Your teen can get help at a nearby treatment program.

Programs for Problem Teens in Virginia

by Erica Loop

Whether your teen is struggling with substance abuse, is defiant, has diagnosed behavioral issues or seems beyond your control, a program for problem children can help both of you deal with the situation. Parents, and teens, living in Virginia will find an array of programs in medical centers, hospitals, behavioral health offices and other similar settings that can help kids to get control of their issues and Mom and Dad to learn coping strategies.

Substance Abuse

According to Virginia Office of Applied Studies statistics from the year 2009, roughly 56,000 teens in the state report using at least one drug in the past month during that calendar year. Teens who need treatment for substance abuse issues, but don't want to take the residential route, can try an outpatient program such as the Challenge Discovery's Virginia Health Center's services. This program, which provides day treatment on an outpatient basis to teens with drug or alcohol problems, is part of the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority Substance Abuse Services Division, and has locations in Church Hill as well as the Community Resource Centers at Fairfield, Creighton and Mosby's Courts. Kids ages 12 through 18 can receive assessments, an individualized treatment plan and therapy for substance abuse at VHC. Another option is Richmond's Family Counseling Center for Recovery. FCCR's adolescent intensive program includes an initial evaluation, assessment, ongoing drug screening, counseling and family involvement in two phases. Phase I is an eight-week program that focuses on overcoming substance abuse and lowering family tensions, and Phase II covers maintaining a sober lifestyle.

Day Schools

Virginia teens who are struggling to cope in the traditional school environment may benefit from an alternative program. Kids with behavioral, emotional and cognitive problems who are suffering from poor grades, social issues, truancy or are in constant trouble with the school staff and administration can switch to a specialized scholastic program that will help them to develop in a positive manner. For example, the Blandford Manor Regional Alternative Education program in Petersburg helps kids in grades 6 through 12 to overcome behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems while also focusing on employment readiness. The Carroll-Galax Regional Alternative Education Program in Hillsville helps teens in the Carroll and Galax school systems with day behavioral treatment and job readiness training. If you live in Richmond, the Metro-Richmond Alternative Education Program provides teens with the help that they need to increase social skills and learn in a disciplined environment.

Military Residential Schools

Virginia teens who have problems that go beyond what parents or a day treatment program can help may benefit from a residential option. Military and boarding school programs provide a 24/7 environment that can help troubled teens to learn social skills, develop self-discipline and work on behavioral or emotional issues. For example, the Fork Union Military Academy features a strict military-style setting that can help the unruly teen to develop self-control, discipline and respect for others, all while excelling in academics. The Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham also focuses on learning in a highly structured environment that demands students to show discipline and positive behaviors.

Pregnant Teens

In 2011 the Virginia Department of Health reported more than 9,600 teen pregnancies within the state. If your teen is one of these statistics, a program for pregnant and parenting adolescents can help her to cope with the issues that come along with this major life change. The Virginia Department of Health's Resource Mothers program offers a full range of support services to young pregnant women who are 19 years old or younger. This includes mentoring, home visits and skills training. Other options in Virginia include parenting classes -- such as Fairfax County's parenting education programs -- that are specifically for teen moms. These classes typically include guidance and instruction on overcoming the problems related to teen pregnancy, such as understanding positive parenting techniques, child development and discipline.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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