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11 Questions To Ask When Looking For A Program

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Questions To Ask Treatment Programs

1. How effective is your treatment for the symptoms we are looking to address?

There are many types of treatment programs designed to treat a number of different diagnoses and behaviors. It is important to ensure that the program you are entrusting your child’s care to is expert in treating their needs. Have a frank discussion about what the program treats and what your needs and expectations are for your child’s stay.

2. Will my child be assessed to ensure that the program understands their clinical needs?

Treatment planning is difficult if a program is unsure what they are treating or are only treating behaviors or symptoms. Often those behaviors and symptoms are being driven by underlying reasons such as anxiety and depression. Ask a program if and how they assess clients.

3. How effective is your program and can you provide me with treatment outcomes for clients you have treated?

When you make an important or large purchase, you probably do quite a bit of research. Asking a group of treatment providers about their ‘product’ can be approached in a similar fashion. Don’t be afraid to ask for treatment outcomes. Programs themselves should be interested in how effective their treatment is and will be enthusiastic about sharing the efficacy of their program.

4. How much individual and family therapy and support are provided?

Often, programs provide the same amount of individual and family therapy that was ineffective at home. Providing one hour of individual therapy and one hour of family therapy replicates the home environment. If a family is seeking intensive residential treatment, the amount of individual and family therapy should reflect that as well.

5. My child is a gifted student, artist, athlete, etc. Will your program be able to help them maintain their academic, artistic, athletic strengths while in treatment?

Residential programs exist to treat an area where an adolescent has a deficit that cannot be addressed in the community. All adolescents also have personal strengths that can become marginalized in residential treatment. It is important to inquire about how adolescent’s strengths can continue to be accentuated and nurtured as strengths while receiving treatment.

6. How will your program support my child’s transition from residential care back to the community?

Great treatment can be measured by how well an adolescent can transition from residential care to living at home with their family. Programs that excel in this transition provide aftercare services that are prominent prior to, during and after that transition. Ask a program about their communication with outpatient therapists, families and community supports prior to discharge and if aftercare services are available following discharge if difficulties arise.

Teen Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

Teen Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


Almost 60% of people who have a Mental Illness, such as Bipolar, Depression, or an Eating Disorder, also have a Substance Abuse Disorder.  In these cases, teen co-occurring disorder treatment becomes necessary.

Teen Co-Occuring Disorder Treatment | Teen Depression Rehab | Paradigm Malibu

What It Looks Like


Many times, people with a Mental Health Illness end up abusing substances as an effort to treat their own symptoms and try to find relief; other times, people who abuse substances can eventually show symptoms of Mental Illness.


However, it’s not always easy to tell that there are multiple disorders present.  In order to see as clear and full a picture as possible of what’s going on, it’s important to keep in mind all the symptoms the person is experiencing.


As far as whether the Mental Illness or the Substance Abuse came first, it’s often difficult to tell.  However, once a person has both, the important issue is not necessarily identifying how the onset occurred, but just making sure both are treated.  Sometimes, in identifying and seeking to treat one Disorder, symptoms of another co-occurring disorder can be overlooked. This is obviously problematic and makes recovery even harder for the person, especially with regard to possible relapse, as their issues weren’t comprehensively addressed.


Teen Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


Treatment for teen co-occurring disorders must involve specific approaches and remedies for the Mental Disorder as well as necessary steps to address the Substance Abuse Disorder.  It’s often beneficial if a person can get both treatments in the same location, which makes for a better chance at a more ideal and holistic approach, where the therapists and/or physicians are on the same page.


Depending on the severity of each condition and the specific substance at play, the order of priority, of what to address first, may differ.  With that being said, it’s important to first make sure the person is physically stable and provide oversight and care for any possible withdrawal symptoms or challenges that may occur.  From here, treatment essentially follows the general protocol for each individual disorder, while the therapist maintains careful sensitivity and awareness that both disorders are present.




How do I know if I have Co-Occurring disorders?


It may be hard for you to recognize what, if any, Disorders you may have, much less identify if they’re co-occurring.  So slow down, and just take one step at a time.  Your first step, if you’re experiencing any symptoms of a Mental or Substance Abuse Disorder, should be to talk to a therapist or other health care expert. Right now, you probably have a lot of questions, and the sooner you get help, the sooner you’ll start getting answers.


Dual Diagnosis | Paradigm Malibu