If your teen has a drug problem, your instinct is to get them the help they need. However, not all teens will easily enter a teen drug rehab program. Many are reluctant and will downright refuse to go. Why does this happen, and what can you do to help your teen get the help they need?
We will look at some common reasons teens may refuse rehab and how you can best approach them to get the help they need.
Why a Teen May Refuse Teen Drug Rehab
If your teen is refusing addiction treatment, they’re not alone. Statistics show that in 2018, only 547,000 of the approximately 5.1 million young adults suffering from a substance use disorder received any treatment. 
There are many common reasons why teens may not want to enter a drug rehab center:
Some teens may be embarrassed that they need to seek treatment at a teen drug rehab center. They may be afraid of what their peers or family think. While there is no shame in getting treatment for drug addiction, many teens need to be convinced of that fact so that they get the help they need.
Teens may have some fear during a rehab program. Fear of how their bodies will react once they stop taking drugs, such as withdrawal symptoms, can be scary for many teens. This is why seeking help at a teen drug rehab center is essential. The staff is equipped to handle these types of issues to keep teens safe during the treatment process.
Losing Friends & Lack of Support
Not having enough support and losing friends due to entering a teen drug rehab can prevent teens from going in the first place. They may think they have to go through the process alone and that they will lose friends. Ensuring that your teen will have the support they need may make them more willing to enter a drug treatment program.
Teens can get worried that their privacy will be violated and that everyone will know they’re in treatment. However, federal privacy laws prevent any treatment staff from disclosing information about those receiving substance abuse treatment except when a teen may be in danger or may hurt others.
How to Approach Teen Drug Rehab with Your Child
If your teen refuses to go to a teen drug rehab center, there are several things you can do to approach the subject and allow them to see that it is in their best interest to go.
It is easy to get angry when you know your teen needs help for a drug addiction but won’t get it. Try to stay calm so they can see that they should reconsider and get the help they need. You may only make the situation worse by getting angry. Moreover, your anger may get your teen upset and act out.
Involve an Expert
If you’ve had several calm conversations, and your teen refuses your help, it may be time to call a professional. You can ask your pediatrician or a clinician to speak to your child to try to get them to understand the importance of getting addiction treatment.
Be Supportive and Don’t Give Up
You must support your teen and don’t give up, no matter how often they refuse treatment. Be as positive and supportive as possible. Tell your teen you’re there for them and will help them with their needs. Hopefully, they will turn a corner and decide to go to rehab eventually.
Try to Get Them to Tour A Teen Drug Rehab Facility
If fear is playing a role in your teen’s refusal of rehab, schedule a tour of the facility so that your teen can see that there is nothing to be afraid of. Let them meet the staff and see what the teen drug rehab center offers them. Hopefully, they will see that there is nothing to fear once they tour the facility.
Seeking Teen Drug Rehab at Ember Recovery
Ember Recovery is committed to helping teens battle their drug and alcohol addictions. Our programs are specially designed for teens and the specific problems their addictions present. To learn more about our programs and therapies, call us today or contact us online.
Andrea Dickerson is a Licensed Therapist and Certified Substance Use Counselor who has worked in behavioral health since 1997. Currently, Andrea is the Director of Behavioral Health, overseeing the Ember residential treatment programs and YSS outpatient counseling clinics throughout Central and North Central Iowa. She became a Motivational Interviewing (MI) trainer in 2006 and provides MI trainings throughout Iowa.
Andrea specializes in working with adolescents and their families and enjoys seeing the family relationships grow through therapy. Andrea is also a CARF International Surveyor, going around North America ensuring behavioral health organizations are meeting required standards.
In her free time, Andrea enjoys cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs, as well as being an active member of Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA), a global organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. She has been a member of the SI of Des Moines club since 2012 and has been actively involved at the regional level, currently serving as Co-Governor of the Peaks to Plains Region.
Through her involvement in SIA, Andrea has been actively involved in the Dream Programs, coordinating annual Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls projects, which give girls the tools they need to achieve their education and career goals, empowering them to break cycles of poverty, violence, and abuse.