Do Boot Camp Drug Rehab Facilities Work?

Being the parent of a teen who abuses drugs or alcohol is extremely hard. You want what’s best for your kid, but you don’t always know what that is. It’s tough to know when it’s time to draw the line and send your kid to a drug rehab facility.

Even tougher, how do you know which facility will help your kid?

What is a boot camp drug rehab facility?

Boot camp drug rehab facilities have been around for decades and have had varying degrees of success. This style of a rehab facility is modeled off of military boot camps and is designed to instill discipline, routine, and healthy living into the patients.

Much like an actual boot camp, patients at these facilities are given chores and are held to rigorous standards of excellence. They participate in daily workout regimens and follow a daily schedule. If patients step out of line or don’t live up to the facility’s standards, they face harsh consequences.

Many people who end up in boot camp drug rehab facilities are juvenile offenders who have gotten in legal trouble for drug use. Rather than sending them to jail, their judge and probation officer decide that the rehab facility offers a better chance at getting clean and learning some positive life skills.

Life in a boot camp drug rehab facility is designed to be tough. It’s meant to instill grit and determination and help keep kids off drugs for good.

Do boot camp drug rehab facilities work?

Boot camp drug rehab facilities don’t have an excellent track record for being effective. While kids are in the program, they learn some grit and stop using drugs. Having immediate consequences for stepping out of line helps keep them from messing up. They learn to follow the program’s rules and keep out of trouble.

However, patients at a boot camp drug rehab facility don’t deal with the root of their drug problem or learn positive coping skills. They learn to follow rules so that they don’t get in trouble, but that’s about it.

Many kids do great while they’re in the program, but go back to using drugs when they return home. Without the threat of immediate consequences, they fall back into old patterns.

Learning to overcome teen drug addiction

Overcoming teenage drug addiction is both a physical and mental practice. Boot camp drug rehab facilities are excellent at the physical aspect of kicking a drug addiction, but they don’t address the mental aspect.

Teens use drugs for various reasons, but it all boils down to changing the way they feel. When teens start using drugs, they are typically trying to escape something unpleasant in their life. Using drugs is a way to relieve unpleasant feelings or create pleasant feelings.

Once they start using drugs to alter their feelings, teens can rely on those drugs. This is where addiction comes into play—teenagers who need drugs to feel the way they want to keep using. Teenagers whose bodies get used to the drugs can become physically addicted as well.

When teenagers become reliant on drugs, they need to address the issue both physically and mentally. Without both treatment methods, kids are more likely to get back on drugs when they come home.

Addressing addiction physically includes:

  1. Changing their routine

  2. Getting away from friends who influence them to use

  3. Throwing away drug paraphernalia

  4. Starting new positive hobbies and habits

  5. Engaging in physical fitness activities

  6. Eating and sleeping well

  7. Cleaning and organizing their space to keep it from getting chaotic

  8. Setting a schedule to keep from getting overwhelmed

Addressing addiction mentally includes:

  1. Identifying what they’re trying to achieve when they use drugs

  2. Identify and practice alternative activities to help them feel the way they want

  3. Identify triggers that encourage them to keep using

  4. Identify and change negative thought patterns that lead to drug use

  5. Practice positive coping skills to help mitigate negative feelings

  6. Practice mindfulness activities to stay focused when life is difficult

  7. Practice goal-setting to identify and reach positive goals in life without using drugs

Alternatives to boot camp drug rehab facilities

If you feel like your teenage son needs to go to a rehab facility to address his drug use, he might benefit from a residential therapeutic treatment center. He would still learn to follow a schedule, follow the rules, and live without drugs. However, he would also receive therapeutic intervention to address the mental aspect of drug use and help him be successful when he returns home.

Call us at 866-255-3708 to determine if our facility is suitable for your son.

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