treating teen drug addiction

Residential Rehab for Teenagers

​The Elk River Treatment Program specializes in treating teen drug abuse & alcohol abuse.

Rehab for Teens

Although the latest news about teen drug use has been encouraging due to decreased reported numbers of alcohol, cigarettes and prescription drug use, a high percentage of admissions at Elk River's teen drug rehab are due to alcohol and drug abuse or addiction. Deciding when to seek drug rehab for teens or dismiss the behavior as ordinary experimentation can be the difference between life and death.

When to Consider Rehab for Teens

Penny Baker, a licensed professional counselor-supervisor who has worked with teens and their families for more than 20 years, has seen her share of teens in turmoil. Ms. Baker is the Director of Clinical Services at Elk River Treatment Program (ERTP). Although each family's situation is unique, Ms. Baker recommends teen rehab when alcohol or substance abuse begins to interfere with a child's safety, family relationships, work, school or personal values. "That is when it has gone beyond experimentation or recreational use," Ms. Baker explained.

Before a teen is admitted to Elk River's teen rehab, an in-depth screening is conducted by one of Elk River's professional admission counselors. The admission process continues with a comprehensive enrollment application where parents have the opportunity to further describe what has led to the first phone call for help.

Addictions Treated at Elk River Teen Drug Rehab

ERTP admission counselors report that the majority of calls come from parents who are deeply concerned about their child's excessive alcohol or marijuana use. Alcohol and marijuana may be the most common behaviors reported, but use of prescription drugs, hallucinogens, inhalants, cocaine and Ecstasy are often reported as well. It is when the abuse has escalated to interference with school, sports, family and physical health that prompts parents to seek outside help.

Treatment in Rehab for Teens Program Goes Beyond the Symptoms

Entering a teen drug rehab will halt maladaptive or negative behaviors, but drug rehab at Elk River goes beyond treating the symptoms or behaviors created by alcohol or substance abuse. 

Elk River uses a Treatment Team approach to assess and evaluate the physical, emotional and mental health needs of each child. In depth assessment tools are administered and interpreted to determine the course of treatment which will include, but definitely not limited to, Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventories (SASSI). Rehab for teens at Elk River addresses the negative behavior (alcohol and drug use/addiction) and the core issue that is driving the negative behavior. 

"If a child is abusing substances - that is a behavior. The child is choosing that maladaptive behavior as a reaction to a core issue," Ms. Baker explained. A core issue is defined as a traumatic and/or extremely painful event one experiences that he/she had no control over, could do nothing to change, and results in a significant loss. Most painful losses occur within the family. Most rehab programs for teens focus on the behaviors rather than the core issues that drive behaviors.

Group therapy, individual therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Transtheoretical Model are just a few of the evidenced-based and empirically supported treatment modalities incorporated to help teens uncover core issues.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps teens find the connection between their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Through introspection, teens are encouraged to identify their own negative behaviors, their thoughts and feelings associated with their negative behaviors, and the Core Issue(s) connected to these behaviors, as well as begin to claim ownership of their negative behaviors, rather than excusing them or blaming others for them. Teens are taught alternative, more effective tools to deal with their negative behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, and then are encouraged and expected to practice these new tools.

Professionals at Elk River guide teens through the Counseling Stages of Change that must take place for success to be achieved in the long-term. The Transtheorectical Model is used to assess their readiness to act on new, healthier behaviors while providing strategies to continue guiding them in adaptive behaviors.

A Typical Day in Teen Drug Rehab at Elk River

A typical day at ERTP begins with physical fitness and balanced breakfast. We believe that no child should be left behind due to treatment so an AdvancED accredited education program is provided year-round. School begins at 8 a.m. and continues until noon, or begins at 1 and continues until 5 p.m., depending on the daily schedule of that group.  

When not in school and on the weekends, teens participate in group therapy, family therapy, substance abuse education groups, equine therapy, psychoeducational groups, life skills groups, spiritual enlightenment group, vocational education, experiential education groups, recreation, journaling, letter writing, or other therapeutic activities.  

Elk River's unique approach to treatment includes therapy, education, physical fitness, emotional and spiritual growth.

Through intensive group and individual therapy, teenagers are taught the skills they need to maintain sobriety. They learn how to substitute errant behavior like drinking and acting out in anger, with more positive means for communicating and managing their problems. Only from a position of sobriety within the confines of residential treatment, and after establishing a healthy diet and exercise, can patients correctly identify the underlying issues driving drug addiction and substance abuse, and create an effective plan for treatment and recovery.

Through regular group therapy in a positive peer culture, residents at Elk River practice their communication and coping skills on a daily basis, to hold each other accountable for their actions. With ongoing family therapy, teens learn how to transition these skills to their family members so that when they return home, they are better able to communicate and cope with life, free from drugs and alcohol.

What Makes Elk River’s Rehab for Teens Program Unique?

There is a marked difference in the treatment of a typical teen drug rehab center and a therapeutic program like Elk River Treatment Program (ERTP). Hospital-based residential treatment centers suggest illness as opposed to the structured daily therapies, emotional support and peace that can found in individual and group therapy among a positive peer group and supervised by a caring, qualified staff. Our program for troubled teens is a blend of medical care typically provided in a traditional hospital setting with the unique therapy that only a relaxed residential setting can provide. Results are achieved by utilizing both proven models and are accomplished through strong relationships with our professional, ethical and caring staff.