Court Ordered Rehab for Young People


shutterstock_336271043Is it possible to force teenagers into rehab for addiction treatment? Of course. But, does it actually help? The percentage of teens who are mandated to attend rehab via the court system varies, but it generally around 60-65%. There are many factors to take into consideration to answer whether it works, and we’ll explore when it is appropriate, and if it can work for young people struggling with addiction.


A common theme to addiction treatment is the sooner the problem is addressed, the better. Catching addiction early and seeking treatment can help teens reverse the problem and live a healthy, sober life. This is even more important when the teens have been in contact with the juvenile justice system. So, this all makes sense, but will sending a teen to court ordered rehab truly help the addiction? Some think if the person doesn’t want help, they won’t get better. However, we believe the opposite is true.


Adolescents with substance use disorders can benefit from a structured schedule every single day. Their days should be planned out from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep at night. A detailed schedule gives teens stability—something they likely haven’t experienced before in their lives. This is helpful because as they get used to their schedules, they start to understand what to expect on a day to day basis. When treatment is complete, they can move that structured schedule into their lives back at home.


It’s important to teens to feel safe and cared for when they attend a rehab program. Some of the patients don’t even have basic needs met, such as adequate clothing and food. Many are lacking in a safe space at home, so treatment programs will strive to provide that. In addition to feeling safe and comfortable, teenagers require socialization. Many rehabs will incorporate social activities when possible, such as going out to movies and sporting events, or taking other field trips.


In some cases, the teens come from families where addiction or mental health problems exist. It’s possible they end up with a problem because they are immersed in the same behavior at home. This can present a challenge when the teen completes the rehab program, because they may not have a healthy environment to return to. This is why creating healthy hobbies and a structured scheduled is so important.
Dealing with addiction is difficult, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact LEAD’s recovery experts for answers today at 800-380-0012.