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How to Enter Your Child Into an Addiction Rehabilitation Program

Dr. Anna Pickering

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Anna Pickering

April 3, 2019

Sending your child to an addiction rehabilitation program can be a difficult decision to make. Getting them the help that they need, however, is crucial to getting your child back on track to a safe and healthy life. Learn how you can help your child by entering them into an addiction recovery program.

Teens struggling with addiction rarely understand the toll their addiction is taking on their lives, bodies, relationships, and futures. It’s nearly impossible to convince them of the long-term consequences of addiction when they’re in the throes of withdrawal or chasing their next high. It’s most difficult, however, for the parents who love them to watch them go through the cruel cycle of addiction and the baggage addiction leaves behind. Sometimes, the only solution is to enter your child into an addiction rehabilitation program.

The problem is, this isn’t something that was covered in all the parenting books you purchased back when you had big dreams that your child would have the brightest possible future ahead. You’re left wandering in the wilderness, so to speak, when it comes to knowing the steps you should take to get your child into these programs. These steps will help make the process a little less painful as you likely have enough on your plate to worry about.

Explore Your Options

There are several different types of addiction rehabilitation services available. You need to sort through them all, perhaps with the help of a school counselor, psychologist, or a drug treatment specialist here at to find the one that will best meet the needs of your teen. Common options for drug rehabilitation and treatment include any of the following and more:

  • 12-Step Programs
  • Long-term Rehab
  • Residential Rehab
  • Inpatient Rehab
  • Outpatient Rehab
  • Short-term Rehab
  • Local Support Groups
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dual Diagnosis Rehab

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These are not one-size-fits-all problems types of therapy. Some teens will need stronger courses of action. Government-sponsored organizations like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) can help parents identify specific treatment needs that are best suited for their child’s addiction and circumstances.

Teens with strong addictions to certain drugs may need medically supervised treatment in order to manage withdrawal symptoms safely. That’s why it’s so important to use medically supervised rehabilitation whenever possible and avoid potentially life-threatening withdrawals for your teen.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, effective treatment programs offer counseling, health screening, detoxification treatment (medically assisted detox, if necessary), mental health services, and life skills training to help patients cope once they leave the facilities and return to their former lives. They also believe that many people leave treatment programs before they’re truly ready.

It’s important to have your child follow the program and stay in the program until the medical professionals believe it’s time to move on and not just when a certain number of days have gone by. The most important thing you want in a treatment program is an individualized program that’s customized to the needs of your child.

Research Individual Facilities

While this isn’t something you necessarily want to take to the streets and ask around about, there are discreet ways to check out various resources in your area. Angie’s List is becoming a widely recognized resource for peer reviews of goods and services, even addiction rehab centers.

Before you trust your child’s addiction recovery to any facility you want to check for a history of abuse complaints, addiction recovery success rates, current licensing and accreditations, and safety of the treatment programs (and aftercare or relapse prevention programs) each facility employs.

Set Up An Interview

Most facilities will accommodate speedy admissions for your teen. However, it’s best to at least have an interview with the program coordinator and tour the facility before admitting your teen if that is possible. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions you may have and find out how comfortable you are with your child being involved in the treatment program offered at the facility.

Then what is left is to follow the proper procedure for admitting your child into the program you choose. Whether it’s an in-patient or residential program, which is often highly recommended for teen addiction recovery, or an outpatient rehab program, there will be an admissions process to go through. Once registration and admission have taken place the next step is the follow-up. As parents, you must make sure your child is where he or she needs to be for the duration of the rehabilitation process.

The good news is that addiction is treatable. With the right treatment, you can help your child overcome addiction and lead a happy, healthy, and full life once again. Parents struggling with teen abuse are not alone. There are treatment facilities and counselors that specialize in treating teen addiction. Now is the time to put your teen through a comprehensive rehabilitation and detoxification program so your teen can get back on the right path for a good future.

Contact one of our counselors today at to locate a drug rehab center that’s right for you and your child.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - Behavioral Health Treatments and Services

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction

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