Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery Services for Youth and Families

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Serving youth, ages 9 to 18, who are at-risk for or who have substance abuse issues and are insured by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Connecticut, as well as ConnectiCare and Harvard Pilgrim. Wheeler’s Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery Services for Youth and Families offers a comprehensive continuum of early intervention, outpatient and intensive in-home levels of substance abuse treatment services and recovery supports for youth struggling with substance use, in addition to new engagement and empowerment supports for their families.

Family Engagement and Empowerment
Wheeler’s Family Engagement and Empowerment Intervention provides parents/family members with information and strategies on substance abuse and parenting adolescents and encourages age-appropriate parenting skills, including monitoring, limit-setting, consequences, and motivating youth to get into treatment. Designed For: Parent/family member(s) who have a youth demonstrating early signs of substance involvement, or youth who have a substance use disorder and are having difficulty engaging in treatment services.

Outpatient Care
Wheeler’s outpatient level of care is informed by evidence-based practices, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), Motivational interviewing (MI), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The youth and family will jointly develop a treatment plan that would address the youth’s needs. Dosage will be based on the youth’s needs. Designed For: Adolescents/youth who have been identified by parent, school or other supports who may be at-risk for or who have a substance use disorder.

Services in a Family’s Home
Multisystemic Family Therapy (MST) (CSSD) is an evidence-based, in-home service for youth with serious substance use/abuse or high-risk of substance use/abuse and their family. The underlying premise of MST is that serious substance use among youth results from the interaction of a multitude of influencing factors, including family relations, school performance, peer relations, and neighborhood and community relations. The most effective way to treat these issues is to understand the youth’s behavior within the context of his/her social environment.

Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) is an evidence-based, in-home family therapy program for youth with substance abuse issues. MDFT utilizes developmentally appropriate interventions to reduce or eliminate substance use and improve family functioning. Youth and their families participate in individual and family therapy, parent therapy, and case management. Objectives for youth include improved functioning across developmental domains and a better balance between within the parent-adolescent relationship. For the parent(s) objectives include facilitating parental commitment and investment; improving the overall relationship and day-to-day communication; and increased knowledge about and changes in parenting.

Program Features

  • Strengths-based, solution-oriented, youth or family-centered, and recovery-oriented.
  • Use of evidence-based treatment programs for youth include outpatient and intensive in-home programs.
  • Emphasis is placed on comprehensive assessment, clinical treatment that is culturally, gender- and trauma-informed and interventions that are designed to maximize the youth’s/family’s strengths and naturally occurring resources.
  • Strong family component recognizing that changes to the family environment are essential in promoting and sustaining positive changes.
  • Flexibility so that youth may step up to a higher intensity or down to a lower intensity, as clinically indicated, to address their unique needs as they move through treatment.
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