Signs My Teen Needs Outpatient Drug Rehab

Spotting the signs of substance abuse in your teenager can be tricky since teens experience hormonal changes that can cause similar symptoms in mood and behavior.

That’s why it’s vital to educate yourself on the many signs of substance abuse, understand the difference between abuse and dependence, and learn about outpatient care to help provide you with some insight as to what treatment options are appropriate for your teen.

Below are some signs to look for in your teen that may indicate a substance abuse issue:

  • Mood swings, including varying high and low moods, irritability, aggression, or sudden changes in usual behavior.
  • Isolating from family, friends, and social activities.
  • A decline in academic performance, including frequent absences, a drop in grades, or lack of interest in school.
  • Changes in appearance, such as a significant change in weight or neglecting overall personal hygiene.
  • Associating with a new group of friends who are involved in substance use or other concerning behaviors.
  • Relationship issues, such as an increase in arguments with family or friends.
  • Sudden loss of interest in sports or activities that were once enjoyable.
  • Financial issues, like needing or asking for money without a clear explanation of where it is going.
  • Secretive behavior, such as lying about where they have been.
  • Finding drug paraphernalia, such as pipes, needles, and lighters.
  • Bloodshot eyes or unknown odors.

Featured Outpatient Centers Offering Treatment for Teens

Additional signs that may indicate dependence on a chemical substance include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Tremors or shakes
  • Body aches/pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Nightmares
  • Sweating

Is Outpatient Drug Rehab Right For My Teen?

Outpatient care can be beneficial for a teen with a mild substance use disorder, or it can be part of long-term treatment after completing an inpatient treatment program. Treatment included in outpatient rehab can include counseling, individual and family therapy, and recovery skills education.

Outpatient treatment facilities typically only employ mental health professionals and not medical staff. This means that if your teen is not physically dependent and does not require medical detoxification, outpatient treatment can be appropriate.

The Process Of Outpatient Treatment For Teens

Teen rehab and adult rehab may look different for significant reasons. Because they are still minors, parent involvement is crucial, as support from and healing as a family can help a teen in their recovery process.

Another difference is that outpatient teen rehabs may be precisely structured, offering flexibility for the teen’s unique needs. Also, because teens perceive and accept information differently than adults, group and individual sessions may be structured accordingly.

Benefits Of Teen Outpatient Rehab

A major benefit of outpatient rehab is that it limits interruption in other areas of a teen’s life. For example, teens can usually attend an outpatient program, continue to live at home, attend school, and still have time for other obligations.

This program will also enable teens not to miss additional time from school and may include options to work around the teen’s other activities or extracurricular obligations.

How To Choose An Outpatient Teen Rehab

Choosing the best outpatient treatment for your teen can depend on several factors, including cost, location, and specialization.

Paying For Treatment

Treatment can be costly, and not everyone is prepared to pay out of pocket. Thankfully, many outpatient facilities take insurance; usually, all will have self-pay options. Others may even have funding sources or sliding scale fees for people who need help paying for treatment. It is best to contact the facilities admissions department to request this information.


The location of the treatment program is also important, as your teen may need to be close to home and school so that treatment does not disrupt other obligations. Explore our rehab directory to find teen rehabs in your area.


Other considerations may include what specializations each treatment facility has. For example, some facilities may specialize in treating teens with dual diagnosis, meaning they would have a psychiatrist on staff. Dual diagnoses would be another mental health condition that co-occurs with the substance use disorder, such as an eating disorder or bipolar disorder. It is important to note that if a teen is in crisis, then inpatient care is typically the most appropriate.

Ultimately, every teen has different needs and circumstances, which is best to consider when searching for a program for your teen.

Find Outpatient Treatment For Your Teen

Finding outpatient drug rehab for your teenager can be a pivotal step in their journey toward recovery from substance use.

Contact a treatment provider today to learn more about available treatment options.