The Phoenix Academies are residential high schools where teenagers in treatment for substance use can make up schooling they have missed. At the Academies, adolescents are held to a strict code of behavior. Living, studying and working together, they form a tightly-knit, highly structured community in which each member is responsible for the well-being of all the others. Treatment focuses on raising self- awareness and acquiring new values and attitudes. Clinical professionals supervise daily life and counselors work closely with teachers to provide seamless integration of treatment and education. The academies engage families in the treatment process and family members take part in educational seminars, group sessions and individual counseling sessions.
There are 11 Phoenix Academies located throughout the country (for location and contact information, see the Phoenix House website. In addition to these residential programs, Phoenix House provides outpatient treatment for teenagers.
For many families, a Phoenix Academy may not be an accessible option. But a number of other programs throughout the country provide similar treatment and benefits. To locate them, contact your state or local substance abuse agency or go to the federal government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) website . You may also call the agency's referral helpline at 1-800- 662-HELP.
Suitability - Does the program meet the needs of adolescents?
Is the program clearly designed for teens (most programs have been developed for adults) and are there plenty of kids there the same age as yours?
You want to know about:
Assessment - Does the program carefully screen candidates for admission to determine if it can provide the most appropriate treatment for your child?
Treatment Length - How long should residential treatment last?
Facility and amenities - Is the setting home-like or does it have an institutional character?
Education - What educational services does the program provide?
Holding Power - Because most youngsters who enter treatment programs fail to complete them, you need to know:
Family Involvement - Family participation is essential, so make sure:
Staffing - Is the program staff adequate in size and professional qualification?
Aftercare - Because the danger of relapse is greatest in the first months following treatment, you need to know:
Effectiveness - Few programs have long-term outcome studies, but you should be able to ask for some information on completion and subsequent behavior.