Addiction treatment for adults versus kids and teens

Karen Khaleghi, PhD, explains what to look for in a drug addiction center when treating teens or children versus adults.
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Addiction treatment for adults versus kids and teens

If your child is going into a treatment facility, the things that you want to see that are different between adult treatment and treatment of children under the age of 18, is you want to make sure that they have a full staff. A staff that's going to be able to address academic concerns as well as social concerns and medical concerns so that you have it all under one roof. Your child is coming into that treatment facility with a life in full swing. You want ot make sure that they don't go back to that life. Behind rather than ahead. So if there's someone there in that facility that's going to attend to academic needs, Is there an undiagnosed learning disorder within your child? Do they have learning or school issues that need to be worked through, so that once they get out they have a better chance when they're in school, to be in school. So there needs to be someone on staff that can attend to academic needs and issues. There should be someone on staff that's going to be able to assess, "Is there something going on biologically? How are they in terms of their health?" Now you do want to have that in an adult facility as well, but with kids you want to make sure everything's okay physically. They're in a constant state of change and development hormonally, physically, growth, development, so that needs to be taken nto account when you're assessing a child. Where they're at on all those continuums. And then you talk about socially so you want to be able to give them social tools once they leave, so that when they are out there in the world they have another place to go, rather than go to use. When you're treating a child, one of the things that's very important is bring in the entire family. Often times that doesn't happen right away because that child needs to have a time of calming down and getting to an even place. You then want to be able to bring in the family so that you can understand what the family dynamics are. If this child is the identified patient within the family, once they leave treatment there's going to become pressure on them within the family to resume that position within the family. It's like filling a hole within the family, they're going to go back to that same place. So family therapy is essential to be able to maintain sobriety. For the family to be able to come in and have their time to be able to tell their story as a family. The family story is essential. It needs to be told, it needs to be understood, it needs to be understood what the dynamics of that individual within the family are and to give the family a new way of relating that will allow that identified patient to take on a new role.

Karen Khaleghi, PhD, explains what to look for in a drug addiction center when treating teens or children versus adults.


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Karen Khaleghi, PhD

Co-founder of Creative Care Malibu

Dr. Karen Khaleghi is a pioneer in the field of dual diagnosis, or co-occurring drug and alcohol addiction along with mental health disorders. As one of the co-founders of Creative Care in Malibu and co-author of The Anatomy of Addiction, Dr. Karen speaks to parents and organizations about the formation of addiction, the critical aspects of nature and nurture and the resulting disconnection between emotions and behavior as well as the genesis of addiction and the path to recovery, a process she calls "connecting the dots." 

There are many things that set Dr. Karen Khaleghi apart from others including her individualized treatment approaches and excellent treatment facility Creative Care which is filled with clinical staff comprised of professionals that offer the highest standard of care in the industry. Karen graduated from California Graduate Institute with her Ph.D in 1989 and lives in Los Angeles, CA with her loving husband and children. Dr. Karen Khaleghi has been featured on The Today Show, KCAL 9, Dr. Phil and many others!


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