ADOLESCENTS

Adolescence can be a confusing time for kids, it is a time when they are learning who they are and how to socialize. Many kids decide to experiment. When it comes to experimenting with alcohol and drugs, kids may make the decision pretty casually. For one out of ten, that first drink or joint will trigger and fuel a dangerous disease process. The casual experiment has opened the door, and then the drug takes over. Oxytocin’s Adolescent Programs are designed to help young people and family members identify the sources of their problems and, under close supervision, learn how to handle them on an effective day to day basis without the use of mind or mood altering drugs.

The age ranges for this program is ages 14 though 19. Those diagnosed with a substance use disorder are taught the real effects of drugs and what it will cost them in the future if they remain on the substance abuse path. We emphasizes personal accountability for behavior and clarify the relationship between choice making and the potential consequences of each choice, be it positive or negative.

This program consists of research based techniques integrated into an approach that includes individual sessions, family sessions, group sessions, Twelve Step programs, and separate parent and youth substance-education groups. The complex social environment of the young
person—including family, school, community, peers, and possibly juvenile justice involvement—is an important consideration in developing appropriate treatment, as is the developmental stage of the adolescent or young adult. We recognize that many clients entering treatment during their teens need programming that falls toward the middle of the prevention-treatment continuum.

Evidence-Based Approach
It is important to note that a number of evidence-based practices are integrated into the treatment approach of this program: cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, contingency management, and Twelve Step facilitation.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
The principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are at the core of our program. The assumptions of CBT are that information and thoughts have an effect on emotions and behavior and that unwanted behavior can be changed by specifying the desired behavior and
consistently rewarding incremental steps in that direction. Clients are taught to analyze events and change thoughts and behaviors that precede substance use, which can result in a different outcome. They are also taught skills for stopping alcohol and other drug use and preventing relapse, guided in identifying and planning events that are not associated with substance use, and rewarded for using the tools and accomplishing the assignments. Other aspects of CBT include the development of alternative behaviors that are unlikely to
result in drug or alcohol use, in other words, a change in lifestyle. Regular urine testing is also a part of this approach.

Motivational Interviewing
Adolescents are often ambivalent about discontinuing the use of substances. From a developmental perspective, teens are moving through a transitional stage in their lives during which risk-taking is normal, disengagement from parents is necessary, and connecting with peers becomes the goal. Drinking and experimenting with alcohol and other drugs (especially marijuana) are common.Parents of adolescents commonly hope that a treatment program will solve the problem of their adolescent’s drug use, and they downplay the need for their own involvement. Caregivers are often ambivalent about participating in treatment, learning new ways of parenting, and improving the home environment to support a recovering individual. Sometimes parents display their concern by becoming over involved. It is difficult to maintain clear, consistent boundaries during this phase of development. If these boundaries were not established early in the child’s development, it becomes even more problematic to deal with the behavior of a teen or young adult at this stage.

Our program addresses core clinical areas with five components:

  1. Individual and Conjoint Sessions

  2. Early Recovery Skills Group

  3. Relapse Prevention Group

  4. Family Program: Parent Education

  5. Family Program: Adolescent Education