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6 Tips in Choosing an Adolescent or Young Adult Treatment Program

Written by Tara Smith, May 14, 2018

Helping your loved one climb out of a self destructive cycle can be a long and challenging process, especially if your loved one is an adolescent or young adult. Disengaging in social activities, elusive behavior and vague answers, as well as unexplained bruises or injuries are just a few of the signs that your son or daughter might be using drugs.  With the variety of treatment programs out there, how do you know which program is the best fit? What are the advantages of an outpatient program? Does a higher priced program equate to lasting sobriety and success?

 

As the death count from drug overdoses continues to rise, many family members will do whatever it takes to help their struggling son or daughter. Finding the right program can be daunting, so we have collected a key tips in choosing an addiction recovery program before you take that leap of faith.

1. Does the program provide detox?

The fear of withdrawal and detoxification is a daunting hurdle that prevents many individuals from taking the first step to recovery. And who could blame them? As your loved one is going through the worst flu like symptoms they have ever experienced, the only thing on their mind is getting another fix to make the pain go away. It is important to choose a program that has trained and experienced staff that knows every step of the withdrawal process, and has the tools to alleviate the pain.

 

Thanks to the latest advances in technology, a non-invasive FDA approved device to help reduce the pain of withdrawal is now available to doctors across the country. The BRIDGE device attaches to the ear of the patient and send a gentle electrical signal to the pain receptors to the brain. Within minutes, you can watch the BRIDGE take effect.

It is important to note that the BRIDGE is the most effective once the withdrawal symptoms are almost at their peak. If the BRIDGE is placed on too early, or before withdrawal symptoms are fully present, it will not be able to successfully reduce withdrawal symptoms. Make sure that the provider who places the BRIDGE is trained by the manufacturer, Innovative Health Solutions, and has experience applying the device.

2. Give a mental and physical reboot.

A large compliant of many recovering addicts is the persistent brain fog and lack of energy. Opiates, alcohol, benzodiazepines, amphetamines and other illicit drugs take a horrendous toll on the brain and body. These substances create a chemical imbalance in the brain, which can take decades to reverse and repair. This imbalance can leave one feeling as if they are walking through a fog. Their thought process is slowed, planning ahead becomes difficult and tedious, and everything seems to be dulled- things are not as bright as they once were.

 

Many detox programs offer intravenous vitamin therapy to help offset the damage from abused substances, but there is one vitamin that stands apart from the rest. NAD+ therapy has been used since the 1960’s to give individuals a second chance, a fresh start from chemical dependencies. NAD+ is a coenzyme that is extremely effective in detoxification, but also helps rebalance the brain and repairs every cell in the body.

Other vitamin therapies to consider are Myers cocktails, glutathione, and phosphatidylcholine. Myers cocktails are a blend of B vitamins and minerals that help replenish the basic nutrients depleted from substance abuse. Glutathione is a strong antioxidant to help prevent the cells from future damage, and phosphatidylcholine is an essential component of cellular membranes.  

3.     One size does not fit all.

Find continuing care that fits your needs.

Addiction recovery has evolved over time into something more than a 12-step program. While the tradition route to recovery has a tremendous value, not everyone responds to that type of structure. Meeting the individual on their level to decide a program that fits their needs is crucial.

 

Many programs offer ancillary therapies, such as massage, neurofeedback, biofeedback, reiki, acupuncture, yoga, art and equine therapy. There are also many different types of counseling methods, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Finding a counselor and a type of therapy that resonates with your son or daughter could determine his or her retention in the program.

4. Pros and cons of an outpatient program.

Inpatient or outpatient? How do you tell which structure is a better fit for your needs?

 

Many outpatient programs are significantly less expensive than inpatient programs, but they are not able to house their patients overnight. If your loved one is at high risk of relapsing during treatment, or does not have a solid support system, then inpatient might be your answer.

On the other hand, outpatient programs can feel less restrictive and give the sense of control to the individual. Outpatient programs, such as the NAD Treatment Center, have partnered with local sober living and residential programs to provide extra support during the most crucial step in recovery- the detoxification process.

5. What is the success rate of the programs treatment protocol?

According to the National Institute for Health, addiction can be treated successfully, but should be approached as a chronic condition that needs to be managed, rather than cured.  The relapse rate of many treatment protocols is unsettling, except for one.

 

In a clinical study published in 2014 at the Neuroscience Convention, intravenous NAD+ therapy displayed less than a 10 percent relapse rate over a period of 20 months after detoxification. Furthermore, the therapy was about 95 percent successfully and reducing cravings during and after detoxification.

More research needs to be done on NAD+ therapy, but hearing patient testimonials is also a great way of validating a program’s success. When speaking to the program, ask to speak to a previous patient. Most program graduates are happy to share their story and will be honest about the nature of the program.

6. Go with your gut.

After speaking with the staff, evaluating the different type of programs, it is time to listen to your intuition. Only you and your loved one can determine which program is the best. Talk to your son and/or daughter to determine which program appeals to them the most. The journey ahead of them will require a team effort, remember that they are not in this alone.

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