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Finding The Right Detox for Teens


Drug addiction and teens make for an interesting treatment and detox combination. Many programs are designed for adults, not teenagers, and the input of a parent or legal guardian may be necessary, which complicates the process. Finding the right detox for teens requires careful consideration and multiple things need to be taken into account. When you call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to learn about treatment options, bear in mind what might be necessary to find the right detox for teens.

Search for Specialization

To find a detox program for your teen, you may need to search for a center that is specialized for teens and young adults. Teens are still developing physically and mentally, and the way in which they respond to detox may be different than the way a fully-grown adult would. Programs that specialize in treating and detoxing teen drug users will be better equipped to handle any issues that are specific to their age group, as well as being better able to interact with adolescent patients.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug detox and treatment programs for teens need to be able to cater to their specific needs. Choosing a center or program that is specialized for teens will guarantee that their needs will not only be met during detox, but properly recognized and monitored throughout the process.

Check Licensing

Detox for teens

Check online reviews for the detox facility you’re interested in.

Not all detox programs or centers are able to take on teenage patients. This is largely due to legalities and can be reflected in a program’s licensing. As the vast majority of teenagers are under the legal age, you should make sure that the program you are considering is properly certified to treat underage patients. A reputable center or program will willingly provide information about their licensing when requested or will have it readily available in easily accessible places like their website.

Check Expertise

When you find a program that is licensed for teens, you should also look at their experience and expertise. A license only means that you are allowed to do something; it does not guarantee that you do it regularly and well. Do additional research on programs and their providers before you make a final decision.

Check for:

  • Online reviews (e.g. Google, Yelp)
  • Patient testimonials, possibly on the program host’s website
  • Appearances in the news, both positive and negative
  • Standing with the county and state health departments

Contact us now to find detox centers in your area!

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What Role Can Parents Play?

The vast majority of teenagers are minors, and therefore, their parents will be required to play a role in the decision making process for treatment. Some states will not allow minors to be admitted into any kind of treatment facility—drug, mental, etc.—without their consent as a means of preventing abuse of the system by their legal guardians; the only exception is hospitals for medical care or if the child is unable to consent.

Many programs will not have any issue with a parent’s involvement in treatment; they may even welcome it as a means to provide support for the patient.

With detox, a parent’s role might not be significant or necessary. Some programs may only have a parent be involved with medical decisions. When looking for a detox for your teen, you may want to ask about what role you, as a parent, are allowed to play.

The Approaches Used

Every treatment and detox center, regardless of specialization, will use different approaches and strategies for their patients. Programs for teen drug detox will usually adapt an approach that is less harsh than what would be used for adults. Once again, this is often due to the fact that teens are still developing and too aggressive of an approach can create unwanted trauma, both physically and mentally. This, SAMHSA says, would only serve to destabilize them further and negatively impact the detoxification process for your teen.

Teen-oriented detox programs will use age-appropriate tactics. As teens are more likely to act out or respond negatively to accusations, many of these programs will offer counseling-aided interventions as part of the detox process. This is key to getting your teen into a detox program, as many will deny that something is wrong with them and that they need treatment.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, please call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) for help. You will be able to speak with one of our specialists about the treatment options available to you.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). Detoxification and Substance abuse Treatment.
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