Are you trying to figure out which boarding school is best for your teen? The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) reports that sending teenagers away to therapeutic boarding schools can be one of the most challenging decisions in a parent’s life. Often, parents wait until something severe pushes them into it, like addiction, legal issues, and mental illness.

Substance Abuse

It is not uncommon for teenagers to experiment with drugs and alcohol. In fact, something like 78% of teens try alcohol and just about 47% take over 12 drinks annually. 81% of teens report that drugs are available to them and about half of those teens take the opportunity to do so. Because early onset of substance use is one of the primary predictors of full-blown addiction and alcoholism, these statistics are definitely concerning. In fact, research has also indicated that the average age of addiction among teens is only 14! Because teens who start messing with drugs or alcohol early on are much more likely to grow up to be addicts, it is important that parents get them treatment as soon as possible. A structured therapeutic boarding school is ideal for teens who have gotten involved with illicit substances. It affords them the opportunity to escape from peer pressure and their regular supply of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, they will be provided the therapy they need to get to the root of their addiction, which can be highly effective in stopping this issue before it progresses.

Illegal Activities

Teens who have gotten involved with illegal activities are at increased risk for arrest, so it is best to avoid that by sending them to a troubled teen boarding school. Over 1 million teens end up in juvenile court each year! Around 15% of those are referred to correctional institutions, group homes, and detention centers. These programs are designed to prevent kids from committing crimes, but they fall short when it comes to helping teenagers understand where their behavior comes from. Only troubled teen boarding schools have been shown to be effective at preventing teens from returning to illegal behaviors in the future.

Mental Illness

Approximately 13% of American teenagers suffer from mental disorders. Among these, the most common are:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Conduct disorder

Although these issues can be alarming in and of themselves, but the lack of readily available treatment is even more concerning. While most communities are lacking in mental health services, particularly for teenagers, therapeutic boarding schools are specifically designed to help troubled teens. With therapists and psychiatrists on staff, these programs provide teenagers with the counseling and medication they need to overcome whatever disorders they are suffering from.

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