Time magazine reported in the article "Does Teen Drug Rehab Cure Addiction or Create It?" that teenagers who are sent to rehabs that are 12 step program based are more likely to become repeat drug offenders and to continue their substance use than teens that go to alternative programs. The reason behind this is that, in the words of a teen who attended a rehab program, "The whole event solidified and created this notion in my own mind and in my social status. Who I was, was an alcoholic and drug addict." This teen's concern is reinforced in the first step of 12 step programs, that an individual must admit that they are powerless over their drugs or alcohol. For this reason many people question whether or not young people belong in rehab.
Rehab that is 12 step oriented not only requires that individuals admit that they have no control over their substance use, but also teaches the false idea that they have a disease. The disease concept of addiction is based on the idea that an individual inherited an addict or alcoholic gene and that there is no cure. It is used by 95% of rehabs today. So, do young people belong in rehab? Â It stands to reason that any impressionable teen, being forced to accept those views would be negatively influenced. But, there is another way of overcoming substance that offers hope.
St. Jude Retreats is a non-treatment program. We are not a 12 step program, in fact, you are not diseased, there is no such thing as an alcoholic or addict gene and you will not need lifelong therapy to overcome your substance use.
The St. Jude Program offers an educational program that is based on Cognitive Behavioral Learning that helps teens understand how the choices they make can influence the habits they form and the behaviors they exhibit and how they relate to their substance use. We teach teens how to self evaluate their choices and to make choices and to develop habits and behaviors that are more positive and productive to their lives.
Our six week program gives teen the confidence they need to understand that they are not diseased, that they are not powerless against substance use and it gives them hope. Other programs, especially those that are 12 step based, label teens and use judgment and manipulation to force them to conform to their program's ideas. The St. Jude Program helps teens by teaching them how to make lifestyle changes and giving them the life skills they need to take control of their life over substance use.
Many teens at the St Jude Program concentrate on the challenges that they will face when they return home such as relationships with friends and family, school life, peer pressure, how they will spend their time and job opportunities.