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Inpatient Drug Rehab for Teens: How It Can Help Overcome Addiction

Inpatient drug rehab is a comprehensive, residential treatment program designed to help teenagers overcome drug addiction. It involves staying at a specialized facility for a predetermined period of time, during which the adolescent receives intensive therapy and support to address the underlying issues that contribute to their addiction.

What Are the Benefits of Teen Substance Abuse Treatment?

There are several benefits to inpatient drug rehab, including:

  • 24/7 Support and Supervision: Teens receive around-the-clock care and support from trained professionals who are experienced in working with adolescents.
  • Structured Environment: Inpatient rehab facilities provide a structured and supportive environment that helps teens stay focused on their recovery.
  • Comprehensive Treatment: Inpatient treatment offers a wide range of therapies and services to address the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of addiction.
  • Peer Support: Teens in inpatient rehab have the opportunity to connect with other individuals who are going through similar experiences, which can be a powerful source of support and motivation.

What Happens During Inpatient Treatment?

The exact process of adolescent rehab can vary depending on the facility and the individual needs of the person. However, most programs will include some combination of the following:

  • Intake Assessment: The young adult undergoes a comprehensive assessment to determine the extent of their addiction and identify any co-occurring mental health conditions that may need to be addressed.
  • Detoxification: If necessary, individuals undergo a medically supervised detoxification process to safely and comfortably withdraw from drugs or alcohol.
  • Therapy: The person participates in individual, group, and family therapy to address the underlying issues that contribute to their addiction and develop coping skills for managing triggers and cravings.
  • Education: Teens learn about addiction, recovery, and relapse prevention through educational workshops and classes.
  • Recreation and Leisure: People have opportunities for recreation and leisure activities, such as sports, art, and music, to help them relax and engage in healthy, positive activities.
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How Long Does Residential drug and alcohol rehab last?

The length of treatment can vary depending on the individual's needs and progress. However, most programs last between 30 and 90 days, with some programs offering longer stays for teens who need more intensive support.

Is Inpatient Drug Rehab Right for Your Teenager?

Inpatient drug rehab for teens can be an effective treatment option for teenagers who are struggling with drug addiction. However, it is not the right choice for everyone. If you are considering inpatient rehab for your teenager, it is important to speak with a qualified healthcare provider to determine if it is the best option for your child's needs.

Some factors to consider when deciding if inpatient treatment is right for your son or daughter:

  • The Severity of Their Addiction: Inpatient rehab may be more appropriate for teens who have a more severe addiction and need intensive support to overcome it.
  • The Presence of Co-occurring Mental Health Conditions: If your teenager is struggling with a co-occurring mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, inpatient rehab may be a better option to address both their addiction and mental health needs.
  • Their Level of Motivation: Inpatient rehab may be more effective for teens who are highly motivated to overcome their addiction and engage in the treatment process.
  • Your Home Environment: If your home environment is not supportive of your child's recovery, inpatient rehab may be a better option to provide them with a safe and structured environment to focus on their treatment.

What Happens After Inpatient Drug Rehab?

Completing inpatient substance abuse treatment is just the first step in a long-term journey of recovery. After leaving the rehab facility, your teenager will need ongoing support and care to help them maintain their sobriety and continue to grow and develop as a person.

Some options for continuing care after inpatient drug rehab include:

  • Outpatient Therapy: Your teenager may continue to participate in individual, group, or family therapy on an outpatient basis to continue addressing the underlying issues that contribute to their addiction.
  • Support Groups: Your teenager may benefit from participating in support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery, to connect with others in recovery and receive ongoing support and encouragement.
  • Sober Living: If your home environment is not supportive of your teenager's recovery, they may benefit from living in a sober living home, which provides a safe and supportive environment for people in recovery.
  • Continuing Care: Many inpatient rehab facilities offer continuing care programs to help your teenager transition back to their daily life and maintain their sobriety.
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Can Inpatient Treatment Be Covered by Insurance?

Yes, many insurance companies cover the cost of inpatient drug rehab for teens. However, the amount of coverage may vary depending on your specific insurance plan. It is important to check with your insurance provider to determine what is covered and what your out-of-pocket costs may be.

What Happens if My Teenager Refuses to Go to Inpatient Rehab?

If your teenager is not willing to go to inpatient rehab, it can be challenging to convince them to seek treatment. However, there are several things you can do to encourage them to get help, such as:

  • Expressing Your Concern: Let your teenager know that you are concerned about their well-being and want to help them get the help they need to overcome their addiction.
  • Providing Information: Share information with your teenager about the risks and consequences of addiction, as well as the benefits of treatment.
  • Offering Support: Let your teenager know that you will be there to support them throughout their treatment and recovery process.
  • Seeking Professional Help: Consider consulting with a qualified healthcare provider or addiction specialist who can provide guidance and support in convincing your teenager to seek treatment.

What Should I Look for in an Inpatient Drug Rehab Facility for Teens?

When choosing an inpatient drug rehab facility for your teenager, it is important to consider several factors, such as:

  • Licensing and Accreditation: Make sure the facility is licensed and accredited by a reputable organization, such as the Joint Commission.
  • Experience and Expertise: Look for a facility that has experience and expertise in treating teenagers with addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions.
  • Comprehensive Treatment: Choose a facility that offers a wide range of evidence-based therapies and services to address the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of addiction.
  • Family Involvement: Look for a facility that involves families in the treatment process and provides education and support for families to help them support their loved one's recovery.
  • Aftercare Support: Choose a facility that offers comprehensive aftercare support to help your teenager transition back to their daily life and maintain their sobriety.


The information in this article was compiled from the following sources:

  • American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2019). The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Treatment Improvement Protocol 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Contact your healthcare provider or a qualified addiction specialist for guidance and support.

Clinical Review Staff

Dr. Gina M Jansheski, M.D.

Dr. Gina Jansheski, M.D.

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu, MD, MS

Renee Warmbrodt, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC

Renee Warmbrodt, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC

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