By the time a young person reaches the point of requiring professional help for substance abuse, it is no longer useful to ask what could have been done to prevent the problem from happening. Instead, it’s time to find a way to help the individual overcome his or her substance abuse problems once and for all. Where parents are concerned, it is a matter of locating the right resources that will help a young person get clean.

The first thing parents need to understand is that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for every kid. Every human being is different. Every young person has a unique personality and individual demons he or she is struggling with. Sure, there are some similarities between young people, but each person needs to be treated on an individual basis.

This is the philosophy adopted by a good number of the private rehab clinics across the UK. These clinics use bespoke treatment plans custom developed by trained therapists who have extensive experience in substance recovery. A bespoke treatment plan might include half-a-dozen different therapies all implemented after detox is complete.

Settings and Programmes

Just as there are different therapies that professionals might use to help young people get clean, there are also different settings and programmes. Here is just a small sample of what is available:

  • Residential Rehab – The most common form of substance abuse treatment comes by way of residential rehab at a private clinic. This kind of rehab seeks to isolate the recovering individual from those normal circumstances that enable addictive behaviour. The combined isolation and focused treatment encourages those in recovery to put all of their energies into getting well. 
  • Boot Camp – When youth substance abuse is accompanied by violence or other antisocial behaviours, another treatment option is boot camp. Such camps combine rigorous discipline with daily structure and psychotherapeutic treatments to help kids learn self-control. Boot camp is not for everyone, but it can be effective for those who need its structure. 
  • Support Groups – The Alcoholics Anonymous support group was originally formed in the United States back in the 1930s. The model has been so successful that it has spawned hundreds of other support groups around the world, including drug and alcohol support groups specifically aimed at teenagers. Using a support group as a main therapy option is one choice for young people who would be classified as abusers, but not yet addicts. 
  • Specialist Groups – A very popular option right now for young people are specialist groups that focus on things such as sports, the arts, or cooking. These types of programmes combine standard counselling therapies with a specialised activity youth are interested in. The specialised activities give the kids a greater meaning and purpose that can encourage them to stay away from drugs and alcohol. 

There are also the counselling therapies and medications offered by the NHS. Such services are free to UK residents in most cases. Unfortunately, NHS services are often oversubscribed and involve long waiting periods that could be potentially harmful.

The one thing we must all remember is that the only cure for drug addiction is complete abstinence. This is just as true for young people as it is for adults. That means parents who truly want to help their kids must be willing to do whatever it takes to ensure they remain faithful to their commitments to sobriety.

If you are a young person with a substance abuse problem, we want you to know that help is available. Please call the Addiction Helper recovery helpline. We are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  Teenagers and drug addiction are two things that should not, but sometimes do go together. Seek help if you have concerns.

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