What’s Involved in Adolescent Substance Use Treatment

Discovering that your child is struggling with a substance use disorder can be devastating. Questions around how this could’ve happened or “what ifs” are often at the forefront of a parent’s mind, but right now, it’s imperative your adolescent or teen receives the help they need.

No two people or two substance use disorders are alike, which is why adolescent substance use treatment can take many forms. The best treatment is going to be an individualized one, a plan that has been fully tailored to meet the specific needs of your child and therefore can best support them on their recovery journey.

The exact type of treatment and care your child receives within that treatment plan will depend on factors like their age if there are other mental or physical health issues present, as well as the severity of the substance use disorder.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what adolescent substance use treatment entails, the most common treatments used, as well as how you can help your child take the first step toward recovery today.

Common forms of treatment

Two of the most effective treatments for adolescent substance abuse are partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP); of the two, PHPs provide a higher level of care.

PHPs are for adolescents who need structure and intensive care but do not require 24-hour monitoring and hospitalization. IOPs are for adolescents who require greater support than traditional outpatient therapy but do not require the level of structure that a PHP offers.

While there are some similarities between these two programs, they are distinct from one another and designed for different people, in different phases of the recovery journey.

A closer look at PHPs

There are many different levels of care in addiction treatment, with PHPs existing right below residential and inpatient programs (when clients live on-site and are under 24-hour supervision). 

In other words, partial hospitalization programs are “level two,” if you think of level one as the highest level of care provided. PHPs generally involves daily sessions that are 20 or more hours per week and can often fill the majority of the day.

PHPs are commonly referred to as day programs because though clients receive their various treatment services throughout the day and on-site, they return home at the end of the day.

A closer look at IOPs

Intensive outpatient programs could also be considered “level two,” but it’s a step down from a partial hospitalization program. The main difference between the two is the level of care and the amount of time that’s spent receiving treatment.

While PHPs consist of daily treatment sessions, IOPs consist of weekly or bi-weekly (typically in the sense of twice a week, not every other week) sessions. In a PHP, these can last for up to eight hours a day, while in an IOP, these sessions usually only last a few hours.

The best choice for your child will depend on their unique treatment needs and the severity of their substance use disorder.

Speak with an advisor today

Researching adolescent substance use treatment can take a real toll on your own mental and emotional health. Addiction can be an incredibly stressful and scary condition to face, but it’s not something you have to do alone. We’re here to help.

Mazzitti & Sullivan offers comprehensive, personalized outpatient treatment to adolescents and teenagers struggling with a substance use disorder. 

Our clinicians are qualified to provide treatment services for drug and alcohol abuse and are highly trained in supporting and guiding families through the treatment process. We offer partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs, as well as dual diagnosis treatment for individuals experiencing addiction and mental health issues.

Speak with an advisor today and learn more about which of our programs is right for your child and will best help them achieve lasting sobriety.