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Is Residential Treatment Right For Your Teen?


teen receiving treatment

For centuries the notion of obtaining the assistance from a mental health professional was adversely stigmatized in American culture. So it comes as no surprise that the idea that someone else may be able to better provide your child with mental health support than you can seem innately unnatural. The reality is that there are highly qualified professionals with extensive educational backgrounds and years of relevant mental health experience that are far more qualified to assist your child in navigating substance use disorder and the mental health realm than you may be. If your child is struggling with a mental health ailment, substance abuse and/ or addiction, the most effective way for you to show your support is by connecting him or her with a professional mental health clinician that can provide or recommend proper treatment. There is no universal method of treatment that works for every teen struggling with a mental health ailment and/ or addiction, as each teen has distinct contributing factors that must be considered. 

Who Is Residential Treatment For?

Residential mental health and/ or substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment is not necessarily suitable for every teenager, and some teens may find outpatient treatment a sufficient alternative. Inpatient treatment programs offer intensive support, as it is a more immersive experience for the young person in treatment. Many teen residential treatment programs can accommodate teenagers afflicted with the following: 

  • Personality and mental disorders
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Depression and/ or anxiety
  • Problems with peers
  • Low self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Criminal or violent behaviors
  • Behavioral issues
  • Substance abuse 

When a teen struggles it can be extremely difficult for parents to be certain their teen is in need of a higher level of care. There are, however many potential indicators that can be helpful to be aware of in determining when residential treatment may be the appropriate choice.

Signs and Symptoms

Every teen is different and each has the propensity to exhibit a unique combination of signs and symptoms, with varying levels of severity that could point to a need for residential treatment. Some common indicators could include, but are not limited to any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Decline in academic performance 
  • Isolation from family and/ or friends
  • Excessive moodiness and/ or irritability
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Alcohol and/ or substance use
  • Lack of motivation
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Breaking curfew and/ or deliberately avoiding household chores
  • Secretiveness
  • Lying
  • Severe mood changes (e.g. extreme sadness, angry outburst, etc.)

The decision of whether or not to send your child to residential treatment is not to be taken lightly. Parenting a teenager is no doubt filled with challenges and parents are often faced with difficult choices. However difficult it may be in the moment, when coming to the conclusion that residential treatment is the best choice for your child, please try to bear in mind that this choice will ultimately benefit your teen and promote his or her overall health and wellbeing. 

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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