One in 10 children ages 12-17 has a substance use disorder, with 1.9 million having a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 involving heroin. Brightside Clinic’s Adolescent Treatment Program provides an effective, one-of-a-kind approach in the Chicago area to helping adolescents overcome addiction. The unique program couples medically assisted treatment with ongoing psychiatric counseling.
“Most rehabilitation options available to adolescents provide either medically assisted treatment or psychiatric counseling, but pairing the two together is a revolutionary concept in this area,” said Dr. Diane Copeland, Brightside’s Clinical Director who specializes in addiction. “By medically treating the patient with Suboxone and mentally stabilizing the patient through counseling, we’re really able to treat the whole person.”
Adolescents who suffer from addiction typically also struggle with mental health challenges – such as anxiety, depression and trauma. Thus, managing the day-to-day stressors that trigger usage is critical for helping to prevent relapse.
“In a typical inpatient rehabilitation scenario, adolescents are expected to quit cold-turkey without medically assisted treatment or counseling, and they’re often successful while in this safe inpatient environment. But, when you put them back into their normal day-to-life without the skills or tools to handle it, they struggle to find where they now fit in and these seemingly simple things can trigger use again,” Dr. Copeland said. “This is where the ongoing counseling piece is so critical. Not only do we equip them with the skills they need to live without heroin or pain killers, but it also provides a real-time opportunity to help these adolescents get through their daily struggles, without going back to pain killer and heroin use.”
Getting adolescents into treatment early is critical for long-term health and development. When adolescents abuse pain killers and heroin, brain development essentially stops. The sooner a child overcomes addiction, the less brain damage takes place and the quicker the damage to their brain can be repaired so they can change the course of their life.
“By getting adolescents help as early as possible, we hope to catch youth before the alternate lifestyle of someone suffering from addiction begins. It’s common for pain killer and heroin users to engage in criminal behavior, such as robbery and theft, to enable them to continue using. So, the sooner we can treat them, the less likely it becomes for them to turn to criminal activity,” Dr. Copeland said.
The Brightside Clinic Adolescent Treatment Program is open to children up to the age of 18. The program begins with a full evaluation that gauges the longevity of substance abuse and desire to quit, which helps the Brightside team develop a customized treatment plan. When appropriate, the patient will then begin medically assisted treatment with Suboxone (or buprenorphine), a medication that virtually stops withdrawal symptoms and cravings from opiate drugs and helps stabilize the patient.
“The Brightside program provides a different type of experience than what people may have experienced before,” Dr. Copeland said. “In typical rehab scenarios, adolescents are often not given any choices and they’re just expected to followed rules. My focus is empowering these kids to make good decisions and choices for themselves – now and later in life.”
ABOUT BRIGHTSIDE CLINIC
Brightside Clinic is the premier treatment center for prescription drug dependency and heroin addiction in the Chicago area. Our mission is to provide medically-assisted treatment in the most discrete, convenient and friendly environment. Whether dependent on painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Demerol, and Fentanyl, or addicted to heroin, Brightside Clinic’s treatment programs are uniquely designed for each patient based on their addiction and lifestyle. Through our unique combination of Buprenorphine medically-assisted treatment (also known as Suboxone®, Zubsolv®, Bunavail®, and Subutex®) and counseling, we get patients on their way to regaining their life.