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The Hazelden Center for Youth and Families is an evidence-based residential rehabilitation program in Plymouth, Minnesota. The facility’s objective is to provide addiction recovery treatment for adolescents and young adults in a supportive, safe environment. Treatments include medically supervised detoxification, medication-based treatment for opioid addiction, mental health services for co-occurring conditions, on-site school programs, and animal therapy. While the primary service offered by the organization is residential in nature, an outpatient addiction treatment program is also offered for teens and young adults. Both treatment programs are designed to offer evidence-based therapeutic practices in order to provide for the best possible chances of successful rehabilitation.
Operated by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the Hazelden Center in Plymouth is also equipped to address anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and family and interpersonal relationship problems. As these issues are often associated with substance abuse addiction disorders, the facility has developed a specialty in treating these “co-occurring disorders.” After a patient’s condition is correctly diagnosed, a combination of treatment options is typically provided in order to ensure that all presenting disorders are treated appropriately. Additionally, family-oriented programs help parents and other family members to get involved in the treatment process in order to maximize the chances for a successful patient recovery.
Substance abuse addiction is considered to be a chronic disease, which means that even after successful rehabilitation, there may always be a risk of potential relapse. Patients leaving treatment should not be abandoned to their own whims, but should be encouraged to engage in an ongoing program designed to support their continued sobriety. As such, once a patient has been discharged from Hazelden, the organization provides continuing care in the form of recovery coaching, recovery retreats, 12 Step meetings, and counselor-facilitated group meetings. These additional programs ensure that the recovery process continues long after discharge and that patients have an even better chance of successful long-term rehabilitation.
Hazelden Center is as pleasant an environment as its services are effective. Visitors and residents will first encounter the welcoming reception area, complete with comfortable couches, a fireplace, and large windows admitting plenty of light. The attractive décor is mirrored in the dining area, which sports a 1950s aesthetic with a glowing sign pronouncing “Charlie’s” as the name of the cafeteria. Attractive outdoor patios feature umbrella-shaded tabletops and plenty of greenery.
When actually receiving therapy, patients will do so in facilities expressly designed for that purpose. The group therapy group features several comfortable chairs arranged in a circular configuration to facilitate interaction among participants. A large whiteboard running the length of the room allows for plenty of notes to be made as the sessions progress. A spacious lecture hall allows the clinic’s adolescent patients to receive their schooling in a well-lit environment while being addressed from a centrally-located podium.
Recreational opportunities also abound at Hazelden Center, as the organization attempts to keep its residents occupied in order to help them heal. The meditation chamber features modern plush chairs and large windows. The music room allows patients the opportunity to express themselves on various keyboards, guitars and amplifiers, and drums. For more active recreational opportunities, a large gymnasium is provided for activities such as basketball. For those patients seeking relaxing creative outlets, an art studio may be just what they need.
What is certainly undisputable is that Hazelden Center has put together an attractive, comfortable, and well-equipped facility so that its residents will never feel out of place or feel that they are missing an essential element of their lives. While the goal of therapy is always to return the patient to the home environment so that they may lead a more successful life after discharge, the clinic also seeks to look after patients’ happiness while they remain residents—and the amenities provided by Hazelden Center are designed with that in mind.
Residential treatment, also known as inpatient treatment, occurs when a patient is admitted to the Hazelden Center for Youth and Families and actually lives on the premises throughout the course of their treatment. This is recommended for at-risk patients who may need the highly structured environment at Hazelden in order to achieve success in their rehabilitative efforts. Residents at Hazelden will undergo initial examinations, medically-assisted detoxification and treatment when necessary, and on-site schooling so that they do not fall behind their peers while in addiction recovery.
Daily schedules include therapeutic activities such as morning lectures and group therapy, one-on-one counseling, anger and grief management meetings, and group recreational opportunities. These schedules are typically designed to take up an entire day so that participants are rarely left to their own devices, thus minimizing the time during which patients could become bored and be at risk of relapse.
During the evenings, residents at Hazelden may attend lectures or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, evening meditations, or other organized social events. Community involvement is not neglected, either: the organization conducts periodic off-site events at movie theaters, bowling alleys, and museums. The goal of the residential program is to focus on therapeutic recovery and substance-free recreation at the same time, so that patients are able to lead healthy lives when discharged.
The facility’s outpatient treatment program is tailored to the needs of teenagers and young adults whose addiction problems are not severe enough to require admission into the residential facility. The outpatient program may also be useful to those individuals who have already completed residential care but who are not yet ready to become fully independent. However, the outpatient program operates under the same evidence-based guiding principles that drive the residential treatment option, so patients can rest assured that their recovery will be approached with the same level of dedication and care.
The outpatient program is set up to provide therapies that use cutting-edge treatment modalities, separate programs for teens and young adults, individualized treatment plans, and family education and support systems. The staff at Hazelden Center conducts comprehensive evaluations to determine a patient’s psychological, social, and substance use needs before devising a treatment plan tailored to their specific situation. After the completion of an outpatient course of therapy, patients will be armed with continuing care recommendations so that they are not thrust back into society without the tools needed to maintain their newfound sobriety.
Whether a patient enrolls in residential or outpatient services, their treatment plan is likely to include counseling sessions and group work several times per week. The regularity of these appointments will be diminished as treatment progresses, but the value of these sessions remains important. Patients will learn to explore the root causes of their addictions with a licensed counselor, and group activity will allow patients to learn from each other’s experiences in a safe manner facilitated by a member of staff. This can be particularly important when working with a younger demographic; in fact, this is one of Hazelden Center’s specialties.
Both the residential and outpatient programs are set up to deal with co-occurring disorders. This condition is characterized by the presentation of a mental health disorder in conjunction with a substance abuse disorder. Diagnosis of co-occurring disorders can be challenging, because the symptoms of one disorder (i.e., depression) may mask symptoms of the co-occurring disorder (i.e., opiate addiction). Therefore, it is necessary to rely on trained professionals like the staff members at Hazelden Center in order to ensure that a patient’s specific symptoms will be correctly identified and treated. Since substance abuse addiction rarely occurs in a vacuum, therapists at Hazelden are well-versed in the treatment of co-occurring disorders and have developed effective strategies for dealing with them.
Hazelden also specializes in the treatment of teens and young adults facing opioid addiction. This type of substance abuse disorder presents unique challenges that must be treated specifically, due to the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that typically accompany the recovery process. Hazelden has developed its own regimen of treatment that combines therapy with the use of medications and extended continuing care in an effort to eliminate the risk of overdose and accidental death that all-too-often follows opiate addiction. Hazelden’s specialized program is capable of reducing withdrawal discomfort and cravings, allowing patients to focus on engaging successfully in the rehabilitation process.
The Hazelden Center for Youth and Families is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of adolescents and young adults with addiction problems. As a result, it necessarily specializes in the treatment of this especially vulnerable demographic. Young adults are susceptible to the influences of peer pressure and society, and the organization recognizes that they may benefit from family interventions.
As such, Hazelden has developed a “Teen Intervene” program in which participants are helped to recognize the reasons for their alcohol or drug use, as well as the negative effects caused by those addictions. Patients are given a personalized plan for making healthier life choices through the use of education, support, and guidance for themselves and their families. This program, consisting of several one-one-one sessions with a counselor (one such session involving parental participation), sets teens and young adults up for the best chance of recovery.
Staff at Hazelden Center is led by executive director Mark Sheets. The facility employs a medical director, staff physician, psychiatrist, several clinical and mental health supervisors, several senior clinicians, a sleep psychologist, and various administrative staff needed to facilitate the successful operation of the clinic’s rehabilitation programs. This team of board-certified staff members is well-versed in co-occurring disorders, opioid treatment, understanding disruptive behaviors in adolescents, and coping with abuse and trauma. Additional staff members specialize in understanding the effects that addiction has on a patient’s parents and siblings. As such, adolescent and young adult patients at Hazelden Center for Youth and Families will be uniquely positioned to receive the highest level of care available in the Plymouth area.
Because Hazelden Center also specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction in adolescents and young adults, staff members are specially trained in the administration of the sensitive therapies needed to address this issue in such a vulnerable population. Therefore, whether patients are interacting with custodial staff or licensed psychologists, they will experience nothing but the utmost professionalism and compassion from any member of the Hazelden Center for Youth and Family staff.
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