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Young Adults Program

When mental health and substance use issues are robbing a young adult of their potential, getting professional help as soon as possible can open a bright new future.

Caron’s programs to treat mental health issues and substance use are specifically designed to help young adults build a foundation for long-term recovery. Whether this is a patient’s first time in treatment or they’ve tried another program, we’re here to support them and their family until they’re whole again.

Caron is a well-known expert in treating young adults and their families for addiction. Our staff couples compassion and empathy with a breadth and depth of experience and expertise to give young adults a supportive environment for recovery and healing. Our treatment plans include families and are designed to uncover the root causes of behaviors and the best approach for treating them.

Clinical excellence and uncompromising patient-centric care mark every component of Caron’s core programming, which includes the program for young adults. With more than 60 years of history treating substance use disorder and process addictions, Caron emphasizes Recovery for Life, providing the young adults we treat with lifetime support. We view substance use disorder as a chronic treatable brain disease that requires a long-term management plan. That’s why all of our programs are fully integrated with the 12-step approach.

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At Caron, young adults recover and rediscover their purpose.

Know the Signs

It can be tough to tell if troubling behavior in a young adult is just part of learning to navigate life independently or a problem that should be discussed with a healthcare professional. If the following signs and symptoms last for an extended period of time and interfere with daily life, you should contact a healthcare professional. Your loved one might need help if he or she:

  • Often feels anxious or worried
  • Has frequent bursts of anger or is intensely irritable much of the time
  • Has frequent stomachaches or headaches with no physical explanation
  • Has trouble sleeping, including frequent nightmares
  • Loses interest in things they used to enjoy
  • Avoids spending time with friends
  • Has trouble maintaining their usual academic performance — skipping classes or failing them
  • Quits participating in extracurricular activities or sports, especially after an injury
  • Fears gaining weight; exercises, diets obsessively
  • Has low or no energy
  • Engages in self-harm like cutting or burning
  • Engages in risky, destructive behavior
  • Has thoughts of suicide
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Featured Staff
Clinical Director of Young Adult Male Services
Sr. Clinical Director of Women's Services

Insurance Options for Affordable, Effective Treatment

As an in-network partner with several nationally known insurance companies as well as regional insurance providers, Caron is making life-saving addiction treatment available to more young adults who need it and starting them on the road to Recovery for Life. These agreements cover the initial four weeks of treatment (subject to one’s deductible, co-insurance, and/or copays) so that families, regardless of where they live in the United States, have access to the care they need.

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Foundational Treatment Elements

All of the treatment programs at Caron are founded on the same critical elements:

  • Thorough assessments of a patient’s physical and mental health and medical history to develop an individualized treatment plan
  • Detoxification at an on-site, state-of-the-art medical facility under the supervision of medical professionals
  • Age- and gender-specific treatment unique to each patient’s level of emotional and personal development and under the care of an experienced team who understands the significant life changes and challenges their patients face
  • Dedicated, expert professionals who are a part of the patient’s multidisciplinary treatment team, including licensed psychologists and psychiatrists, highly credentialed behavioral health therapists, nurse practitioners, registered dietitians, health and wellness experts, and spiritual leaders
  • Core group and individual counseling
  • Family programming that acknowledges that the family is critical to treatment success and provides family members with the information they need to better understand substance use disorder, mental health disorders, and how best to support their loved one in their recovery. The multi-day family program enables the whole family to recover and move forward in ways that lead to optimal emotional health for everyone.
  • Screening, specialized counseling, and education for addiction interaction disorders, such as gambling, sex, or eating disorders, which can become chronic and progressive if left unidentified and untreated
  • Understanding the disease component of substance use disorder
  • Attention to physical activity, including access to Caron’s on-site, state-of-the-art fitness center
  • Therapeutic activities, including physical activity and creative work
  • Introduction to the 12-Steps both on campus and off site
  • Relapse prevention skills
  • A continuing care plan developed by the treatment team that includes tools and recommendations for recovery when your young adult returns home
  • Support and guidance for a full year after discharge through free services like our alumni support activities and the Caron Recovery Network
  • Additional optional support through My First Year of Recovery, a more intensive continuing care program
  • Outpatient programs at Caron’s recovery centers in Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Atlanta, New York, and New England

There is strong evidence that patients who discontinue all addictive substances at one time are significantly less likely to relapse in their recoveries. To that end, Caron’s young adult programs are smoke and tobacco free. Nicotine replacement programs are available for patients requiring assistance.

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Education & Treatment
We value and nurture the family's healing just as much as the patient's. Not only that, we believe that the family's active participation in treatment is necessary for everyone's long-term recovery.
About the Program
Program Spotlight
Since 2010, our collegiate recovery services team has been providing the expertise and resources needed for students to be accepted to and graduate from high school, community college, public and private universities, vocational schools, and graduate schools.
About the Program

Specialized Programming for Young Adults

At Caron, young adults and teens are in treatment together because many of their core issues are similar. So that they can also deal with issues unique to their age group, Caron provides programs specifically designed for them.

Young adults face many transitions, from living at home to living independently, from student to young professional. They must make decisions that seem as if their lives depend on it. And often they do. Taking one path means another may not be available.

While most young adults find ways to deal with the stress of creating an adult life, some are stuck emotionally in their teens. We often see young adults whose behavior is marked by an extreme discomfort with and intolerance of uncertainty, ambiguity, and fear of failure. This discomfort leads them to avoid uncomfortable situations. Underlying mental health issues and relationship dynamics that result in a failure to launch as an adult are often at the root of the inability to move into emotional maturity.

Treatment Components
Young adults benefit from all the treatment components at Caron, along with unique programs specifically designed for their age group, including:

  • Peer counseling that allows young adults to support each other and hear from program alumni who provide them with encouragement and role models
  • Mentoring opportunities that offer young adults an opportunity to become peer leaders
  • Healthy disconnect from technology

Young adults are encouraged to develop their sense of responsibility as they progress through the use of “recovery stages.” Each of the three stages requires that the young adult meet established clinical and behavioral benchmarks. As patients progress, they receive incentives and are given additional responsibilities, such as taking on a leadership role or mentoring newer patients, which gives them a sense of pride and bolsters their self-esteem.

We combine proven evidence-based therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) with 12-Step principles to address all aspects of optimal wellness.

While the most common issues we deal with are substance use with anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and depression, our team of medical and mental health professionals can also help a young adult with these co-occurring conditions and behaviors:

  • Anger issues
  • Body image issues
  • Codependency
  • Family conflict/problems
  • Mood disorders
  • Self-esteem/self-loathing
  • Self-injurious behaviors, including cutting
  • Sexual issues
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Photo Gallery - Caron's Young Adult Program

Gender-Specific Programs

Our experience is that young men and women often face similar issues, but also have unique needs based on their gender. Gender-specific treatment provides the security and freedom young men and women need to explore who they are, their experience, and how to begin a life in recovery.

For Young Men: The need to establish their own identity creates both problems and opportunities. Caron’s specialized treatment teams are prepared to help young men as they seek to find ways to develop a healthy masculine image. Young men participate in gender-specific groups that offer them the safety to deal with issues related to:

  • Sexuality
  • Cross addictions
  • Entitlement and narcissism
  • Anger management

For Young Women: Many young women struggling with a substance use disorder have an elevated need for connection. Being in a gender-specific program allows relationships to grow, risks to be taken, and therapeutic work to take place. In having a safe and private space in which they can share their stories honestly and openly with their peers, young women can begin to create a way forward to long-term health and healing. These safe spaces provide an opportunity to address issues like:

  • Anger, depression, and anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Self-injurious behaviors
  • Body image
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Extended Treatment

Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse has shown that treatment that extends beyond 90 days provides a deeper level of effectiveness. Caron offers two extended treatment programs for young people:

  • The Phase II Program offers extended treatment so that young adults can continue learning coping skills and using sober peer support in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Caron Renaissance’s long-term, clinically intensive model enables young adults to “practice” a sober life with adult responsibilities before they take up their lives outside of treatment.

Phase II Program
Patients work on skills for developing healthy relationships with siblings, peers, and parents and participate in 12-Step meetings and Big Book studies. They are guided through levels of increasing self-sufficiency by setting goals and taking on treatment work and increased responsibilities.

Increased Responsibility: Young adults in Phase II continue to participate in recovery stages, progressing as they did in Phase I to increasing levels of responsibility and receiving incentives, such as off-campus/overnight visits with family. Some patients in Phase II, for example, take on mentoring roles for patients in Phase I. This is not only valuable for those Phase I patients, it also allows the mentors to further master skills they began working on in Phase I.

In-Depth Therapy: Phase II presents an opportunity for patients who may need treatment for trauma, depression, another mental health issue, an addiction interaction disorder, or a process addiction to get beyond initial treatment into in-depth therapy that leads to deeper healing and mastery of the skills they need when they leave treatment.

Family Program: Families also can take advantage of the Phase II program through a multi-family education program they attend with their young adult. This program enables patients and their families to delve more deeply into issues specific to their experience.

Re-Integration: When their clinical team thinks they are ready, patients receive a therapeutic home pass to explore re-integration into family, home, and education/work. Staff members support patients throughout this challenge by mapping out plans, setting goals, and maintaining accountability. Patients are supported as they work toward:

  • Obtaining a recovery sponsor
  • Practicing coping skills and exploring issues such as grief/loss and seeking safety
  • Continued involvement with families and referral sources

Relapse Prevention: Each patient’s treatment team works with the patient, their family, and their referral source (if applicable) to develop an individualized relapse prevention plan along with a continuing care plan to support them when they leave treatment.

Caron Renaissance
Caron Renaissance offers a long-term, clinically intensive model that enables young adults to “practice” a sober life with adult responsibilities before they take up their lives outside of treatment. Patients in the program are able to continue their treatment while participating in programs like the Sober Dorm program and a Therapeutic Vocational Program.

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