Ask a Parent Coach

Finding Treatment

  • My teen/young adult has been to rehab several times and it didn’t work. Should I give up? Obviously he doesn’t want it, why should I send him again?

    The relapse rate for substance use disorders is typically 40-60%, although with opioids like painkillers and heroin, it is estimated to be as high as 90%. This is consistent with other chronic diseases like diabetes. Often, it takes multiple treatment episodes to achieve a stable recovery. Every treatment episode is an opportunity to abstain from drugs and alcohol while learning better coping skills. It’s also true that for most people, changing behaviors, and potentially one’s entire lifestyl...

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  • What is the SAMHSA Treatment Locator? Can it help me find a quality program for my child?

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, provides a searchable database of treatment providers covering the nation. In order to use the database, it’s helpful to have already decided on what type of treatment you are looking for, such as an intensive outpatient program or residential care. This 4 minute tutorial on how to use the search tools, which is well worth your time if you haven’t used this resource before. In pull down menus, you will find whether the p...

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  • Does my loved one need detox?

    Generally speaking, it’s important for someone who has been struggling with alcohol and/or benzodiazepines (i.e., Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Librium) to seek inpatient medical treatment to detox. A person using these drugs is at risk of having a seizure if the person suddenly quits. In a hospital or other inpatient setting, the person is given medication, typically over a 5-day period, to taper off the alcohol and drugs he or she was using while being monitored for any risk of seizures. People st...

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  • I think my teen/young adult needs to go to rehab, but the insurance company is denying coverage. What should I do?

    Often insurance policies will include a residential or rehab benefit, but that doesn’t mean a family can automatically use it. A number of factors are taken into consideration including whether a person has had previous treatment within the past year or two, and the outcome of that treatment. Insurance companies will opt for what is considered the least restrictive level of care, which may mean an outpatient program for your loved one. If you believe that your loved one needs inpatient care, th...

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  • I think my child needs to go to a treatment program, but where should I start?

    The first place to start is with a comprehensive assessment by an Addiction Psychiatrist, American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) certified addiction professional, or a licensed mental health or counselor with clinical experience working with substance use disorders. The assessment will include demographic information, substance use history, other mental and physical health problems, use of over-the-counter and prescribed medications, and consequences of substance use as well as treatment ...

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  • My teen/young adult needs treatment, but is refusing to get help. What should I do?

    In most cases, unless your child is considered a danger to himself or others, he cannot be forced into treatment. You may believe that his drug use poses a danger to himself as you witness the consequences for his use, but that is not enough to force treatment even if your child is not over the age of 18. Community Reinforcement and Family Training, or CRAFT, is an approach family members can use to help motivate behavior change in a loved one who is using substances. It uses specific strategie...

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  • Isn’t there some kind of rating system so I know which is the best place to send my teen/young adult? Will they guarantee results?

    Unfortunately, there is no universal rating system in place to assess the quality of treatment programs although many facilities are beginning to track treatment outcomes. Checking the staff’s credentials, the use evidence–based treatments, a developmentally appropriate curriculum, family involvement and a strong discharge planning component are important to examine in order to assess the quality of the program. The Partnership’s e-booklet on Questions to Ask Treatment Programs may help you eval...

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  • What is Narcan?

    Narcan (naloxone) is a FDA approved prescription medicine that can block the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose. When a person is overdosing on an opioid (heroin, fentanyl and other fentanyl analogs and prescription pain pills like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone and Vicodin) breathing can slow down or stop and it can very hard to wake or revive them. Narcan cannot get a person high. If it’s given to a person who has not taken opioids, it will not have any effect on them, since...

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