Our Approach to Adolescent Treatment & Recovery

We will give you the support and guidance you need to get started on the road of long-term recovery.

We Specialize In Adolescent Treatment

Our Approach to Adolescent Treatment & Recovery

At Guardian Recovery, we provide the highest level of evidence-based care for adolescents. We are committed to providing your teen with the tools necessary to understand, process, and treat their substance use disorder. At Guardian Recovery, we help every individual who enters our program begin building the life that they deserve.

If you have a teen in your life who would benefit from substance use disorder treatment, contact Guardian Recovery today. Our Treatment Advisors are available day and night to answer any questions and guide you to the next step of the process. Help is available, and it is always one simple phone call away.

Our Definition of Addiction

Guardian Recovery adolescent programs are built on the Disease Model of Addiction. This model defines addiction as a “chronic, relapsing brain disease.” This phrase was coined and popularized by the former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a leading neurologist in the field of addiction treatment, Alan I. Leshner.

In his extensive neurological studies on addiction, Leshner found that the brain of an addict or alcoholic functions differently than that of a normal person. The brain of an addict or alcoholic prioritizes its need for drugs and alcohol over all other survival instincts, including those for food, water, sex and shelter. This is why teens with a substance use disorder often will go to any lengths to continue to use against all rational reasons to stop. This is also why addiction is so baffling to the family and loved ones of those with a substance use disorder. Once an individual is addicted, brain scans show that the brain is essentially hijacked, rendering it next to impossible to stop without help. 

Alcoholics Anonymous echoes the Disease Model in its definition of addiction as a “three-fold illness” consisting of a “physical allergy, a mental obsession and a spiritual malady.” All definitions of addiction point to the fact that addiction must be treated on multiple levels — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This is true for both adults and teens, however, teens have the added difficulty of underdeveloped brains and social functioning. Guardian Recovery’s adolescent programming is designed to address all these specific needs.

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The Guardian Path to Teen Recovery

At Guardian Recovery, we place critical importance on a continuum of care. This step by step evidence-based path to long term recovery for your teen is what we have come to know as the Guardian Path to Recovery. This path takes our adolescent clients on a progressive journey from medical detox to residential inpatient treatment and continuing with partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and aftercare. We have found this journey to be an extremely effective path because it allows your child the time they need to discover, process, and transform their lifestyle. It offers them the tools they need to deal with their emotions head-on and face life in sobriety while allowing them to slowly re-integrate into the world at large with the support of peers and professionals.

Holistic Healing & Adolescent Mental Health

Just as a substance use disorder affects the whole person, we believe that recovery should address every aspect of a person’s life. This includes the mental, physical, and spiritual components of comprehensive wellbeing. We recognize this need and have developed our adolescent facilities to address each of these needs for your teen. This holistic approach allows Guardian Recovery to treat other mental health conditions in tandem with a substance use disorder. 

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Evidence-Based Therapies & Treatment

At Guardian Recovery’s adolescent facilities, we are committed to only incorporating treatment modalities that have been proven to work based on evidence. These treatment modalities and activities include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) 
  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Traditional talk therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • 12 Step Immersion
  • Experiential therapy
  • Guided meditation & mindfulness
  • Yoga
  • Nutrition therapy
  • Life skills education

Each of these practices has been proven to address a specific aspect of your child’s life controlling issues. Together they make up a holistic treatment model.

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The Levels of Care We Provide for Adolescents

Medical Detox 

This level of care is the first vital step in your teen’s journey to recovery. If an individual has been using drugs or alcohol for any length of time, their body and brain has become accustomed to operating with the substance. When this substance is suddenly removed from the central nervous system, individuals experience a range of withdrawal symptoms that can be painful or even life-threatening if not treated properly. Our medical detox facilities offer 24/7 medical supervision, medication assisted treatment, therapy, holistic treatments, case management and aftercare planning. After your teen is physically stabilized (which generally takes between 3 to 14 days), we help them transfer into the next appropriate level of care to continue their journey of recovery.

Residential Inpatient Treatment

Residential inpatient treatment is a form of treatment where teens live in a residential treatment setting for approximately 28 to 60 days. This part of treatment involves a wide range of individual, family and group therapies, educational workshops, life skills training, recovery meetings and holistic treatment methods.

Partial Hospitalization (PHP)

PHP is the logical next step following a residential inpatient setting. In partial hospitalization, clients generally live in a sober living home close to the treatment facility. Clients are shuttled back and forth to the treatment center to participate in approximately 5-6 days a week of programming, starting in the morning and ending in the evening with a lunch break. On their days off, clients slowly begin to learn how to reintegrate into the world at large. 

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)/Aftercare

This form of treatment is generally seen as a transition step for individuals as they begin to reenter the world again. Adolescents can attend work or school while attending groups a few times a week and either living at home or in a sober living environment. This is seen as a great tool for teens and parents to utilize for ensuring long term recovery.

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Our Facilities & Teams Transform Lives

Changing lives by providing comprehensive support and rehabilitation, empowering individuals to overcome addiction and regain control of their health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that your teens patterns of thinking and transition to a treatment setting may lead to behavioral issues and “acting out.” Our adolescent programs are well prepared to address these issues in a therapeutic manner using them as teaching moments. This will help them with future decision making and consequence recognition.

Our adolescent programs use only evidenced based practices to ensure that each therapeutic activity will help your child in their recovery journey.

Guardian Recovery’s holistic approach to treatment allows us to diagnose and treat the whole individual. This includes any mental health conditions. Each therapeutic activity is geared to address both mental health conditions alongside substance use disorders.

If your child has developed a physical dependence on a substance then medical detox will be required. A medical professional will be able to make that determination for your teen.

Yes. Our adolescent programs are geared towards the specific needs of your teen. With emphasis on life skills and family involvement, your teen will receive services specific to them.

Yes. Part of our adolescent treatment model is the emphasis on family involvement. Throughout your teen’s treatment you will be encouraged to offer support and take part in various family activities incorporated throughout their time in treatment.

Our Guardian Path to Recovery highly encourages follow up and aftercare treatment. However, because the needs of each client vary so significantly, personalized aftercare plans are carefully developed by the clinical team, case manager, and primary therapist while your teen is engaged in treatment. 

Contact Us Today to Learn More 

If your child is in need of behavioral health or substance use treatment, contact Guardian Recovery today. Our national network of treatment facilities is committed to providing the highest quality of substance use disorder treatment available. We know the decision to enter treatment can be challenging, so we have made the process simple. Call Guardian Recovery today to speak with a treatment advisor. They will be able to answer any questions you may have and guide you through every step of your treatment journey. Your teen’s journey to the life they deserve to live can start today. 

Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

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