Caron in Pennsylvania: 800-854-6023
Caron Renaissance in Florida: 800-221-6500
Caron Ocean Drive in Florida: 800-221-1170
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Young Adults (19-25)

As a pioneer in treating young adults with drug and alcohol problems, our behavioral health treatment programs transform the lives of young adults.

Treatment Programs for Young Men and Women

Young adults are in the midst of many transitions: moving from childhood to adulthood and from dependence on their parents to independence. Young adults have often been using drugs or alcohol since their teen years; some may have been through a treatment program before. This age group often feels a lack of meaning or direction, a sense of hopelessness, guilt, shame, or many other emotions. Caron’s holistic approach can help young adults with another kind of transition: the move out of addiction and into recovery.

Multidisciplinary Treatment Team and Individual Care

Each young adult patient at Caron is assigned a multidisciplinary treatment team, made up of experienced, dedicated professionals such as:

  • Licensed psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Certified and master-level addiction counselors
  • American Board of Addiction Medicine –certified medical doctors
  • Certified nutritionists
  • Health and wellness experts
  • Spiritual leaders

The team will talk and work extensively with the patient and their family and perform several different evaluations, then design an individual treatment plan based on substance abuse history, and other factors, including any co-occurring addictions, disorders or other problems. The team collaborates daily to ensure that every young adult is progressing as they should in treatment. Learn more about evaluations and treatment plans.

For our work with young adults, it’s important that caregivers and counselors can relate to patients. It’s critical to understand the role of peer involvement and the immense changes people in this age group are going through. We treat young adults separately from adults, and from teenagers, for good reason, and our staff is well-versed in the unique concerns, trends, and tendencies of this particular age group.

Getting Substances Out of the System

A physician or nurse practitioner will provide a basic medical assessment for each teen entering treatment at Caron. This allows the medical team to assess the health of the patient and determine whether or not medical detoxification (detox) is necessary. The medical assessment includes blood and urine screenings, analysis of a young adult’s medical history, addiction assessments, and HIV and STD testing, if applicable. As the same time, the medical staff will also assess the need for adjunctive medications, such as anti-craving medications. Significant medical issues are addressed and considered in a patient’s individualized treatment plan.

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The Elements of Young Adult Treatment

As a world-class integrated behavioral health treatment center, we treat all physical and psychological conditions simultaneously, which is essential for lasting transformation. We combine 12-Step principles with proven therapies that address all aspects of optimal wellness.

Our inpatient treatment for young adults is individualized; meeting each person where they are at in life. While each young adult’s treatment program is unique based on their specific needs, there are several components to treatment that are mainstays:

  • individual, group, and family programming and education
  • educational lectures
  • therapeutic activities, including physical activity and creative work
  • continuing care planning

Get an idea of a typical day in treatment.

Transitioning to Independence

The time between high school and full-blown adulthood is a period of building independence. Young adults often move out of their parents’ home and learn to live on their own, from paying bills and buying groceries to developing more adult relationships.

At Caron, we work to help patients continue to build independence through recovery. We help young adults separate from their families in a healthy way, maintaining support systems but developing self-reliance. This is a process for both the young adult, who must stop depending upon their parents, and also for families, who must stop caretaking and allow the child to succeed on their own. Caron’s therapeutic approach and education helps build the tools both groups need to make this work.

Family Education and Treatment

Even as young adults work to develop independence, family support, education and treatment is critical. At Caron, we believe the patient is the family and the family is the patient. Parents and family members are part of the treatment process; we immerse them into the full treatment experience. Family programming is individually designed to help family members and their loved ones break the cycle of addiction, heal the past, and embrace the family recovery process. Learn more about our Family Support and Treatment.

Peer Counseling and Education

In peer counseling groups, young men and young women learn to help each other and develop a positive peer culture. We often ask young adults to step out of their comfort zone to learn new strategies of peer support. Relying on one another and working together helps young adults bond and form strong, healthy relationships with their peers.

Hearing from peers who are successful in their recovery is a critical element. As part of our Young Adult Recovery Network, Caron offers a monthly speaker program in which a young adult in recovery addresses current patients.

College Bound Program™

Our focus is on the future, and for young adults, that often means starting or continuing an advanced education program. Our Florida Renaissance Treatment Center offers a comprehensive program designed to help patients enter or return to college, university, or vocational school. Learn about the program.

Wilderness Therapy

Caron offers a wilderness therapy component that incorporates backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities. Available for an additional fee through Dr. George Bright, M.D., at Blackwater Outdoor Experiences, the program includes:

  • 22-day challenging, year-round courses
  • 1:3 staff to student ratio
  • intensive family component
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Gender-Separate and Specific Young Adult Treatment

Our 60 years of experience has shown that gender-separate and specific treatment utilizing dialectical and cognitive behavioral therapies are highly effective.

Young men and women have different experiences and needs. We’ve found that in addiction treatment, young adults are more comfortable, and more successful in recovery, when they’re only dealing with peers of the same sex. So, we’ve created specific care environments for young men and young women.

Without the distractions of the opposite sex, young adults are better able to be themselves and concentrate on their treatment and recovery.

In the following gender-specific sections, it’s important to remember that we look at each patient as an individual. Although our extensive experience allows us to draw some broad conclusions about the trends and tendencies we’ve found in each gender, we do not generalize or categorize any individual.

Our Addiction Treatment Program for Young Men

Young men reside together throughout their treatment at Caron; within a free-standing building in Pennsylvania and within gender-separate residences at Caron Renaissance in Florida. Through individual, group, and family programming and/or treatment, they are encouraged to express their emotions as opposed to suppressing or “stuffing” their feelings. Young men often face both fear and ambivalence around their treatment, and they tend to act out with anger and aggression. We provide a safe environment in which to truly open up and discuss gender-specific issues such as:

  • sexuality
  • abuse
  • dating/relationships
  • anger
  • self-loathing
  • low self-esteem
  • ego and humility

At Caron, we treat the whole person, not just the addiction, and this can often mean simultaneously treating other disorders or problems in addition to the addiction. For young men, these co-occurring disorders or conditions include:

  • mood disorders
  • anger issues
  • sexual issues
  • self-injurious behaviors
  • anxiety/depression
  • family problems

Anger and Emotions

We often encounter issues of anger and aggression with young men, often related to family issues. Some men don’t have the coping skills required to understand and release the emotion they’re feeling, so it comes out as anger. We work on identifying emotional avoidance and on helping young men understand their emotions. We also focus on the difference between thoughts and emotions, teaching men that it’s not necessary to hide their feelings.

Our Addiction Treatment Program for Young Women

Young women reside together throughout their treatment at Caron. In Pennsylvania, young women are together within a free-standing all-female building that provides programming for teen girls (13-19), young women (20-25) and adult women (26-60+). This multigenerational structure provides an environment where female patients can form trusting relationships and build a solid foundation for lasting recovery. In Florida, at Caron Renaissance, young women reside in gender-separate residences. The gender separation allows young women to work through addiction as well as on building healthy relationships with themselves and others. We provide a safe environment in which to discuss and heal negative behaviors including not only alcohol and drug use but also:

  • abuse – physical and/or emotional
  • co-occurring psychiatric and mental health issues
  • family conflict
  • low self-esteem or self-loathing
  • cutting & self-injurious behaviors
  • anger
  • body image issues

Building Healthy Relationships

With young women, unhealthy relationships are often at the root of addiction as well as some co-occurring disorders. We’ve found that building the ability to have healthy relationships--of all kinds--can help women through treatment and to have a lifetime of recovery.

  • Relationships with peers. Nearly all of our young women patients arrive at Caron saying “I hate other girls.” Living and working together in a community of other young women, supporting each other, problem-solving together, and learning to trust each other is key to changing attitudes toward these important relationships. The young women who arrive at Caron with that negative attitude usually leave having developed vital friendships among their peers.
  • Relationships with mothers. One element affecting young women’s relationships with their peers is their relationships with their mothers. Our staff is familiar with codependent relationships between women and their mothers that can involve control issues and other factors. All the aspects of counseling--individual, group, and family--are critical to healing and getting beyond these issues.
  • Romantic relationships. It’s common to see codependence between young women and their significant others, often exhibited in a strong need to talk to the boyfriend or partner during treatment: “I have to know how he’s doing” and “he must know how I am.” Sex addiction and love addiction are common co-occurring issues that our staff is experienced in dealing with. Through counseling and education, we work with young women on defining and building healthy relationships with their partners.
  • Relationships with themselves. We strive to help young women understand that before they can have a good relationship with anyone else, they must first have a good relationship with themselves. They need to learn to be good to themselves, feel good about themselves, and understand themselves--their own needs, wants, likes, and dislikes--before they can develop healthy relationships with others. We address overall self-esteem and confidence as well as specific issues such as body image issues or self-injurious behavior.
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Continuing Care

Throughout the entirety of treatment, from the very beginning, we’re working toward a goal of recovery for life. Every patient’s treatment team contributes to their Continuing Care plan , designed to give patient the tools they need to remain sober. For young adults, this includes relapse symptom awareness and education, parent support groups, and other initiatives, such as our College Bound Program™.

Length of Stay

Young adults stay in treatment at Caron for varying lengths of time. It’s important to be flexible on the length of treatment you or your loved one needs, with the understanding that our goal is to provide adequate treatment to help each person – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually – achieve a life of recovery.

Sometimes we recommend that a young adult continue their treatment with an increased length of stay, which can foster ongoing development of recovery skills and opportunities to participate in real-life scenarios and situations.

Increased lengths of stay allow young adults to continue to focus on the same topics and issues that were introduced early on in treatment, as well as be given increased responsibilities around integrating back into home, school and/or work life. Armed with new coping skills, the ongoing support of their peers, and improved self-esteem, young adults are prepared to embrace healthy, fulfilling lives.

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Meet Our Staff

Luke Stopper
Luke Stopper
Senior Clinical Director of Young Men’s Services and First Responders
Erin Goodhart
Erin Goodhart
Sr. Clinical Director of Women's Services