If your child has a problem with alcohol, drugs, or other substances and needs help, look for a program that includes:
Education: Find a program that has a way for your child to continue his or her education. If remedial work is needed, providing techniques that allow maximum achievement for your child will help boost his or her self-confidence.
Parental involvement: Most likely, family therapy will be part of a program, but you also need to provide support and encouragement for your child both during and after the program.
Promotion of interests: The program needs to provide leisure or recreational time when your child can pursue a hobby or interest. A leisure activity that can be continued after care will help your child have something healthy to do rather than use alcohol or drugs.
Relapse prevention: Relapse (returning to alcohol or drug use) is common. Programs need to help your child develop a plan for dealing with drug cravings, high-risk situations, and relapse.
Aftercare: Most relapses occur within the first 3 months after treatment. An aftercare program that keeps your child involved and around people who are staying drug-free (recovering) helps lower the chance that he or she will relapse. If your child commits to aftercare for 12 to 24 months, he or she will be less likely to relapse.
Groups: The program needs to have group and individual counselling along with support and self-help groups. These groups need to be separate from adult groups. Counselling may include cognitive-behavioural therapy to help your child learn coping skills to prevent future drug use.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerPatrice Burgess, MD, FAAFP - Family Medicine Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerChristine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health