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Adolescent Drug Treatment Centers

Kokua Academy / Adolescent Drug Treatment Centers

What are adolescent drug treatment centers?

A successful adolescent drug treatment center gives adolescents with substance use issues a safe, age-appropriate atmosphere to examine negative habits, build healthy thought patterns, and chart a course to recovery. By choosing a trusted adolescent drug treatment center, you can:  

  • Get your child the therapeutic care that suits their maturity level, social capabilities, and physical needs. The teenage brain and body are very different from the adult brain and body, and both require specialized treatment. While the flexibility of teen minds makes substance abuse very dangerous, it can also make recovery easier.  
  • Receive support in the form of family therapy, supervised contact, and education. Successful adolescent drug treatment centers invite the whole family into the recovery process and recognize that support from parents and friends is crucial to maintaining healthy sobriety. Family support programs give parents the tools to understand their child’s emotions and set reasonable goals.
  • Give your teenager a strong, solid support network. Many teens struggle to receive help or guidance from adults, but respond positively to suggestions from their friends. Teen drug rehabs use a community-based approach to recovery, asking each participant to share in peer struggles and successes. Recovery can feel lonely, but teens don’t have to do it by themselves.  



Adolescent drug treatment centers may look like traditional rehab centers on the outside, and often utilize the same types of therapy, but that’s where the similarities end. These programs are designed to meet the needs of young adults, who are often not mentally or emotionally advanced enough to achieve success.

Programs for teens use a variety of evidence-based treatments, from group sessions to cognitive behavioral therapy to outdoor activities, to assist teenage residents on their recovery journey. Research has shown that long-term residential treatments are the most effective, holistic way to address substance use disorder in teenagers.   

Who do adolescent drug treatment centers help?

Many teenagers believe that casual drug and alcohol use is normal, expected, or even cool. They may say that all their friends drink at weekend parties, or that everyone at their school has experimented with marijuana. Even if substance use is common in their social circle, most teens do not understand how dangerous these habits can be. The teen brain and body still have years of growth ahead. That’s why damage done during middle and high school stays with teens for the rest of their lives.  

Explaining this to a teenager—and determining whether or not they have a substance use habit—can seem impossible. Here are some of the warning signs:

  • Alcohol: Teens with alcohol addiction often struggle to control their alcohol intake, continue to drink despite health problems, and engage in risky behaviors like drunk driving. If your teen is drinking alcohol regularly, even in moderation, they may be at risk.
  • Cannabis: Teens who use cannabis regularly often struggle with problem-solving, critical thinking, and loss of fine motor skills. After trying to quit, they may also experience withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, irritability, or depression.
  • Tobacco: Teens who smoke cigarettes or consume other tobacco products often crave the substance and display irritability or aggression when unable to satisfy these cravings.

These three substances are the ones most commonly used and abused by teenagers. Using any of them, even just a few times, can have a negative impact on mental function and physical health. If you suspect that your teenage child is abusing a substance, don’t be afraid to ask questions and dig deeper.

It’s important to address these bad habits before they turn into a lifelong recovery. Sending your child to a adolescent drug treatment center will never be easy, but it’s sometimes the best path to recovery and health.

How does Kokua Recovery help teens recover from substance use?

If you know a teen between the ages of 13 and 18 who is struggling with drug or alcohol use, then it might be time to explore treatment options. Some teens enter the Kokua Recovery residential program after extended struggles with substance abuse, while others arrive with just a few unhealthy habits. Years of experience and knowledge of current research informs

In Native Hawaiian, the word “kokua” means “to extend sacrificial help to another.” At Kokua Recovery, we create a supportive, nurturing environment that heals the whole person. Our team takes a long view of recovery. We believe that true, lasting change can only be achieved through investment in each resident’s mental, emotional, social, and physical wellbeing.

Some adolescent drug treatment centers promise big changes in a short time. We prefer a sustained and healthy recovery over a breakneck rehabilitation that leads straight back to relapse. Research and experience show, time and time again, that recovery takes time. That is just one of the reasons why we’ve structured our adolescent drug treatment center program around long-term residencies and evidence-based therapeutic regimens.

Throughout their time at our homelike campus, tucked into the stunning Colorado landscape, teens examine damaging behavior patterns and pursue a variety of rewarding disciplines. They are accompanied on their recovery journey by a group of peers and a team of skilled, experienced clinicians. Our comprehensive treatment program unites a wide variety of activities and therapies that have been shown to improve outcomes:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Wilderness therapy

Since all discussions and activities take place amongst peers of the same gender and age, our participants always feel comfortable sharing their struggles and setting their goals for the future.  

We also believe that fostering a healthy sense of community and responsibility is crucial to recovery. Every resident takes a share of the chores, participates in meaningful social activities, and sets aside personal time for reflection and relaxation after each busy day.

This self-care is necessary for dealing with the stresses and struggles of recovery. After leaving our adolescent drug treatment center program, the life skills learned in these moments help our residents remain grounded.  

Treatment for Teen Drug and Alcohol Use at Kokua Recovery

After enrolling in our adolescent drug treatment center program, each resident attends at least 40 hours of therapeutic activities every week. Through supportive group therapy sessions and intensive one-on-one conversations with a therapist, they identify the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their goals and build a plan to conquer each one. Through discussion and instruction, residents in our adolescent drug treatment center:

  • Identify destructive choices, habits and behaviors
  • Heal broken relationships with friends and family
  • Understand the dangers posed by substance abuse
  • Strengthening self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem
  • Developing an attitude of honesty, kindness, and positivity toward oneself and others

One of the most robust, distinctive elements of the Kokua Recovery program is our focus on outdoor recreation and wilderness exploration. During their time with us, every resident experiences a world of outdoor adventure, including:

  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Hiking and backpacking
  • Team sports like soccer and basketball
  • Gym and fitness time

These activities aren’t just great exercise: they’re also valuable opportunities to bond with peers and mentors, learn about teamwork and trust, or implement lessons discussed during therapy. By stepping outside their comfort zones, our residents become more confident in their abilities and comfortable in their own skin. All outdoor activities are pursued under the tutelage of a skilled wilderness expert.

At Kokua Recovery, we use a variety of time-tested, evidence-based behavioral treatments to guide our residents down the path to recovery. Some adolescent drug treatment centers focus on delivering quick results, but it often takes a serious time, energy, and commitment to conquer these destructive habits.

Research on Getting Help For Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Many parents wonder how common drug and alcohol use are among teens. Since young people are often unwilling to admit to these habits and activities, it can sometimes be difficult to find reliable statistics about teenage substance abuse.

However, the statistics that are available and credible paint a disturbing picture of early drinking and drug use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 24% of eighth graders and 64% of twelfth graders had used alcohol in the year 2012. In 2014, 2.6 middle- and high-schoolers had used marijuana in the past year; the average age that a young adult tries marijuana for the first time is just 18.5. In 2011, 26.5 million Americans reported that they had used a tobacco product within the last 30 days.

Research also suggests that drug and alcohol use among teens is often related to traumatic events like abuse, neglect, or bullying. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a partner of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 70% of adolescents being treated for drug or alcohol abuse have a history of trauma. Studies also suggest that roughly 59% of all teenagers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) develop substance use disorder later in life.

While drug or alcohol abuse is not always tied to past trauma, teens who have experienced

Life events often attempt to self-medicate against the resulting anxiety or PTSD. Some studies have also linked adolescent substance abuse with risky behaviors like drunk driving and unsafe sex. This damaging substance use often creates a vicious cycle of trauma, since teens who use drugs or alcohol are much less equipped to cope with stress and depression.

Researchers discover more about teen drug use and recovery every day. At Kokua Recovery, we use the latest findings to build personalized, comprehensive treatment plans for each resident. To learn more about our innovative adolescent drug treatment center, contact our therapeutic team today!