Updated on May 12, 2021
Adolescent Residential Treatment – Pros and Cons
One of the most successful ways to help kids battle addiction, eating disorders and behavior problems is through programs that offer adolescent residential treatment. Pros and cons of such facilities must be considered before enrollment and weighed carefully before determining what course of action will be taken. Whether you choose a residential treatment center for teens or an outpatient program, the fact is that childhood goes by very quickly and it’s best to find true recovery before entering adulthood. Making bad decisions as an adolescent is one thing, but carrying those problems into adulthood can mean a lifetime of troubles.
One of the advantages of a residential treatment center is that teens are removed from the family situation while they’re in treatment. Some parents feel bad about being away from their child, but the value of creating a new identity for oneself cannot be underestimated. After months, years and sometimes a lifetime of deviant behavior it’s important that the patient’s loved ones are able to welcome back the “new” personality. It’s also easier to accept treatment when surrounded by an atmosphere of recovery rather than in the home; the same atmosphere that sometimes unwittingly nurtured the deviant behavior. A reputable treatment center will have a transition program in place that is designed to allow this “new personality” to move back into the home without undue stress.
A major disadvantage to adolescent residential treatment is the cost involved. Some programs run thousands of dollars per day. Don’t let that stop you from seeking treatment, there are ways that they can bill your medical insurance, the state, private donors, scholarship funds and offer other forms of financial aid. There are also treatment loans available at a fairly low interest rate, and some centers accept weekly or monthly payments. If cost is an issue, make sure that you speak with several facilities and discuss the payment options and resources available to you. It’s their job to help you find resources, you might be surprised by what’s available.
The social environment is also a consideration when seeking adolescent residential treatment. Pros cons of the social environment are personalized. Some people are better able to recover when they’re immersed in an environment with others in recovery, sharing triumphs and setbacks and encouraging one another on a daily basis. Others are distracted and annoyed by the drama and are better able to find true recovery in a relaxing, spa-like environment where they can be alone and think without interruption. Most treatment centers make both environments available, but the social environment should be a factor to consider, since many centers rely heavily upon group participation as a means of recovery, with group counseling and attempts to form close relationships with others in recovery.
Weighing the pros and cons of an adolescent treatment center is a heavy proposition. Be sure to speak with representatives from the center, they might have considerations that you haven’t thought of yet or innovative ways to approach certain issues, like video conferencing with the immediate family to relieve the trauma of being away from home and aid the transition process. Many treatment facilities offer free consultations and even quizzes to help you determine if their center can meet your needs.
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