Recognizing and Treating Substance Abuse Within A Residential Treatment Center For Teens

Many teens naturally become more private as they grow older, no longer sharing every detail of their lives with their parents. While this withdrawal is tough, it is an important part of your teen’s development. However, some troubled teens become secretive because they are hiding a substance abuse problem.

We want to help you identify the difference between a natural desire for privacy and substance abuse issues, as well as covering how a residential treatment center can help your child make important changes.

Signs Your Teen Is Abusing Drugs

Unless you catch your teen in the act of using drugs or have them take random drug tests, you will need to look for several different signs to see if they are involved in substance abuse.

  • Check your medicine cabinet - Many parents immediately think of street drugs when discussing teen substance abuse. But many teens find their fix at home, abusing opioids prescribed to other family members.
  • Teen’s location is unknown - If your teen regularly disappears, and you don’t know where they are or when they will return, this can be a sign they are abusing illegal substances or engaged in other activities your teen knows you wouldn’t approve of if you knew about them.
  • Personal changes appear - Watch your teen for a variety of personal changes that seem to have no explanation such as bloodshot eyes, poor personal hygiene, smokey smells clinging, and frequent fatigue or hunger.
  • Drop in activity levels - If your teen’s grades have dropped, this can be a sign of substance abuse. Often, as their grades drop, teens who abuse drugs also lose interest in activities they used to like to do.

Residential Treatment Centers Help Teens Overcome Substance Abuse

Once you have identified that your teen has a substance abuse problem, it is vital to give them the help they need. Attending a rehab center is an essential step, but if your teen returns home after a short stay in rehab to detox, there is a high likelihood that your teen will relapse. Instead, you should consider a residential treatment center for troubled teens as the next step in your teen’s recovery.

There is a variety of ways that a residential treatment center can help your teen make important changes in their life.

  • When in treatment, your teen will receive daily therapy to help them uncover the root cause behind their substance abuse.
  • Academics will be addressed, helping your teen recover from the damage their drug abuse did to their grades.
  • Teens attending a residential treatment center learn new skills such as culinary arts, music, community service abilities, and more, helping troubled teens replace bad habits.

If your teen has struggled with substance abuse and has not been able to make permanent lifestyle changes, contact us. Our program advisors can answer your questions and tell you whether Liahona Treatment Center is right for your teenage son.

The Differences Between Bullying and Teasing

While many private schools and institutions have seen success at ending bullying, public education continues to struggle. According to the National Center for Education Statistics 2015 report, over one in five students reported being bullied at school. Yet, many public schools still lack bullying awareness programs.

The absence of anti-bullying education can be due to a variety of reasons, such as shortage of funding for anti-bullying programs, lack of community support, and other considerations. Some people may even brush bullying off as simple teasing. But there is a key difference which sets bullying and teasing apart.

Bullying Is Different From Teasing Due To Intention

Defining the difference between bullying and teasing all comes down to intention. When it comes to bullying behaviors, the intention is to hurt the target. Teasing is not meant to hurt and is instead a form of communication between friends and types of close relationships.

These definitions can be a little vague. To help eliminate any confusion, there are some clear ways you and your children can identify when someone is teasing or bullying.

How To Identify Teasing

There are a variety of situations and ways in which teasing is an appropriate form of communication. As you read through the teasing identifiers, keep in mind that the feelings of the target are the most important tool in defining when teasing turns to bullying.

A close relationship exists - A key thing for children and teens to understand is that teasing should only be done between friends and other close relationships. Otherwise, it is easy for the target of their teasing to misinterpret the action as bullying.

Everyone is teased equally - Many times, friends will tease one another as a form of communication. This type of light, teasing communication can help friends connect and share values when done correctly.

Teasing stops when requested - Teasing can go too far, even among those who know each other well. A hallmark of teasing is that when the target of the teasing asks the other person to stop, the request is respected. Often, bullies will not stop their behaviors when asked.

No one thing is repeatedly addressed - Continued teasing on the same subject can make the target of the teasing feel defensive and hurt. Teasing should not repeatedly pick at any one topic.

How To Identify Bullying

When it comes to bullying, there is generally an established pattern of behavior which makes identifying bullying behaviors easy.

The bully establishes a pattern of behavior - Bullies tend to stick to a set pattern of behaviors. Some bullies rely on verbal bullying tactics, while others will continually physically intimidate and verbally attack their targets. While these patterns can change and escalate, the victim of the bullying can usually pinpoint a clear pattern of their bully’s behavior.

Bullying target(s) are negatively impacted - As was said earlier, the intention is vital in defining teasing and bullying. If the intention is to harm and the target(s) are negatively impacted, then the behavior can be identified as bullying.

A power imbalance is created between bully and target - Bullies create a negative power imbalance between themselves and their target. Children and teens who identify a sense of helplessness and powerlessness to stop a person’s negative behaviors are clearly being bullied.

Teens who have fallen into bullying habits may require therapeutic help to undo their bullying habits. Parents who identify bullying behaviors in their teens should do their best to address the bullying while their teens are not set in their ways.

Ending Bullying Takes Everyone’s Help

Researchers have determined that there are strong connections between bullying and teen suicidal ideation, as well as depression, substance abuse, and violent behavior. Clearly, this means that putting a stop to bullying takes much more than telling the bullied child to grow a thicker skin.

Instead of just saying ineffective platitudes, there are ways in which children, teens, and adults can work together to end bullying.

How Children And Teens Can Stop Bullying

Keep the situation from escalating - Some bullies use physical intimidation and violence. If your child or teen is being bullied by a volatile troubled teen, help them develop strategies to defuse the situation. Some tactics which may help are:

  • Stick close with friends, as some bullies will avoid acting out violently in front of witnesses.
  • If your child sees someone being bullied who is alone, encourage them to invite the target into their friend group.
  • If your child is not the target, they can defuse the situation by distracting the bully. This distraction can be as simple as asking them a question.

Avoid encouraging a bully - Many bullies enjoy verbally abusing their targets around others, usually under the guise of “joking” but with the intention of hurting the target. Encourage your children not to laugh at mean-spirited jokes which make fun of others.

Inform an adult about bullying - Whether your child is the target of bullying or sees someone bullied, encourage them to report it to an adult they trust. Some children and teens may be embarrassed to tell their parents about bullying, so be sure they know it is okay to tell whoever they feel most comfortable confiding in.

Ways Parents And Other Adults Can Put An End To Bullying

Listen to your children’s concerns - It can be tough to catch everything going on in your children’s lives. But often, children who are bullied will drop hints of their problems as they tell you about their day. If your child has the courage to tell you outright that they are being bullied, be sure not to dismiss their assessment of the situation.

Vote for bullying awareness measures - Every public school should have a parent-teacher association/organization. In these organizations, often measures like bullying awareness and prevention programs are voted on. Your participation and encouragement of anti-bullying measures will make it far more likely that your child’s school will be better able at ending bullying.

Coordinate with school administration - If your child is being bullied at school, working with the school’s administration and your child’s teachers is critical to protecting your student while they are at school. Teachers and administrators who are aware of a bullying issue will be better able to intervene when the bullying occurs.

Work with the bully’s parents - This step can be tough, as parents who have a bullying child often struggle to believe that their child is bullying someone. However, it can be worth bringing the bully’s parents into a meeting between you and the school administration to develop a plan to end the bullying.

Ending bullying requires everyone to be educated and participate in finding solutions. There are many other excellent resources you can use at home to help you and your family become more effective at preventing bullying. We strongly encourage you to advocate for better bullying awareness and prevention in your own community, as bullying will only be stopped if we all work together.

Liahona Graduate Highlight: Jared Kruse

All of us here at Liahona Treatment Center love to hear that our students go on to lead successful and meaningful lives. Recently, one of our graduates named Jared Kruse was highlighted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, thanks to the amazing changes he underwent while attending Liahona.

Going from failing his first two years of high school to maintaining a 3.5 GPA while playing both football and basketball, Jared is a testament that all young men are able to change with the right help. Jared attributes the change in his grades and attitude to the therapeutic help, discipline, and academic support he received while attending Liahona Treatment Center.

Currently, Jared has several NCAA Division II colleges interested in recruiting him, and he is finally able to believe that his future is bright.

If you would like your teenage son to receive the help he needs to change his life, contact us to find out if Liahona is right for your family needs.

Read the full article on the Santa Cruz Sentinel.


Treating Personality Disorders At A Residential Treatment Center

It’s extremely challenging to raise a child with a personality disorder. Your teen’s condition may cause him to be by turns hostile and needy. Meanwhile, his volatility can make your home feel like a war zone.

If your troubled teen boy has been diagnosed with a personality disorder, he’s also undoubtedly experiencing adversity outside the home.

An adolescent with a personality disorder has trouble forming healthy relationships and may experience difficulties at school that threaten his academic future. Meanwhile, suicidal and risky behaviors can threaten your son’s very life.

Types Of Personality Disorders Addressed At Residential Treatment Centers

There is a wide array of personality disorders that can threaten to capsize an adolescent’s life, including:

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Avoidant Personality Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Dependent Personality Disorder
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Paranoid Personality Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
  • Schizoid Personality Disorder
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Signs and symptoms of these conditions vary significantly, but all are mental illnesses that should be treated as soon as possible.

These disorders also share some common characteristics. Teens with personality disorders have difficulty regulating their emotions and controlling their impulses. They also have trouble responding appropriately to people as well as to the ups and downs of life.

Your Teen With A Personality Disorder Can Thrive

The symptoms and side effects of personality disorders can be terrifying for parents. What’s even more frightening is the fact that personality disorders are often referred to as incurable.

It’s not true. While personality disorders can be tricky and intractable, they are treatable. A residential treatment center for troubled teens provides a safe and supportive environment where your son can learn to better understand himself and acquire the coping skills he needs to survive and thrive.

At Liahona Treatment Center, we have a full staff of therapists and mental health clinicians who provide students with weekly individual therapy and daily group counseling sessions. For a young man with a personality disorder, our immersive therapy program can help him:

  • Develop new social tools
  • Identify triggers that can cause his symptoms to reemerge
  • Identify unhealthy ways of relating to others
  • Learn skills to cope with stress
  • Manage his anger
  • Recover from any alcohol and drug addiction issues
  • Recover from any self-harming behavior issues

Often, the treatment of a personality disorder includes medication as well as therapy. Liahona Treatment Center has a primary psychiatric care provider who can prescribe medication as well as an attending physician.

Your troubled teen boy struggling with a personality disorder needs compassion as well as structure, both of which we provide at Liahona Treatment Center. If you’re ready to help your son learn the coping skills he needs to move forward in life, contact us. Our program advisors are ready to answer your questions.

4 Reasons To Attend A Residential Treatment Center Specifically For Boys

For parents looking for the right residential treatment center for their troubled teen boys, you should consider sending your son to an all-boys residential treatment center. In an environment dedicated to helping struggling teenage boys, your son has the potential to improve faster than at a mixed-gender residential treatment center.

1. All-Boys Treatment Centers Can Focus On How Boys Learn

As residential treatment centers for troubled teen boys are fully immersive programs with accredited academics included, struggling boys can finally have their education tailored to their needs.

There is a continually growing body of evidence that boys learn differently than girls. Many times, boys require more tactile learning and need more time to process abstract thoughts while being able to master concrete concepts like math faster than girls. While there are some variations in this, overall, teen boys being taught in a residential treatment center will learn better as their academics are tailored to their particular needs.

2. Hormonal Teen Boys Can Concentrate Better

While it is not the teen girls’ fault, young and hormonal teenage boys often have difficulty concentrating on self-improvement and academics when girls are around. When it comes to boys already engaging in troubled behavior, this lack of concentration can turn destructive, leading the troubled teen boys to lash out, become anxious, or depressed.

At an all-boys residential treatment center, the heightened self-consciousness that young men naturally feel is greatly alleviated, allowing them to focus on more important matters than showing off for a pretty girl.

3. Various Social Stigmas Are Alleviated At All-Boys Centers

Mixed-gender schools and treatment centers can accidentally reinforce negative stigmas, such as the misconception that boys can’t express emotions other than anger and moderate excitement, also that there is only one way to become a “real man.” These kinds of stifling stigmas can prevent a troubled teen boy from benefiting from the intensive therapy they receive at a residential treatment center.

While attending a boys-only residential treatment center, troubled boys are better able to let down their guard, as they are with only their male peers. There is no need to enforce an unnecessary status-quo, so boys can actually open up about what has been keeping them from succeeding.

4. Troubled Teen Boys Can Have Inspiring Role Models

Strong women are important role models for young men as they are growing. Even at residential treatment centers for troubled teen boys, it is not uncommon to find women acting as therapists, teachers, and direct care staff. However, gender-specific schools tend to bring in many of the same-gendered staff as the students. This is to provide the students with appropriate role models that they can look up to and confide in.

If you feel your son may benefit from an all-boys residential treatment center, contact us. At Liahona Treatment Center, we have helped guide many troubled young men away from their destructive paths and are ready to help your son have a better future.

Common Financial Questions About Schools For Troubled Teens

Parents who look into schools for troubled teens often have similar financial questions. To help these parents, we have compiled the most common questions our program advisors have received and provided answers.

How Much Does A School For Troubled Teens Cost?

It can be difficult to say exactly how much a school for troubled teens will cost for your teen. Depending on how long your teen needs to attend the school, the cost will change.

On average, the best boarding schools for troubled teens will cost around $1,000-$3,500 a month.

Do I Have To Pay All Tuition Upfront?

Most schools for troubled teens will not require parents to pay for their teen’s entire school tuition upfront. They understand that it can be a great financial burden on most families, and the schools will accommodate a payment plan.

If you are in a position to pay all the tuition upfront, you may want to ask if you can receive a discount for paying in full. Some troubled teen schools will be happy to offer a discount for your timely, upfront payment.

Can A School For Troubled Teens Be Paid For By An Educational Loan?

While plenty of parents have considered credit cards, home equity loans, and personal loans, these options often come with high-interest costs. Education loans, even private educational loans, often are low-interest and have higher flexibility in their repayment options, which makes them a more attractive option.

If you are considering your payment options, most schools for troubled teens are qualified institutions when it comes to using educational loans. Be sure to consult with the school’s program officer for any accreditation proof you may need to apply for the educational loan.

Does Health Insurance Cover My Troubled Teen’s Schooling?

Depending on what coverage your health insurance offers, your insurance may be able to defray some to all of the costs of your troubled teen’s schooling. A quick way to check if your health insurance may cover this investment in your child’s future is if you have any mental health coverage.

A school for troubled teens like a residential treatment center emphasizes mental health treatment as well as education. With that component, your teen’s attendance can be covered by your insurance. Contact your provider to determine the extent of the coverage.

Are There Any Scholarships Or Financing Options?

Whether there are scholarships, hardship help, or financing options at a school for troubled teens will depend on the school you contact. Each program has their own financing guidelines, so be sure to reach out to the schools you are interested in to see what they can offer you.

At Liahona Treatment Center, we do our best to make healing and quality schooling available to all teenage boys who need it. To learn more about our program, contact us today.


Preparing Your Teen For A Youth Treatment Center

Helping your teen understand the opportunity represented by a residential treatment center can help make their transition to a youth treatment center smoother, so less time is wasted by your teen feeling resentful and confused at why they are there. To help your teen prepare to attend a residential treatment center, there are a few things parents can do.

Help Your Teen See Youth Treatment As An Opportunity

It is best to address the topic of entering a youth treatment center with your teen once you have found a reputable treatment center which you feel will suit your troubled teen. That way, you can cover specific opportunities available at the treatment center. For example, if your teenage son is going to attend Liahona Treatment Center, he will benefit from:

  • Daily therapy - Whether your teen is working one-on-one with their therapist, in group therapy, involved in experiential therapy or family therapy, your teen will benefit from receiving regular daily therapy which is in not available to most teens outside of residential treatment centers.
  • Healthy friendships - In an environment where all the teens are working on bettering themselves, it is easier for your teen son to develop healthy friendships which will uplift him rather than lead him down negative paths.
  • Academic recovery - At Liahona, academic success is one of the key ways we help young men engage in self-improvement. With our accredited educational program, your son can catch back up to his peers, repair his grades, and become college-ready.
  • Patient tutoring - While most public schools cannot provide enough tutors for struggling students, our treatment center keeps a staff of tutors available to work one-on-one with students who are struggling with various academic subjects.
  • Life skills learning - To help the troubled teens become self-sufficient young adults, Liahona emphasizes teaching an array of life skills, from conflict resolution to the culinary arts.

By going over these various benefits with your troubled teen, they may be more prepared to enter a youth treatment center and start making the most of their experience from the day they enter treatment.

Bring Your Teen On A Campus Tour

Many of us find the unknown uncomfortable, even frightening. If possible, you may want to consider bringing your teen with you on a campus tour. That way, you can both see what life will be like at a residential treatment center, and your teen can feel more prepared to enter into the youth treatment center.

If you have other questions or concerns about our residential treatment center, feel free to contact us. Our admission counselors can help you determine whether Liahona is a good fit for your teenage son and how else you can prepare your son to enter treatment.