Teenage Drug Abuse Project

What to do if a Child Refuses Substance Abuse Treatment?A parent may file a verified petition with the juvenile court in the county the child resides for involuntary drug and alcohol treatment only if the child is incapable of consenting; or refuses to consent to voluntary substance abuse treatment. The verified petition needs to include an affidavit from a psychiatrist, a physician, or a psychologist with training in drug and alcohol assessment and treatment, who has examined or treated the child not more than 30 days of the filing of the verified petition. The affidavit must state that reasonable grounds exist that the child named in the petition is a drug and or alcohol abuser.

Involuntary substance abuse treatment may include appropriate placement in an inpatient or outpatient program or facility, but the facility may not be owned by the state. The parent should expect that involuntary substance abuse treatment may not be the solution to help their child. A child, a teen and even adults need to recognize that they have a problem and that they need outside help. Otherwise, all the parents efforts are for not. Parents need to be prepared for a huge financial expense, most insurance companies will only cover one 28-day treatment, and be prepared for the toll it will take on their energy and fortitude. Parents need to stay determined to do what ever it takes to get their children sober.

If one treatment center failed, try a different substance abuse treatment center. There are not many treatment centers that deal with adolescents, but the ones who do are excellent and are well equipped to help parents deal with their child’s addiction or dual diagnosis. They will also help the parent with a child that is in the facility involuntarily. After the 28-days of inpatient treatment is over, they parent will be better prepared to put necessary structures into place. Once their child is released, the parent must make sure their child attends AA or NA meeting, go to regular support groups, meet with a case manager or a counselor. Talk to the all the child’s teachers, family members and friends and ask for their support. This is where the financial and energy drains can take there toll on the parents, but this is exactly how a parent can help with keeping their child off drugs and alcohol.

Relapse most likely will occur, but a child that has all the support of their parents and there community has a better chance to get sober again and stay sober. Without that support, a child who is a substance abuser doesn’t stand a chance.


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