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5 Easy Questions To Ask My Teen If I Suspect Substance Abuse

If you’ve started to suspect your teen may have a substance abuse problem, it can be tricky to navigate how to confront the situation. What questions should you ask? How should you even broach the subject?

You may be surprised to learn that it doesn’t have to be clinical and it definitely shouldn’t be accusatory. Open-ended questions that encourage dialogue are helpful and will also communicate that you see them. You’re aware of their habits and of the changes they’ve been going through. 

Here are five questions that can soften the field for conversation and get to the root of the issue–is your teen using drugs? Or is there something else going on with them?

 

1.  What’s going on with your hair?

Okay, maybe not always in these exact words–but the goal is the same regardless of phrasing: to point out a change in appearance. Are they showering regularly? Are they no longer interested in their beauty routine (makeup, doing their hair, etc.) and uncharacteristically disinterested in how they look? Have they been wearing that same t-shirt for three days straight?

Whatever the case may be, look for the appearance change and ask a relational question regarding that change. 

 

2. What’s going on with your attitude lately?

You have a relationship with your kiddo and it’s okay to ask this question. A change in attitude could be anything from irritability coming home from school to poor treatment of family members at home like their siblings. Isolate specific instances like this and ask where this attitude change is coming from: Why did you get into a fight with your dad? Why are you arguing so much when it’s time to do chores recently? 

Look for behavioral changes and changes in their cognitive process. If they hit you with the “I don’t know,” ask more questions because there’s a big one we’re trying to get to the bottom of here–are they using?

 

3. What happened to your old friends?

Growing out of old relationships and forming new friendships isn’t uncommon in adolescents, but it could also be a sign of larger issues. Ask questions about the kids you’re used to hearing about or seeing that aren’t around anymore. It shows an interest in the relationships your child is keeping (which is always good) and is also a great tool to see if others are noticing changes in your teen. 

Have they stopped seeing their old friends because of these new habits? Ask about their relationships. So often we see kids trade their “good friends” for “bad friends” because those are the kids who are also using, right? 

 

4. Why are you missing baseball practice?

Of course, baseball practice can be substituted for any important activity in your child’s life–band practice, work, drama club–the problem is that this activity is no longer a priority for them. It’s important not to be accusatory when asking this question in particular, we just want to see the root cause. Is it general disinterest? Or something deeper?

Look for the things they’re giving up and no longer participating in and ask pointedly, “Why haven’t you been doing your homework? Why didn’t you go to that job interview?”  If your question is met with a shoulder shrug or non-answer, just keep asking. Your child’s shame is also playing a role in what’s at stake here. There will be a lot of layers to dig through, so don’t back down. 

 

5. Where is your money going?

If your teen’s money is disappearing or you find them asking for more money than usual, it’s important to ask where it’s all going. If money is going down the drain but they aren’t wearing new clothes, going out to the movies with their friends, or fixing up their car, it has to be going somewhere. 

An influx in spending is one of the most telling signs for a possible substance abuse problem and definitely cannot be ignored. Moms and dads, don’t be afraid to ask your kiddo where it’s all going. 

 

Now it’s your turn to get strategic. Plan out how you want to broach these tough questions and be ready to have some difficult conversations. There may be layers covering up the root of their issue, but you can dig down to it. And if you need help with what questions to ask, we’re here to help.

Reach out to us. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit us at clearforkacademy.com. Our team of specialists is standing by to help your family in any way we can.

 

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Clearfork Treatment Modalities

Clearfork Academy serves adolescent boys, thirteen to eighteen years of age, as they undergo substance abuse and mental health treatment. But how does Clearfork make our program impact each kiddo? What are our treatment modalities?

Clearfork is built on seven core techniques that encourage a linear progression through treatment. It isn’t one size fits all and it isn’t composed of just one thing. It is as complex as a tree – from fruit to root, there are so many facets of each child and their unique situation. We admit these teens into treatment based on the low-hanging fruits that we see, but our seven treatment modalities are designed to target the well-hidden roots. 

 

Narrative Therapy

In narrative therapy, we address the personal narrative each child is spinning and make sure it’s framed in the proper context. When we view our story internally, things have a tendency to get messy as bias and emotion play their parts. Our goal is to look at these stories and help their expression be at an appropriate time and place. How are the characters interacting? What different archetypes are at play here? Someone that may have seemed like an antagonist, may actually be the person that cares the most. 

It’s all about building a healthy storyline and worldview while creating a safe space for the boys to share their feelings.

 

Family Systems

Similar to narrative therapy, family systems provide a systemic look at what’s occurring in each boy’s life. We construct genograms to find patterns of struggles within families and build alliances with these commonalities. Was there something broken in the system that contributed to their actions? How can we use positive connections to move forward?

 

DBT & CBT Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy and dialectical behavior therapy work together to help us understand ourselves and gain control of our actions. CBT focuses on thought–how to recognize troublesome thoughts and redirect them towards positivity. DBT focuses on self-management–personal acceptance, safety, and emotional control are invaluable skills for any young person today. 

More and more teens are coming to us with what we call a “big-T” trauma. This trauma is addressed in a safe environment. EMDR and other talk therapies are also used as we work through some of these core issues. 

 

Logotherapy

A full week is dedicated to logotherapy as our boys really contemplate what is valuable, meaningful, and gives life purpose. This is a strong foundation that they can take with them for the rest of their lives, through any situation. When grasping something of high importance, it’s much harder to focus on temptation, depression, etc. because the thing we are holding is so much more important to the individual. 

 

Aftercare & Solution Focus

We know every family wants the next steps and what aftercare looks like once treatment is finished, so we spend a full week dedicated to aftercare and solution focus. A pivotal part of long-term success is focusing on what’s ahead rather than what we leave behind. There is always a next opportunity, a next time, a next moment to be better–focusing on what comes next creates a canvas of possibility. 

As the frontal lobe develops in adolescents, it can be hard to think with logic rather than emotion. We encourage mapping out plans, goals, and stepping away from emotion-ruled decision making. 

 

Play Therapy

Lastly, it’s time for some fun after all of that hard work. Clearfork arranges age-appropriate events to get the boys moving mentally and physically. We’re proud of our beautiful campus that boasts things like our rope course, lake, and even equine therapy! We engage in a tactful, fun way to let their brains experience real-life examples of what comes next. And the best part? Everyone has a blast and proves to themself they can tackle any obstacle we throw to them during play therapy. 

 

So, we’ve pulled back the curtain on the seven treatment modalities we use here at Clearfork Academy. Our methods are intensive, fun, and geared towards growing each young man that joins us on campus. 

If you have a child struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we are here to help! Reach out to us. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit us at clearforkacademy.com. Our team of specialists is standing by to help your family in any way we can.

 

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The Effects of Trauma in Teens

Spotting the underlying trauma that oftentimes manifests itself as substance abuse can be hard. As providers, parents, and friends we see the issues that are present right now most clearly, but where do these problems stem from? In some cases, substance abuse and behavioral changes result from trauma

Traumatic stress can stem from anything that threatens the physical or psychological well-being of your teen and traumatic stress is not one-size fits all. Not every distressing event will cause trauma and what does cause trauma varies from person to person. Something traumatic for your teen may not be traumatic for another child or adult. 

Once we realize that trauma has a variety of triggers, how it manifests itself in each individual is also varied. Trauma can produce a multitude of side effects including:

  • Poor impulse control, destructive behavior, or aggression

  • Low self-esteem, shame, or guilt

  • Disturbed body image

  • Trouble sleeping, excess sleep, or nightmares

  • Difficulty regulating emotion and expressing emotions

  • Unexplained physical symptoms and increased medical issues (i.e. asthma, skin rashes, etc.)

  • Social isolation and difficulty relating to or sympathizing with others

Trauma that exceeds these symptoms can develop into clinically diagnosed posttraumatic stress disorder (or PTSD). In these cases, PTSD can cause your teen to re-experience the trauma, avoid situations that are reminiscent of the trauma, and to numb themselves emotionally. 

If a teen is dealing with traumatic stress, substance abuse issues are often a gateway to avoid or defuse this negative emotional state. It is arguably the most common maladaptive coping mechanism for traumatized teens. 

This is where substance abuse can get tricky; if adolescents are treated for their traumatic stress and substance abuse separately, they are more likely to experience relapse and revert back to drug use after a trauma-triggering event. That is why increased communication between mental health professionals and drug treatment providers is so important. 

Our staff is trained and equipped for treating teens suffering with the effects of trauma. In fact, almost half of the teens that undergo treatment at Clearfork Academy are also dealing with trauma. If your teen is struggling with mental health or substance abuse, we want to help! Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com or visit us at clearforkacademy.com. Our team of specialists is standing by to help your family with your unique situation.

 

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Substance Abuse Resources for Parents

As parents, we want to have all of the answers for our kids, right? This can be incredibly challenging for parents of teens struggling with substance abuse. As your family tackles this complex topic, how can you educate yourselves and develop strategies that work for you? Clearfork Academy is here with three essential resources for parents that will fill your cup with knowledge, your toolbox with solutions, and hopefully your hearts with comfort. Let’s take a look.

 

1.  The Big Book

The Big Book is the all-encompassing guide to the twelve-step program of AA and the building block of many substance abuse programs we see today. This text lays out the cornerstone concepts of recovery, shares stories from men and women that have overcome addiction, and will give every parent a solid base to build from on their own. 

There’s no right or wrong way to read the Big Book, but we do recommend taking notes, using tabs to highlight sections you find meaningful, and reading through it more than once. Each new dive will lead you to new discoveries. Compulsivity and your child’s experiences can be examined. This book will help you really understand the ways you can help as a parent. 

Both AA and the sister program, Al-Anon, have more recommendations and great resources on their websites as well. 

 

2. Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Radical Candor by Kim Scott is a fantastic resource for leadership strategies and communication. Scott bases her book on a quadrant system that breaks down boundaries/expectations, communication, incentives, etc. This is a necessary resource because it arms parents with the tools they need to really impact their teen’s development during all of these crazy changes. 

We’ve seen parents throw money at problems, avoid discipline for bad behaviors, and overall just lack a clear outline of expectations. This book will help you identify your non-negotiables as a family, strategies for implementing real change, and coping strategies for when communication breaks down.

 

3. Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch

Lastly, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch is an invaluable resource that molds the worlds of spirituality and science together to talk about recovery. Not only does it break down the science behind addiction, like maladaptive patterns of behavior, but it also centers itself on strong religious beliefs to help families find hope in the power of the gospel. 

Welch discusses questions regarding shame, the status of addiction as sin/disease, and more in a way that is really accessible to all readers. This is one of the best compliments of these resources that we have seen. 

 

So, now that you’re armed with some great resources to expand your knowledge of substance abuse, it’s time to get to work. Read and research whatever you can get your hands on–there is no such thing as too much information. 

For additional resources, please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com or visit us at clearforkacademy.com to see our glossary of substance abuse and recovery terms. Our team of specialists is standing by to help your family with your unique situation or just to talk and help you answer some questions. 

 

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Calling the Police on Your Child for Substance Abuse

When a child is struggling with substance abuse, many families try to handle the situation in-house for various reasons like embarrassment, finances, and the perceived best interests of the kiddo. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn’t. If the situation escalates, your family faces a tough question: 

“When is the right time to call the cops and bring in somebody other than a family member to take legal responsibility for my teen?”

The answer isn’t black and white. Police involvement is never ideal for parents. You never want to get your child into trouble, but taking accountability for their actions is sometimes needed when their safety or the safety of others is at risk. Calling the police is a way to get the law in your corner for recovery and prevent your teen from continuing down a more destructive path. 

Here are the two most important factors to consider when calling in outside help like the police:

1. What is your child’s mental/emotional state?

If they are having thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or even homicide, it’s time to get the police involved. If your teen’s physical and biological well-being is beyond your help, seeking help from an establishment to stabilize them is essential.

2. Do they pose a danger to the world around them? 

Destructive behavior, damage to property, stolen possessions, threats of physical harm, and even real cases of bodily injury are common. These behaviors are red flags that your teen may need outside help.

 

As parents, you have to set the tone and be ready to follow through on your commitment. If your boundary is, “If you bring drugs into my house, I will call the cops on you,” monitor the actions of your child. If they disregard your boundaries and expectations, it’s time to follow through and get the police involved. 

Substance abuse should not be taken lightly, and it’s key to remember that there can be legal ramifications for both teens and parents. Harboring drugs and paraphernalia is most common, but substance abuse can even lead to harboring weapons and illegally obtained money in your home. Believe us, we’ve seen it. 

Set your boundaries and expectations, then repeat them over and over to your child. Before calling the police, before involving a mental health authority, establish those boundaries and expectations. If your child falters on upholding them, then it is time to call the police. Remember, if their mental/emotional health is in danger (especially from self-harm, suicide, or homicide), substance abuse can only make this worse—step in. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and dial 911 to save your child’s life. 

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com

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5 Dangers of Vaping

Is vaping dangerous? Should parents encourage their teens to quit vaping during or after recovery? The standard argument against this is that vaping “isn’t as bad” as cigarettes, marijuana, or worse. And while this is technically true, it’s also not good for your child either. We’re here to discuss five dangers of vaping for you and your teen to be aware of before it’s written off as harmless and cool.

 

1. Unknown Chemicals

We aren’t advocating for tobacco leaves, but at least it is an organic compound that we can see, touch, and feel, right? On the other hand, the chemicals inside vapes and e-cigarettes are unknown to us. Not only are we putting a foreign chemical into our body when we vape, but it’s also hard to definitively say the amount of risk it poses. Each cartridge is different, as is each brand and flavor. 

 

2. Illicit Substance Additives

Besides the nicotine and unknown chemicals, we get in typical vape cartridges, the risk of adding illicit substances to the blend is high. THC can be added to the vape in higher-concentrated doses (which is risky enough alone), but what makes this even worse when vaping is the flavored vapor that masks the smell and taste. This creates a perfect storm for concealed use and overuse of THC.

 

3. Vaping Impacts Brain Development

Nicotine is harmful to brain development in large amounts, especially in adolescents when this development is at its highest. Areas of the brain like neurotransmitters are slowed down and can even be broken with regular smoking or vaping. Since nicotine is addictive, it makes the slide to regular and overuse even more risky. Once you pick up the habit, it’s hard to stop–even when it’s hurting your brain. 

 

4. Long-Term Lung Damage

Vaping comes with adverse health effects to the lungs after continued use. Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath can all start to affect your teen after a few weeks or months of vaping, and these symptoms worsen over time. Lungs should be clear of excess substances to allow for proper airflow. Filling them with chemicals and water vapor causes an excess strain as they expel the foreign materials. 

 

5. Marketing and Media Influence

The sleek pod, the multitude of flavors, the “tricks” kids can do with vapor–all of these things create the perfect storm of unhealthy marketing to young adults. The visibility isn’t placed on the dangers of vaping and nicotine like a pack of cigarettes; the market focuses on the aspects that draw in younger and younger wallets. The misconception and misinformation surrounding vaping are some of the most dangerous aspects of it today. When it’s the cool thing to do, kiddos don’t realize the harm. 

 

So, when discussing vaping with your teen, keep these five dangers in mind: unknown chemicals, illicit substance additives, impaired brain development, long-term lung damage, and the marketing and media of vaping. The goal is to provide knowledge so that your family can have an informed conversation. It’s time to discuss the harmful parts of vaping that are so often left out and that your kiddo may not even have considered. 

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now
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How to Have a Healthy Relationship With Your Teen Who’s Struggling With Substance Abuse

If your teen is struggling with substance abuse, it’s going to call for a shift in your relationship. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it could be the best thing for both of you at this juncture. 

Figuring out how to have a healthy, meaningful relationship with your teen can be hard in the best of circumstances; families struggling with substance abuse can often find this basic need to be even more challenging. Where do you start when communication breaks down, and new worries are introduced into your family dynamic? 

There are two key things to remember as you embark on this journey of recovery with your teen: 

 

1 . This is not your fault.

Taking the blame is one of the most common reactions for parents, but just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s right. Too often, when we think things are our fault, the logical next step is to try and fix it. But this isn’t a problem you can fix alone, nor is it your fault. When we try to fix things that aren’t our problem, we risk making things worse. Let go of any feelings of blame you may be holding on to. Remember the serenity prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”

 

2.  It’s ok to be the cheerleader.

Be a cheerleader, a strong embrace, and the shoulder to cry on when they need it. The authority comes naturally as a parent; you set the boundaries and expectations, which are not things to forfeit. But your teen isn’t just in need of the parent role. They also need an advocate. Be their cheerleader during these tough times and advocate for their success. Encourage their heart and their mind. 

Step out of the role of control because you can’t control this situation. And don’t be afraid to advocate for the inner fortitude of your child. Cheerlead when you can instead of being an authoritarian. 

 

Having a healthy relationship with your teen struggling with substance abuse isn’t easy, but you’re not alone. There is support for your teen, for your family, and for you! 

 

Want to learn more? Watch our most recent YouTube video: https://youtu.be/lBKeM418n24

 

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now

 

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I Think My Teen is Smoking Weed

Has your teen been acting out of the ordinary? Are you smelling an over-use of cologne or maybe even the musty smell of marijuana on their clothes? These could be red flags that they’re hiding a new past-time. 
Recreational drug use can be alarming, but don’t panic if you think your teen may be smoking weed! It’s important to determine what’s actually going on before jumping to conclusions. If you have cause for concern, here are some practical steps you can take:

 

  • Understand the Situation

The most important thing for you to do is try to gain an understanding of the situation. This goes beyond figuring out if your teen is smoking weed, and into your own knowledge of marijuana. It’s time to do your research.
Find out more about what marijuana was historically and what it is today. What are the different types? The brands? The intensities? There is a multitude of information out there on the subject. Educate yourself, but don’t fall into a blackhole of marijuana articles. Knowing the facts will help you talk to your teen and better understand their situation.
Click here for more information on marajuana abuse.

 

  • Start the Conversation

Now that you know more about the drug, you can start to figure out what your child’s relationship to weed may (or may not) be. Opening a judgement-free conversation is key to learning more about their situation. Was it a one time usage? How often are they smoking and how much? Where are they getting their supply? 
Let them take part in the conversation. Coming to them as an authoritative parent could cause your teen to withdraw or push back. That’s not the goal. You want them to feel safe talking to you, and explaining their side of things.

 

 

  • Address The Behaviors

If your child is smoking weed, it’s okay to confront them. Sometimes it’s easier to address the behaviors and not really the person or the use. Regardless of whether or not they view smoking as bad or unhealthy, there are likely underlying behaviors that are cause for concern. Are they staying up too late? Are they spending too much money buying weed? Have they started engaging in risky behaviors like theft or skipping school? 
By addressing their behavior, the conversation moves away from just a difference of opinion in recreational drug use. If smoking weed is causing them to behave in ways that go against your family’s core values or expectations, make that the central point of your conversation.

 

  • Get Professional Help

Whether it’s for your teen, your family, or yourself, it’s ok to get help! Dealing with drug use can be overwhelming and put an enormous strain on everyone involved.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or to look at treatment options if the behavior continues and especially if it worsens.

 

If you think your teen may be abusing marajuana or other substances, you can always reach out to us here at Clearfork. Our website has lots of information on teen drug use, treatment options, and how we may be able to help. www.clearforkacademy.com 
We also have substance abuse specialists available 24/7 to evaluate your situation and help determine what your next steps should be. Please give us a call at 888-966-8604, or email us at help@clearforkacademy.com.

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now
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Admissions: What to Expect

If your child is struggling with substance use or mental health issues, there are already so many hurdles with which your family is coping. That’s why Clearfork Academy makes our admissions process as simple as possible.
We’ve broken down the admissions process into these 5 simple steps:

  1. Contact us
  2. Provide clinical information
  3. Fill out insurance verification of benefits form
  4. Review
  5. Schedule an admission date
Checking your child into a residential treatment facility is already challenging enough, so we strive to make everything else go as smoothly as possible. What do our 5 steps entail?

1.  Contact Us

Making contact is the first step, but we know it can often be the most difficult. Clearfork has a multitude of different ways to initiate contact via our website clearforkacademy.com. These include: by phone, though our online form, and over an interactive chat feature.
Many parents find a phone call is the most convenient option and we assure you that our team is standing by to accept your call. We also have an email dedicated to the admissions process:  admissions@clearforkacademy.com.

 

2.  Provide Clinical Information

This is the stage where we have a conversation about how your teen is struggling. Providing the pertinent clinical information allows us to define what treatment options would best fit their unique needs and assess our ability to provide recovery options. 
We don’t admit every teen in need: During the clinical assessment and approval process, we make sure they are a good fit for our community and that our treatment options will meet their needs. Accurate and transparent clinical information is the key to ensuring we help you find the best care possible for your child.

 

3.  Fill Out Insurance or Verification of Benefits Form

Most families qualify for reduced out-of-pocket costs based on their insurance coverage. Clearfork Academy is in network with Magellan & Blue Cross Blue Shield, a preferred provider with TRICARE, and works well with other insurance providers as an approved out-of-network option. 
The easiest way to check your coverage status is to fill out our verification of benefits form, but we have other ways to evaluate coverage as well. We work on a case by case basis to make sure we get the right plan in place for you. 

 

4. Review

The review step is exactly like it sounds: Our team will review all of your family’s information and formulate the best care strategy for your teen. We’ll ascertain if your kiddo is a good fit for the Clearfork program.
This is also the time we will ask for confirmation that Clearfork Academy is the facility for you!

 

5.  Schedule an Admission Date

Now it’s time to schedule the admission date and time. There are a multitude of times that we’re available, and we can accept admissions 24/7. However, because we like to give kiddos the opportunity to meet our staff and tour the facility during our normal operating hours, we prefer to avoid late night arrivals.
Once the admission process has been completed, our team initiates programming and the healing process can begin.

 

If you have a child that may be struggling with a substance use and/or mental health disorder, please give us a call at (888) 966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com. We are standing by and ready to assist your family on the road to recovery.

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now

 

 

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A Day in the Life at Substance Abuse Treatment

Leaving your child in someone else’s care is one of the hardest things for any parent to do. Even when our brain knows it’s the best thing to do, the heart has trouble letting them go. We’d be lying if we said it was easy, but having clarity on what life will look like for your child while they’re away can ease this anxiety. 

We want to give you the confidence that Clearfork Academy is truly creating the best environment for their recovery, so here is what a day in the life of your teen looks like during their substance abuse and mental health treatment. 

 

Our Morning

Our days are robust and full of activity. Some might even say exhausting, but this is what we strive for. We pack in as much therapeutic activity as we can to get the maximum amount of long-term benefit and mental healing for each minute your child is with us. 

We start early. Before 8 a.m., we do the normal waking-up routine of getting dressed, brushing our teeth, having breakfast; then we do what we call “The 3 Gs”:

– What is our Goal?
– What are we Grateful for? 
– What are we expecting God to do today?

It’s our way of setting purposeful intentions from the very beginning each morning, and it helps us get into a positive mindset to tackle the rest of our day.

With our minds now focused, it’s time to start the school day. Lessons go for four hours, from 8 in the morning to noon, to make sure they are staying sharp and not sacrificing their education while in treatment.

 

Our Afternoon

There’s a brief time set aside for relaxation and mental rest in between the end of our school day and when we break for lunch. Then, we’ll eat together before our 1 o’clock group. This group session is focused around a life skill that your child can take with them for real-world application every day. 

Here, we’ll cover topics like time management, conflict resolution, and other skills that may be hard to learn independently. These are all best practice, teachable moments that can have a massive impact on their future success and happiness, which is why we’ve made them a part of our core curriculum. 

At 2:00, we jump into process group. We really get into that next level of engagement;  it’s not a time to simply complain about our day. This is where we get to know the intimate details of each other’s hearts. There will be laughter, tears, and bonds formed here to get your child through their treatment while they discover their own sense of self. 

There is also an hour dedicated to fitness. We have a variety of planned structure activities designed to work out your child’s body and mind. We practice calisthenics, cardio, and offer free weights and other various exercise equipment. The exertion is a great way to stay healthy, and the physical activity is its own form of therapy. They can work out whatever is on their mind through sweat, grit, and their own strength.

Later in the day we have our family sessions and one-on-one counseling time. Family sessions are designed to address your family’s unique needs, so everyone can begin to heal. During one-on-one counseling, our therapists work to help your teen understand the underlying causes of their addiction and find lasting change. 

 

Our Evening

After we have dinner, and our nurses make medication rounds, we spend time in our smart recovery and 12-step based NA or AA style group sessions. This is the time we will really talk about the in and out of addiction: the signs, the symptoms, the steps to recovery, and the interventions. We diagnose what the nuts and bolts of teenage substance abuse are and break it down for them to understand what they’re dealing with. These can vary from speaker meetings to step studies, etc. 

Next, we have a time for meditation and self-reflection, and this is when we will also do an informal discussion to share about how the day went. We check in every morning with our “3 Gs”, and at night we check out by sharing our wins for the day. 

Lastly, we will cap off our rigorous day with a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This is crucial; it’s the brain’s time to store information, process memory, and this is when the body does it’s best healing. 

 

In a Nutshell

Our weekdays are packed to ensure your teen is getting the structure and every facet of therapeutic activity that they need for their recovery. The weekends are still full of clinical engagement, but it’s also a time for rest. Their minds and bodies can relax a bit more in anticipation of the week to come. 

At Clearfork Academy, our thirteen-week program is based on our core values and best practice interventions to help your teen process, understand, and recover. This isn’t a band-aid. These are lifelong skills for long-term success.

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

Want to learn more? Click here to check out our YouTube Channel!

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Teen Detox: What to Expect

It can be scary to watch your child struggle with substance abuse. Detox for your teen can be just as scary, so it’s important for them to have a safe facility to clear everything out of their bodies and a strong support system at home — you! 

What is Drug Detoxification?

Detoxification, more commonly known as detox, is the process of allowing the body to naturally expel any drugs or harmful substances within it. This process is most beneficial when a trained medical professional is present to manage withdrawal symptoms and administer treatment. 

The detox process is different for everyone, and the length of time it takes the body to work through these substances depends on a variety of factors such as:

        • The types of substances used

        • Their genetic makeup and family health history

        • Pre-existing medical or mental health conditions

        • The duration of their addiction

        • The amount of a substance that has been taken at one time

        • The method of usage (smoking, snorting, injecting, etc.)

The average drug detox time takes between 3 and 7 days, but varies based on your child’s unique situation. 


What are the Side Effects of Drug Detox?

Drug detox can be a frightening experience for your teen. It is important to know exactly what they may experience so you can give them the support they need, from a place of understanding. Symptoms of drug detox include:

        • Anxiety or nervousness

        • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping

        • Body aches and body discomfort

        • Nausea

        • Mood swings

        • Difficulty concentrating 

Because these side effects can be severe, a medically-supervised detox is almost always recommended. Fortunately, Clearfork Academy is medically licensed to have up to eight beds for medical detox. This means that we have a team of dedicated doctors, nurses, and a psychiatrist on hand to ease this process for your child. 

We have medical protocols in place to handle each symptom at varying severities. That includes medical rounding, medical intervention, and medication administration to lessen some of these symptoms as necessary. 


How Does Clearfork Academy Handle Drug Detox?

Our first priority when handling a teen going through detox is to ensure their medical stability. The drugs are allowed to flush out of their bodies so restore health to their organs and brain before we begin next steps. Detox may remove the impurities from your child’s body, but it is not enough by itself to keep them healthy long term. 

Clearfork Academy also addresses the heart and mind of each teen to facilitate lifelong recovery. Our therapeutic process encompasses one-on-one sessions, group therapy, and the deeper exploration of their unique thoughts and feelings. The psychological part of their addiction needs to be discussed as well. Our multi-step approach to drug detox is focused on immediate medical care, but also the mental and emotional care that must be completed afterwards to ensure lasting success. We take care of the medical aspects of their recovery first so that we can focus on repairing their self image, confidence, and address the factors that led them to drug abuse in the first place. 

 

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

Want to learn more? Click here to check out our YouTube Channel

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now
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5 Signs of Teen Drug Use

Are you concerned that changes in your teens behavior may be the result of drug use? It can be difficult to understand your teenager’s actions in the best of circumstances; we know it’s even harder if you have real concerns about their health and well-being. To help you determine what could be cause for concern, we’ve put together a list of the top five signs of teen drug use. 

 

1. Physical Symptoms

Physical changes can vary depending on what drugs your teen may be using. When the body is being suppressed by a substance, there can be a variety of consequences. Here is a list of specific things to look for, but keep in mind that your child may only show one or two from this list: 

        • Bloodshot eyes

        • Bruises or marks on their arms

        • Shaking or tremors

        • Unusual sores or rashes

        • Frequent nosebleeds

        • Lingering cough, runny nose or flu-like symptoms 

2. Severe Fatigue

After coming down from a high, teens may feel very fatigued. This leads to long periods of sleep, constant drowsiness, and a lack of focus. If your teen is experiencing these symptoms, without a medical reason, take note. This could be a sign of substance use. 

3. Personality/Mood Changes

Again, depending on the type of substances being used, these symptoms can vary. Pay attention to anything that seems out of character for your teen. Here’s a list of the most common ways these mood changes present themselves when substance use is involved:

        • Depression

        • Anxiety

        • Sudden rage

        • Violent outbursts

4. Change in Priorities

When teens begin using drugs, they tend to lose interest in things they were once very involved in such as sports, hobbies, or clubs. Even their grades can begin to suffer as they withdraw from regular activities. If your child is beginning to pull away from the things they once loved, pay attention. This is a huge red flag!

5. Getting Into Trouble

Are you getting calls from school about behavior problems? Or maybe your teen is involved in some sort of illegal activity, such as theft. Teens can act out when withdrawal or cravings hit, and are willing to do nearly anything to get their hands on whatever substance they’ve been using. If your child is getting into trouble, it’s important to get to the bottom of it. Drug use could definitely be a contributing factor.

 

If you’ve noticed any of these signs or symptoms in your teen, please get them the help they need. At Clearfork Academy, we offer intensive outpatient and residential treatment for teens struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. Our admissions specialists are available 24/7 to discuss your child’s unique situation and provide guidance on your next steps. Call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com.

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now
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12-Step Program for Teens

Let’s jump right in and answer two of the most common questions we get asked:

  1. Is Clearfork Academy a faith-based program? Yes. 

  2. Does Clearfork Academy use the 12 steps? Also, yes!

That’s right, Clearfork Academy is a faith-based, 12-step recovery center for teens struggling with substance abuse and mental health. On our campus, the 12 steps are posted on our wall, and are reviewed every evening. We also have group meetings on Saturday mornings. At the same time, our treatment modality is Christ-centered. While others may struggle to blend faith and recovery, it’s what we do best. At Clearfork, our Founder/CEO (Austin Davis, LPC-S) completed his undergraduate degree in pastoral ministries and went to seminary. He then earned a Master’s in Divinity as well as a Master’s in Counseling. With the help of his background, we are able to seamlessly combine the faith-based aspect with the 12-step program. We offer our teens a well-rounded curriculum with health and recovery always being our #1 priority!

 

“I love the 12 steps! The first three steps are very God-focused. He’s going to restore me to sanity, He’s going to take care of my problem and then I’m going to have to have an understanding of who this God is. That’s where Clearfork brings such a unique position on this. We’re going to bring in that ‘faith stuff’ from my background and education. When we talk about ‘the God of our own understanding’, it’s going to be the God who saves. It’s going to be the God who restores. It’s going to be the God who provides. It’s going to be the God who desires praise and relationship!”Austin Davis, LPC-S, Founder/CEO

 

At Clearfork, we want our teens to have an understanding of who God is and what God does as they work through the 12 steps. Teens in treatment at Clearfork Academy aim to complete one of the 12 steps each week so they can receive their chip before they leave campus! We also encourage them to continue going to meetings, and to get a sponsor after they’ve completed treatment with us.

 

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re happy to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now

 

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Can My Teen Still Graduate If He’s In Residential Treatment?

If your teen needs residential treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues, we know there are already lots of things you worry about. Education is likely somewhere towards the top of that list; we get it. While they work on their physical/mental health, you don’t want your teen falling behind academically. At Clearfork Academy, the education of your teen will always be a priority! 

 

We partner with The University of Texas Charter School to bring the best in education right here to our campus at Clearfork. They have been around for over 20 years and have 25 campuses across the state. The format of this program is specifically designed to help meet the educational needs of kids in unique settings/situations, including residential treatment.

 

“We work with Clearfork, knowing the students are in a therapeutic setting working on their health. Our school provides educational services to keep them on track for graduation.”Cristy Cunningham, Principal

 

Through our partnership with the charter school, we are able to assist our clients with all of their educational needs. We’ve answered some of our most frequently asked questions below so you can better understand how Clearfork Academy is able to provide quality education for our teens.

Q: Will my child still graduate on time?
A: That is always the goal. A student’s graduation plan is set up from the beginning based upon their transcript at enrollment. We make sure they continue in the courses they’ve started before arrival, and that they progress as necessary. The teacher/student ratio is typically 1:10 or 1:12, so our teachers are able to work with each individual student according to their specific needs.

Q: What if my teen is already behind?
A: Our program is also designed to help students with credit recovery. We will assess your child’s needs, and make a plan to get them back on track!

Q: What does a typical school day look like while my teen is in treatment?
A: There are four hours of educational services each day. Those hours are divided up by four different content areas. We primarily focus on math, science, social studies and English, but also ensure that elective and language credits are also completed. Students come into the classroom at 8 a.m., and are dismissed around noon each day. There are two teachers and an educational aide on-site, and the students rotate classes during the day. We use a combination of direct instruction and online assignments to cover all core and elective content.

Q: How can I stay involved with my child’s education?
A: The parent portal is available for you to view your teen’s grades at any time. There are also opportunities for parent/teacher conferences, as well as report cards and weekly updates.

Q: What happens with school credits when my teen completes their treatment?
A: We are accredited by the Texas Education Agency, so all of our credits transfer to any educational institution. If a student is not from Texas, we will do the research to make sure their earned credits will meet the necessary requirements. Staying enrolled with the University of Texas Charter School through graduation is also an option, depending on the student’s needs.

 

For more on this topic, be sure to watch Austin Davis, LPC-S, Founder/CEO interview Cristy Cunningham, Principal, UT Charter School at Clearfork Academy: Watch Now!

If your teen needs treatment for a substance abuse problem or a mental health issue, don’t wait until school is out to get them the help they need. At Clearfork Academy, we’ve helped hundreds of teens find a new path and a new legacy! Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to provide guidance on your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now
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Mental Health Treatment at Clearfork Academy

Clearfork Academy is known for helping teens recover from substance abuse and addiction, but did you know we also offer mental health treatment? We are fully equipped with psychiatrists,  psychiatric nurse practitioners, and master’s level therapists to treat a wide variety of mental health concerns. We treat the following:

 

*It’s important to note, we do not treat diagnoses such as major schizophrenia, psychosis or high level autism. 

 

Often substance abuse and mental health issues go hand in hand. We think it’s important to be able to treat the root of the issue, not just the symptoms. We are able to treat teens whose primary concern is mental illness and teens whose primary concern is substance abuse/addiction.

 

 

“Treating mental health concerns makes a huge impact. By treating mental illness soley and purely, we are able to help so many kids in a longer term way. Other treatment facilities offer 30 days of treatment at best to these teens, but we have a 90 day program.” - Austin Davis, LPC-S, Founder/CEO

Click here to hear more from Austin about Mental Health Treatment at Clearfork Academy. 

 

We use a variety of treatment modalities for mental health including DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). We use a family systems approach with these clients as well, and stay solution-focused.

 

Our goal for teens struggling with mental illness is to help them find continued mental health and relapse prevention support. We want these teens to have sustained recovery and maintain a healthy headspace and thinking patterns to ultimately avoid things that would trigger relapse

 

In addition, we offer intensive outpatient services as an after care option for our mental health clients. We encourage each of these teens to continue individual therapy and to maintain social engagement at school and elsewhere after they complete our program.

 

We have helped hundreds of teens find a new path and a new legacy. If you are looking for a place that offers residential treatment for teens with mental health concerns, you’ve found the best! Our clinical admission specialists are available 24/7 to provide guidance on your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! 

Download your free guide here: Download Now
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Families Matter at Clearfork Academy

As a therapist, you know when a teen is struggling with substance abuse the whole family is affected. At Clearfork Academy, we know this is not something that can be overlooked. Having the support of family is critical for a teen to recover. 

 

When you’re looking for a treatment facility to refer clients to, we realize it’s important for you to know how the entire family is included in the recovery process. Here are just a few of the ways Clearfork Academy includes and takes care of our client’s families.

 

1. The first thing you should know is that we have a full-time Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist on staff. We want to therapeutically embrace the entire family system so each perspective is heard, and the entire family unit can begin to heal.

 

2. The families of addicted teens are often unaware of their role in the recovery process. For that reason, we offer a Multi-family Education Group on Saturday mornings. This group is led by one of our therapists, and different topics are presented each week regarding the family system and recovery. We educate on things such as boundaries, codependency, dysfunctional family roles, and more. The families are also able to ask questions, discuss and learn from each other during this time. This has proven to be an invaluable resource for many of our clients.

 

3. We also offer a Family Support Group to the families of our teens. We connect with these families beginning at the time of enrollment, and we stay connected! Our family support group meets every Tuesday. It is our goal to support the families of our patients, and to stay engaged with them. This support group is for the families of current patients, and for the families of our alumni. We continue to offer family support through our parent Facebook group well after graduation.

4. Speaking of alumni, Clearfork Academy actually has a full-time Alumni Relations Coordinator. Their main focus is staying engaged with alumni families. These families often need additional care and support after their teen has returned home from treatment. We are here for them as long as they need us!

 

When you refer a teen to our program, you can rest assured we will take care of the entire family. Not only that, we will also keep you –  the referring therapist, informed too. Within 48 hours of admission, the primary counselor for the enrolled teen will contact you. After the initial exchange of information, the counselor will update you on a weekly basis (or whatever schedule works best for you). We love collaborating with other professionals to ensure that these teens and their families are well taken care of throughout the entire recovery process.

 

“As a clinician for nearly 20 years, I’ve been hard pressed to work with such a team as Clearfork Academy when collaborating with a program that can help teens and families find help in their most dire of days. Clearfork and their team are unique based on their responsiveness to the population and our industry. In the five years I’ve been working and referring with Clearfork, they have asked fantastic questions of their constituents, been responsive for their program growth and the results of which have propelled Clearfork to a renowned Texas treatment facility that embraces core values, unique continuum of care for teens and a family program that is robust. It has been my honor to be called a clinical partner, problem solver, connector and case manager alongside Clearfork’s staff these past several years and can strongly recommend their milieu/programming to help with your most complex cases.” – Joseph A. Dias, M.Ed., LPC-S

 

If you’d like to learn more about what Clearfork Academy can offer, we’d love to connect with you! Please give Missy a call at (214) 592-7012 to schedule a lunch, a campus tour, or even a Zoom meeting. You can also email help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com for more information.

 

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem?

Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through 
discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next!

Download your free guide here: Download Now