Drugs and Alcohol

From casual use of marijuana to the heroin and opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse, parents have a lot to worry about. Substance abuse can alter your child’s personality and brain chemistry and can derail their future. You might be wondering: How do I know if my child is using drugs? How do I talk to my teen about heroin? How can I help my child overcome prescription drug abuse?

These videos offer parental support and information on topics such as how to recognize the signs of substance abuse, how to handle heroin or opioid use, how to keep your child from abusing prescription drugs, what to say to your child who thinks marijuana is “no big deal”, and other ways in which you can help your child grow up with a healthy attitude toward drugs and alcohol.

When Is It Time for an Out of Home Therapeutic Program for My Child?

Kim Jenkins, MSW, CADC
One Oak Educational & Therapeutic Placement Consulting

When Is It Time for an Out of Home Therapeutic Program for My Child?

Choosing to place your child in a therapeutic program outside of the home is incredibly difficult. It is a painful decision to have to make and can be frightening and costly. When parents are broached with this decision, they have often attempted to intervene several ways that have proven unsuccessful. Or, there has been a crisis so serious where maintaining a child’s safety at home is in question. Additionally, some psychiatric disorders require 24-hour treatment in a highly structured setting that could not possibly be recreated in a home environment. There are many reasons why parents may choose to place their child in a therapeutic program and below are a few signs that may warrant consideration of a therapeutic placement:

• Substantial decline is academic performance
• Refusing to attend school or participate in other age appropriate activities
• Severely oppositional or aggressive behaviors in the home
• Disrespect of rules, laws and authority figures
• Threats to harm self or others
• Self-harming behaviors
• History of suicidal ideation or attempts
• Persistent use of alcohol or other drugs
• Sexual acting out or promiscuity
• Lack of emotional regulation and/or severe mood swings
• Frequent episodes of aggression or anger
• Threats to run away, running away, or consistent disobedience of curfew
• Obsessiveness about weight gain, excessive dieting, binging, purging or restrictive eating to the extent that one’s health is suffering
• Obsessive Compulsive behaviors that impact daily functioning
• Resistance to participating in therapy or outpatient treatment
• Previous behavioral health hospitalizations or short term treatment experiences that haven’t been successful

Some of these behaviors alone would not necessitate placement in a residential program or school. However, the intensity, duration, and frequency of some of these issues should be considered, along with the complexity and co-occurrence of issues. Additionally, it is important to pursue the least restrictive options as a first step, which may include seeing a therapist or attending an outpatient program. If these options have been exhausted, and there continues to be an exacerbation of symptoms, it may be time to consider a therapeutic placement.

If placement in a program or therapeutic school is recommended, it is important to choose the right program for your child. An educational or therapeutic placement consultant can be an important resource as they have firsthand knowledge of hundreds of therapeutic schools and programs nationally and can help to ensure that your child is placed in an environment that will clinically and academically meet their needs. Placement consultants are creative thinkers who work in collaboration with parents, home treatment providers and schools to match a child to the right type of program, which could include:

• Acute Stabilization and Crisis Intervention Programs
• Short Term Residential Treatment Programs
• Addiction Treatment Programs
• Wilderness Therapy Programs
• Therapeutic Boarding Schools
• Transitional and Independent Living Programs
• Summer Programs