Your teen is your most precious cargo in the world. You want to make sure they’re in the best of hands. How can you know if a treatment center should be entrusted with their care?
Not all facilities are equal, so it’s important to ask the right questions before sending your teen their way.
Knowing the Right Questions to Ask
As a parent, here are the five essentials you need to cover with a treatment center:
- “Do you provide a medically supervised detox program?"
When someone is addicted to drugs, his or her body experiences withdrawal when they stop using them. Withdrawal symptoms are often severe. They can pose serious health risks. Seizures and other life-threatening symptoms are possible. The treatment center should offer medical support to protect the health of your teen through the detox phase of treatment.
- "Is there a doctor on the premises 24/7?"
Treatment facilities are staffed by a variety of employees - from counselors, to psychiatrists, to social workers, to medical personnel. As an inpatient, your teen will have 24/7 supervision of some sort. However, it’s important that part of their 24-hour care is a doctor. There may be times when they need more than a mentor. As mentioned above, recovery can involve health risks. Someone should be available at all times if your teen needs medical assistance.
- "What kind of unique therapies do you offer for teenagers?”
Treating a teen with substance abuse involves different challenges than treating a retiree. Adolescents are in a unique time of development. Their treatment should reflect this. The treatment center’s therapists should specialize in techniques that are proven to be effective with teens. Since mental health issues are a common occurrence among teens with substance abuse, it’s important that these are also addressed in treatment.
- “What is the staff-to-patient ratio?”
The treatment center may offer spectacular staff, but even the best workers can only do so much. If they are understaffed, your teen won’t receive the best care possible. A poor staff-to-patient ratio results in overworked employees, unsupervised teens and a general lack of good care. You want to ensure your teen gets the personalized attention necessary to guide them on a road to recovery.
- “What follow-up care do you offer?”
Your teen is not magically cured when they leave the treatment center. They will be in the next step of their recovery journey. They will need continued support to stay sober. Does the facility offer outpatient services for patients who complete inpatient stays? Do they have strong support groups in the area? Can they connect your teen with healthy community activities post-rehab? Do they also offer support for you, as the parent?
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