The Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at Boston Children’s Hospital provides science-based and family-oriented outpatient services for adolescent addiction disorders. Staffed by a highly accredited team of professionals and residents from Harvard Medical School, the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program provides a comprehensive diagnostic assessment in order to provide a high level of clinical treatment for clients up to the age of 23.
Treatment and Staff
Boston Children’s Hospital is just a few miles from Harvard University in the heart of the city of Boston. All appointments and therapy sessions take place in the hospital’s substance abuse department. The initial intake consists of three visits spread out over three days, each appointment lasting approximately an hour. On the first day, potential client meets with a pediatric clinician while the parent or guardian meets with a social worker. On the second, the adolescent meets with a mental health clinician and the parents take their turn with the pediatric clinician. And on the third day the whole group gets together and decides how to proceed.
If outpatient services are recommended, adolescents and parents are assigned to different clinicians in the hopes of establishing a level of trust and confidentiality. Treatment plans are built around the input from experts in pediatrics, child development, education, psychiatry and counseling. If there are any co-occurring disorder issues, the client may see a psychopharmacologist in addition to a therapist. Though this sounds like a lot of attention from so many specialists, all individual therapy is scheduled on an as-needed basis and groups only meet one evening a week at most.
The Adolescent Substance Abuse Program offers three distinct tracks in order to meet the needs of a diverse group of young adults and each includes a group for clients and a companion group for parents. The first track is for clients who have primarily been using alcohol and marijuana and the second is for teens that are in the early phase of opioid dependence. When appropriate, these clients are given access to opioid replacement therapy or opioid blockers upon beginning treatment. These two groups meet weekly for 13 weeks and follow a psycho-educational curriculum that is designed to teach practical coping skills. Both tracks include addiction studies classes, individual therapy sessions and group therapy sessions.
The third track, called the Continuing Care Group, is for teens that have maintained a period of sobriety. This group meets twice a month and is geared toward supporting adolescents in maintaining a drug and alcohol free social life. As would be expected, peer pressure is often a primary topic of discussion, as is relapse prevention.
LCSWs and Master’s-level LADCs facilitate all groups. Clients who require more intense treatment are referred to residential treatment programs and the clinical team works with the family to locate an appropriate facility.
The Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital is a clinical outpatient program staffed by a highly accredited team of professionals and residents from Harvard Medical School, which sounds impressive. This kind of pedigree means cutting edge research but only one evening of group therapy a week and an unspecified amount of individual attention might be like cramming for a final the night before.
Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital
300 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115
Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital Cost: $6,000-$9,000 and up (13 weeks). Reach the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital by phone at (617) 355-2727. Find the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital on YouTube
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