. Will your teen benefit from a site that is close to home so that friends and family can visit and provide support? Or would a radical change of scenery, like a center in a rural area, be more helpful for his or her recovery?
  5. Remember that all residential treatment facilities are not alike. For instance, some might specialize in specific conditions like alcoholism or heroin addiction and may not focus on prescription drug misuse or meth addiction. Others might have more experience in treating co-occurring disorders like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or anorexia.
  6. The facility should cater to the specific needs of your teen. For instance, single-sex, LGBTQ-focused or autism-friendly facilities may be better suited for specific patients who are going through teen addiction recovery.
  7. Assess the entire continuum of care that your teen will need. Does the facility you’re considering offer medically supervised detoxification? How about follow-up outpatient services, aftercare programs or support groups?
  8. Determine whether the facility employs evidence-based practices that have demonstrated scientifically verifiable treatment outcomes. Places that offer dubious, problematic, unsubstantiated or ethically questionable methods should be avoided.

Whenever possible, parents should begin their vetting process for the ideal residential rehab facility early and strive to obtain as much information as possible about potential treatment sites. The more that the staff’s specialties and core competencies align with your child’s specific needs and the more comfortable your teen feels living there, the higher the chances of a successful recovery.

If your teenager is struggling with a substance use disorder, contact Next Generation Village today to see if our facilities are the right fit for your teen’s needs.

Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide 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 other qualified healthcare provider.

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