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Addiction in a loved one is difficult. It is more challenging when that loved one is a minor. How do you practice “tough love” with someone who is still under your protection? Someone whom you still have a desired to nurture and see grow into a respected adult. Someone whom you are liable for under the law. While no simple answer exists, there is hope. An intervention specialist  can help with determining the best addiction treatment for your teen. That treatment may include a stay in a treatment center.

Case-By-Case Treatment

Every case of addiction is unique. The reasons behind the addiction vary and influence the extent of addiction. A professional intervention specialist will need to speak with family members and the teen to find possible causes of the addiction. This will help with determining the best addiction treatment for the teen.

Based on the extent of the addiction, the intervention specialist will recommend short-term or long-term treatments. Short-term treatments last 12-16 weeks, while long-term treatments vary between 30-90 days in a treatment center.

Tough Love in Addiction Treatment

The intervention specialist will teach the proper meaning of tough love. While tough love is needed, it’s often misunderstood. Tough love does not mean abusive behavior towards the addict. Nor does it mean teaching the addict a lesson by setting them up for failure.

Tough love is detachment from the addict’s behavior and allowing the addict to face the consequences of his or her actions. Instead of bailing the addict out of jail for shoplifting, allow the addict to face spending the night in jail. If the addict knows you will always post bail, he has no reason to change his actions.

Tough love is allowing the school to suspend the teen for missing too many days or using drugs on the premise. Or allowing the teen to fail the current grade level and not move forward with his friends.

Tough love is allowing the teen to face life consequences for his actions. When the results become too painful, the teen will make changes and seek or accept help.

Evidence-Based Approaches to Addiction Treatment

When the teen is ready to accept help an intervention specialist or therapist will suggest treatment. It is important to choose from evidence-based approaches to treatment, therapies proven to work with teens.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends the following four evidence-based approaches for teen addiction treatment.

Behavioral Interventions: Treatments focus on finding the cause of addiction. Depression, low self-esteem, boredom, and abusive relationships may be addressed. The teen is taught coping skills among other therapies.

Family-Based Interventions: Treatment focuses on the family unit, teaching the family how to work towards recovery together. Communication, learning disabilities, and peer networks are reviewed.

Medication-Based Interventions: Addictions may be managed through medication to help curb cravings to use drugs or alcohol.

Recovery Support Services: Treatment includes 12-Step Programs, peer groups, and continuing care plans.

Determining the Best Addiction Treatment Center for Your Teen

Choose a recovery center that uses one or more evidence-based approaches. An addiction helpline can help you find the right program for your teen’s needs. Call Northlake Recovery’s helpline at (561)-770-6616. An Addiction Specialist is waiting to help you with treatment information, intervention help, and a free insurance check.

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