Substance use among teens sometimes leads parents to seek adolescent treatment for their loved ones. Adolescents who fail to stop their alcohol or drug use on their own may need detox. This is the process of cleansing the system of toxic chemicals that your adolescent's substance use may have caused. Medical detox with IV therapy is seen by many doctors as the safest and most effective method for detoxification. Not all drug use requires detox, so you should consult with a doctor to see if your child needs the process.
Traditional approaches to substance use treatment virtually always include use of the 12 steps. The 12 steps teach users that they suffer from a chronic disease, that they are powerless against their substance use, and that they are destined to be alcoholics or drug addicts for the rest of their lives. The program insists that the only treatment is submission to a Higher Power, complete abstinence, and participating in meetings and group therapy for the rest of their entire lives. The 12 steps stress the scientifically disproved claim that drug and alcohol use is an incurable brain disease that is passed down from generation to generation through an alcoholic or addiction gene.
There is a highly effective alternative to following the 12 steps. The non-religious Freedom Model Retreats never use the 12 steps. The Freedom Model retreats are unique in that they provide a non-treatment program. Instead, they offer a method called Cognitive Behavioral Learning (CBL) that teaches guests how reevaluate their goals, to self-evaluate, to reassess their decisions, and to make choices that help them achieve their goals in life without the use of alcohol or drugs. They develop increased self-confidence and are empowered to overcome their substance use permanently.
Guests don't have go through the program alone at St. Jude. Families are encouraged to follow along with the program on a website created especially for them. St. Jude Corner contains information about the program, lesson information, daily activities, menus, and helpful information for welcoming your adolescent home after the program. Sundays are family days at Freedom Model and family members are encouraged to enjoy brunch and dinner in the friendly and supporting environment on campus.
The non-profit Freedom Model Retreats also offer an additional program after the six week program. Some adolescents need a little more time to build on the foundation that is established during the six week program. Your adolescent may benefit from participating in the Personal Review and Enhancement Program (P.R.E.P.) to help them with academic goals, job opportunities, relationships with others. PREP will also help them complete college applications, obtain military service benefits, develop career goals, and help them strengthen life skills to have long term success without substance use.