how to treat teen heroin addiction

How to Treat Teen Heroin Addiction: Get Help Before It's Too Late

Heroin addiction is a complex and widespread problem. People of all ages, especially teens, give in to it due to various reasons. Drug addiction greatly affects physical and mental health and can ruin one’s life prospects.

The effects of drug addiction in teenager end up harming both the users themselves and their families. It is common to see family feuds over it. Luckily, addiction to drugs such as heroin is now a treatable disease with the help of trustworthy treatment centers like Key Healthcare.

In this article, we will address teen opioid addiction and its degrading effect on the future of our youth. We will also discuss how to treat teen heroin addiction, what treatment programs are best, and the characteristics of an effective heroin treatment center.

Evaluating Your Teen Heroin Treatment Needs

Before availing of a service that will significantly impact your life and your family, you must research it first. What makes a plan successful is knowing beforehand what you need. Treatment centers have different fields of expertise and medication processes. You can seek the opinion of an expert, list your goals, and align said goals to the center’s capabilities.
The first thing to consider is the kind of drugs and behavior you want someone to recover from. In this case, we are talking about heroin and its severe effect on the brain and behavior. Afterward, you should think about how long you want to work with the center regarding your loved one’s condition.
However, you need to know that every treatment facility already has a proven recovery schedule to follow. Although treatment times are created on a case-by-case basis, heroin addiction can take months or years of treatment. Highly structured programs like what Key Healthcare offers are effective both in the short-term and long-term. The facility offers counseling, psycho-education, play therapy, inpatient programs, and medication management: medical screenings, individualized treatment plans for your goals and challenges, homework assignments, and group support.

Identify Your Teen's Challenges

In choosing which rehab facility is best, you must first learn more about your teen’s condition. Observe and take note of the things that you believe need to be addressed first. Talk to a doctor so you can get professional advice regarding your child’s needs.
Teens are very susceptible to addiction due to problems in school and family or peer pressure. Heroin use affects opioid receptors inside the brain, the brain stem, spinal cord, intestines, and lungs. That is why physical problems arise, especially in teens whose bodies are still in development.
Short-term effects of heroin addiction are dry mouth, severe itching, heavy feelings in the arms and legs, flushing skin, nausea, clouded thinking, and increased risk of HIV and hepatitis. Some of the long-term effects are sleeping problems, heart illnesses, constipation, painful skin tissues filled with puss, significant menstrual cycles changes, sexual problems for men, lung illnesses, and many others.

How to Choose the Best Heroin Rehab Centers For Your Teen

After identifying your teen’s problem, the next step is to decide what rehab facility is best. It would be best if you learned what experiences await you and your teen. Be meticulous in researching the environment they can provide you with, the programs planned for the recovery journey, and what you can look forward to once the treatment is finished.
Teen heroin addiction is a very sensitive and confidential topic, and trusting only the best facilities will give you the best results. Here are the things you should consider when choosing a rehab center for your teen:


A treatment facility should serve as a haven for teens while they face their issues. It should be away from the dangers brought by the outside world and even your home. Rehab facilities should be safe, well-maintained, monitored 24/7 and staffed by knowledgeable and reliable medical professionals. You should visit the premises and personally check the quality of the facility and their services. You can also ask the staff any questions you might have.


Teen drug users are likely not to be very social. This is why the center should provide your teen with a private room. In his room, he can practice solitude, clear his mind, and rest. Although the recovery treatment process will probably include group works and socialization, privacy and personal space can play a big role in his recovery.

Comprehensive Treatment

What makes a heroin addiction recovery successful is a comprehensive treatment and how the rehab facility adapts to the needs of its patients. The facility should implement various procedures to address mental and physical health simultaneously. It should also uphold a healthy lifestyle, providing your teen with nutritious foods and regular exercise drills.

Distance and Location

Emergencies are common in the treatment process, and as a parent or guardian, you would want to be on time when you are needed in the recovery process. Is the facility near enough for you to arrive at its premises in less than an hour? Consider if the location of the center gives both you and your teen peace of mind.

Treatment Approach

While there might be group, pair, or individual treatments, the approach should be tailored to the patient’s needs. Your teen’s condition is different from others, which means that a different way of solving their addiction problem is needed. A program generally includes group therapy sessions, but a few patients cannot deal with them, and that should be no reason to exclude them from the recovery process.
What also makes a facility better than another is the number of nurses available for a certain number of patients. For example, if a treatment facility houses 40 patients with only three nurses, that is insufficient. This will most likely result in inefficient monitoring and divided attention.

Other Considerations When Looking For A Teen Heroin Rehab Facility

Your participation in the treatment process of your loved ones’ addiction problems plays a vital role in the success of their recovery. The program you choose should not be only compatible with the teen but also with the whole family. Mental health and addiction should be fought collectively. Here are some things you should consider:

Family Involvement

The patient should constantly be reminded of the unending support from their family, especially during the challenging initial parts of the recovery process. Communication is key, and family therapy is an effective solution. Key Healthcare helps family members learn to deal with complex family events. It aims to promote the well-being of both the individual and the family as a whole.
Sometimes it is possible that your teen might be suffering from mental illness that’s the reason they might have started taking drugs so that they can be free from their thoughts so we can also help your child in fighting their mental problems. You can contact us today for your adolescent mental health treatment.

Teen drug addiction problems affect not only the users themselves but also the other members of the family. There will be misunderstandings and feuds, and you should amend these problems immediately.

Post-treatment Program

What happens after the treatment? Will the patient return to their former life upon the conclusion of the medication? Choosing a rehab facility that takes care of the patient even after the process concludes is what you should look for. An expert center knows that the problem does not end at the in-house treatment program. Recovery is a long-term procedure. Regular or unplanned consultations are better than nothing. Some facilities even have an alumni program!

Our  Los Angeles Teen Rehab Aftercare Program provides stability, structure, and ingrains positive habits back into the adolescent’s life after they’ve completed treatment.

Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program Near Me

If you are located in or near Los Angeles, our Adolescent Intensive Outpatient provides evidence-based therapy methods that work for teens. We offer mentoring, individual, group, and family therapy in our outpatient treatment for teens. Our clinical staff will work with your teen one on one to help identify the core issues and develop strategies to help them break free from negative, abundant blocking thoughts.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment Program: What is Best for Your Teen?

After knowing your child’s needs and researching a rehab facility, you will have to choose what type of program would be better for them. Despite having the same goal, outpatient and inpatient treatment programs are different. Aside from your judgment, the severity of your teen’s addiction should also be considered.
The most significant difference between the two programs is the setting. However, both of them have the same goal of stopping your children from doing drugs. Here are some in-depth details about the two:

Teen Heroin Outpatient Program

This type of program is less restrictive compared to an inpatient recovery program. This is best for people with mild addiction who want to continue their everyday daily lives while coping with their problems. The duration of this program varies from one rehab facility to another. In some cases, it may only require the patient to attend 8-12 hours a week, while others may require a daily visit to the facility for up to 8 hours. An outpatient program is excellent for long-term recovery since it is not a burden on the patient’s schedule.
However, outpatient programs will sometimes require a visit to the doctor to administer medications. These sessions can be very early in the morning or late at night, usually to leave time for school or work. These are the characteristics of an outpatient program:
  1. The patient stays at home but must visit the rehab center daily or at an appointed time
  2. Lower success rate than an inpatient program
  3. More cost-friendly
  4. The patient may continue working or studying
  5. The patient has easy access to social support
  6. Works well for mild addiction issues

Inpatient Program

An inpatient program, also known as residential treatment, will require the patient to reside in a controlled environment, monitored by medical experts. Aside from the medical support provided by the facility, the staff will also provide the patient with constant emotional support. This is a comprehensive program composed of sessions such as 1-to-1 counseling, group therapy, and many others. With this approach, the patient can focus on becoming sober and negating the causes and effects of his addiction through medications.
Everyday activities are strategically planned to promote a positive lifestyle and boost the chances of recovery. The patient should prepare mentally to deal with emotions for months to over a year. This depends on the severity of the addiction. What makes an inpatient program better than an outpatient program is regular monitoring.
If a problem arises, the medical staff will promptly address it. The patient should talk to their employer, teacher, or school dean to inform them about their decision since they will not continue working or studying. Here are the basic descriptions of an inpatient program’s set-up and services:
  1. The patient is required to stay inside the facility 24/7 for a period of time
  2. Higher success rate than an outpatient program
  3. Less cost-friendly
  4. Disruptive to normal life
  5. 24/7 medical, physical, and emotional support from experts
  6. Typically lasts shorter than an outpatient program, but it depends on the case
If you would like to learn more about Teen Heroin Inpatient Treatment, Contact us, we will help you along this path.

Building a Custom Treatment Plan: Family Participation is a Must

What makes a good treatment plan is its individualized characteristic. Our Teen Drug Rehab facility in Los Angeles plans each client’s program after fully understanding the patient’s condition. We will help your teen develop healthy routines in their daily lives, and setting a friendly community with healthy relationships.
Medical experts know that obtaining firsthand knowledge about his condition from the patient’s family is a vital part of the custom treatment plan. That is why you need to provide as much information as you can in the pre-assessment questionnaire provided by the facility. During this process, a staff called an admission specialist would talk with you. Some questions might be about your teen’s behavior, abilities, and how they respond to specific interactions. With this valuable knowledge, a treatment plan specifically made for your teen can be made.
Besides being an information source, the family also plays an important part in the patient’s recovery process. Addiction is not a problem that only affects the patient. It forms cracks in interpersonal relationships, and it tests how strong the family unit is. This is why regular family therapy is a good way of restoring bonds. It might take place once or twice a week, depending on the convenience and priorities of the family.

Things to do to Prevent Teen Heroin Relapse After Rehab

Relapse is very common even after the patient has successfully finished their treatment. Patients might feel brave or confident at first after overcoming disease, so they take risks. Many relapses happen within a year after the treatment. It is a crucial part of the recovery process to address the many negative thoughts that might cloud a patient’s brain. It is better to get rid of the things that might trigger a relapse. The family should lead by example and maintain a sober lifestyle, keeping away from alcohol, drugs, and other addictive substances.
Relapses are very subjective, and what might trigger one patient will not necessarily trigger another. One must stay vigilant during this phase. Stress brought by work and studies is a strong trigger for relapse. In the first month after finishing the treatment, a patient can be very sensitive. Provide your loved ones with a healthy environment once they leave the rehab facility. A supportive family who openly communicates will help prevent the patient from getting back to his old ways.

Here are the things a patient can do to prevent relapse:

Distracting oneself
Usually, urges come and go in less than an hour. Distracting oneself from the things that can make them relapse with fun activities is a good idea. They might want to call a friend, listen to music, travel, or even treat themselves to some tasty food.
If they have urges, talking to a friend or a medical expert will help. By doing this, people around them will know that they need assistance. This will make them feel less isolated and more valued.
Seek the Help of Experts
You are probably wondering why they should address the problem with a rehab facility again, and the simple answer is that they probably need further treatment sessions. They can make use of services such as mentoring and companioning from Key Healthcare. They will have a one-on-one discussion with medical staff who fully understand what they are going through.
Key Healthcare offers more than the counseling services of other institutions. A mentor will watch over the patient, create a long-lasting bond, and eventually help them with their daily activities. If the patient needs assistance in making a résumé, a friend to watch movies with them, go surfing, and many other activities, the mentor can do it as long as they are healthy.

How Can Key Healthcare Help?

Since 2014, Key Healthcare has been on a successful mission to help adolescents and young adults overcome substance abuse problems, behavioral and mental health issues. Our specifically tailored therapeutic programs, which focus on passions, mixed with evidence-based therapy methods are extremely effective with hitting home within adolescents.
Together, we aim for a better future for our youth.
Prevention and support should go hand in hand. Quality therapy, structure, attention, love, and care are what your teen needs during their recovery. Teen Heroin addiction must be treated as soon as possible. Do not let another day pass without talking to an expert.
We can help your teen before, during, and after the treatment process.