From here, you can access information on 135 adolescent drug treatment programs across the country that were identified by a team of experts. This section is intended to help parents, teachers, judges, counselors and other concerned adults make better choices about teen treatment.

First select a state from the above left pulldown, then select an individual treatment center from the above right pulldown to view its profile.

Description of the Key Elements:
  Working with a team of nationally recognized experts, Drug Strategies has identified nine key elements of effective adolescent drug treatment. These are:

• Assessment and Treatment Matching -- Accurate assessment is an important first step in diagnosing substance abuse disorders as well as psychiatric conditions. A treatment plan should be created that matches the severity of the problem.

• Comprehensive, Integrated Treatment Approach -- Program services must address all aspects of a teen's life, including school, juvenile justice, mental and physical health, and the community.

• Family Involvement in Treatment -- Parents have a powerful influence on their teen's development. Research shows that involving parents in the teen's treatment produces better outcomes.

• Developmentally Appropriate Program
-- Treatment programs and materials need to be tailored to adolescents, who are more concrete thinkers than adults and also have less-developed verbal skills.

• Engage and Retain Teens in Treatment -- Program strategies and activities should build a therapeutic alliance-a climate of trust between the therapist and the client-which facilitates behavior change.

• Qualified Staff -- Staff need to be knowledgeable about adolescent development and co-occurring mental disorders as well as substance abuse and addiction.

• Gender and Cultural Competence
-- Treatment experts agree that programs should recognize both gender and cultural differences in their treatment approach, since recent research points to significant differences between male and female adolescent drug users.

• Continuing Care -- Continuing care services include relapse prevention training, follow-up plans and referrals to community resources.

• Treatment Outcomes -- Adolescent research is in its infancy and only a few programs adequately address evaluation of their effectiveness in dealing with teen substance abuse issues.

  Treatment programs described in this guide were identified by a number of expert sources. Drug Strategies does not endorse or take responsibility for any of the treatment programs included on this website.