Is Inpatient Drug Rehab Best for my Son?
Discovering that your child has been abusing drugs and is in need of treatment is devastating and will be a long, uphill battle you, your child, and the other members of your family. However, the most important thing you can do now that you know treatment is necessary is to find the right treatment option for him.
If you are considering inpatient drug rehab for your son, you must ask yourself about his needs as well as your own needs long before you begin searching for a facility. Should you decide that those needs coincide with what residential rehab can offer, then you will have peace knowing that this type of treatment will be best for your son.
Needs of Teenagers in Inpatient Treatment
When you are considering whether or not to place your son in inpatient drug rehab, you will need to consider the treatment needs he specifically has as an adolescent. In many cases, there are residential facilities in which your son can receive drug addiction treatment that is specifically catered to teenagers. Teens can interact with other individuals their age, feel more comfortable in their ability to talk through their issues in group settings, and even continue school lessons in some facilities.
The NIDA states, “Access to comprehensive assessment, treatment, case management, and family-support services that are developmentally, culturally, and gender-appropriate is also integral when addressing adolescent addiction.” Your son will be likely to receive these types of help in an inpatient facility, which will be incredibly necessary based on how intense his addiction may be.
Many teenagers find these types of well-rounded treatment catered to their specific age group and needs in inpatient rehab, which could be a reason why this type of treatment would be favorable. However, your son will have his own needs that are personal to him as well, and it is important to know whether those will be addressed in inpatient drug rehab.
As stated by the NIDA, “Adolescent drug abuse is also often associated with other co-occurring mental health problems. These include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct problems, as well as depressive and anxiety disorders.” Because these are so prevalent in cases of adolescent drug abuse, it is important to find out whether or not your son might be struggling with any of these issues in addition to his addiction.
If you suspect or know that he is, residential treatment is a good choice for your son. The therapy sessions in residential treatment can be more easily catered to those who need treatment for both kinds of issues, and it will also be a better environment for your son, especially if his mental health problems are particularly intense or have gone untreated for a long time.
Lack of a Strong Support System
Someone who starts addiction treatment will usually need a strong support system in order to better get through the next few months. And, sadly, it can be problematic if they do not have that intense type of support from a large group of loved ones.
If you are your son’s only support, it can be hard on both him and you to go through the process of recovery and addiction treatment. He will need more than just one person, and you will feel exhausted trying to be there for him through all of the issues that come with recovery (including withdrawal, treatment, possible relapse, etc.).
According to the NCBI, “Patients with… a good social support system may do well as outpatients,” but those who do not have that strong and varied social support group will often do better as inpatients. If your son does not have very many friends or if he is not particularly close to his family members, he may need this type of treatment. Inpatient treatment actually allows the patient to receive that type of support from caregivers and other patients, who all help to provide the support that might be lacking in other areas.
This is not to say that you are not supporting your son. But if you are all he has, he may need a particularly hands-on inpatient treatment facility that also allows your direct help and input.
Leading into the concept of family therapy, this treatment is extremely beneficial to both the adolescent patient and his family members. Multidimensional family therapy, as described by the NIDA, “addresses a range of influences on [the patient’s] drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family functioning.” This treatment approach is often used for adolescents in addiction treatment so that their families can be involved and relationships between all parties can have a better chance at being mended.
Inpatient treatment facilities are often more likely to offer family therapy as an option to patients. They will usually allow visitors to come and see the patient, and therapy like this might take place on those occasions. This is not to say that family therapy isn’t offered at many outpatient facilities as well, but more inpatient drug rehab centers would be likely to provide the option. It may make inpatient treatment a bigger priority, especially if a facility promises this option.
Severity of Your Son’s Abuse and Condition
The severity of your son’s abuse and the condition his body and mind are in at the point of seeking treatment should also be a factor. Some individuals may only need outpatient treatment because they are not in any physical danger from the side effects or mentally unstable. However, some individuals might be dealing with these issues.
For example, drugs like opioids might not cause deadly withdrawal symptoms, but your son could be incredibly addicted to them, to the point where he needs to be in a controlled environment in order to avoid relapse. Also, if he has been abusing stimulants for a long time, there is a chance he has developed stimulant-induced psychosis, for which he would need to be treated in an inpatient facility.
Whether or not an inpatient drug rehab program will benefit your son is based on his specific needs as a patient and especially the severity of his condition. Consider these issues (and the potential treatment needs listed above) in order to decide what will be best for your son.