Drug Rehab Options for Young Adults

  • There are no drug rehab programs designed solely for people in their late teens and early to mid-20s.
  • Adult drug rehab programs provide everything that younger adults need in recovery with the bonus of working with older peers in treatment.
  • All adults in adult drug rehab programs are treated as equals. There is no special treatment based on age.
  • Success in drug addiction treatment has less to do with age and more to do with other factors driving a person’s use of substances.

The drug of choice can play a significant role in whether or not drug rehab will be successful, as will the comprehensive nature of treatment, length of stay in drug rehab, the drive of the individual, and dedicated support of the family.

Are Drug Rehab Options for Young Adults Different?

For young adults who are age 18 and under — in some cases, under the age of 20 — there are specialized drug addiction treatment programs that cater to their needs specifically. For example, they might offer academic support so that they don’t fall behind at school or work closely with parents to assist in rebuilding positive relationships at home.

For many young adults who struggle with substance abuse, however, the best choice is admission to a drug rehab program that has treatment services that meet their needs. The same is true for older adults as well, and the benefit to younger adults in attending treatment with a mixed age group is that they get to see firsthand how continued relapse and addiction can negatively impact a life.

It can be motivating to see how many different ways that ongoing addiction can detract from one’s quality of life up close and in person, and to use that as an incentive to stick to the program and do the work.

Are There Programs Designed Specifically for Young Adults?

There are drug rehabs that are designed for specific populations, but there are few to no addiction treatment programs designed for young adults between the ages of 19 and 25 specifically. There are, however, a great many support groups, one-off therapies, and other complementary treatment options that may appeal to this age group more than most or are designed specifically for this age group.

Young man skating down parking garage

Though a weekly therapy session or support group is not enough to help a young adult stop using all substances safely for the long term, they can be an incredibly powerful addition to your loved one’s life after treatment.

Any therapeutic component that contributes to your loved one’s ability to build a strong and supportive community of peers who are also working to stay sober is beneficial to long-term sobriety.

Do Younger Adults Get the Same Treatment as Everyone Else?

Yes and no. There is no special treatment given to someone based on age alone. On the other hand, all treatment plans should be highly personalized, meaning that every single client should have access to:

  • A full evaluation and assessment process at the start of treatment
  • Traditional, alternative, and holistic therapies chosen based on their ability to help address specific issues.
  • Regular check-ins to determine whether or not progress is being made
  • A treatment team that can address challenges as they arise

Do Success Rates for Addiction Treatment Differ Across Age Groups?

According to some studies, younger people are more likely to relapse than their older counterparts. This may be because they have not been through a drug addiction treatment program as many times or are still in that phase of brain development where they believe themselves to be invincible. Older people tend to have higher rates of staying sober after drug rehab.

It may also be that other predictive factors of relapse fade in terms of their impact over time, or it may be more difficult for younger people to make changes that will disempower these predictive relapse factors. If your loved one is younger, and you are concerned about their risk of deadly relapse, consider how you can assist them in helping to eradicate other risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • Having another substance user in the family
  • Lack of confidence in their ability to stay sober
  • Staying connected to people who they actively used drugs with.

ARE YOU READY TO GET THE REAL YOU BACK? GET IN TOUCH WITH A TREATMENT SPECIALIST WHO CAN HELP.

ARE YOU READY TO GET THE REAL YOU BACK? GET IN TOUCH WITH A TREATMENT SPECIALIST WHO CAN HELP.

Does the Drug of Choice Factor Into Success Rates?

It may. Different drugs impact the neurons in the brain differently, but success rates in addiction treatment have more to do with the drug of choice in combination with other factors, such as:

  • How long the drug of choice has been in use
  • Other drugs of abuse used in combination with the drug of choice
  • The age of first use of any substance
  • The amount of the drug used regularly at the time of cessation of use

The length of time spent in active addiction plays a role as well, and many drugs of abuse indicate a longer period of drug use. For example, few injection drug users have been abusing addictive drugs for just a few months. By the time many work themselves up to needle use, they have been abusing drugs for years and in high amounts.

If a young adult is an injection drug user, this is certainly a factor that should be taken into consideration, as it is determined what type of drug rehab will be most appropriate. This will have nothing to do with age.
Finding a program that offers effective medical detox followed by long-term comprehensive therapeutic intervention and aftercare support is recommended.