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Youth Program

At Cumberland Heights, we understand that adolescence involves major physical and psychological changes - the boys are trying to establish a personal identity and peer acceptance while dealing with powerful hormones that create a whirlwind of emotion and passion.  When substance abuse or addiction is added to the mix, the situation becomes even more volatile.


Cumberland Heights' youth programs offer a continuum of services for adolescent males ages 14 to 18 who are struggling with substance abuse or dependency, including a residential program (30 to 60 days) and intensive outpatient treatment.


Our youth program is based on an approach that integrates the 12-Step philosophy with respect for developmental issues that they face.  We strive to assess the strengths and resiliency of each young man and develop a treatment plan that emphasizes these positive attributes and focuses on denial management and basic recovery skills.


Because research shows that family participation increases the likelihood of positive outcomes, we encourage family involvement in every phase of treatment.

Youth residential program

Our youth treatment model consists of several components designed to meet the varying needs of adolescent boys. It includes:

  • A comprehensive biopsychosocial evaluation, which identifies strengths and problem areas to be addressed.

  • Psychiatric evaluation and ongoing care (if indicated) to address mental health issues that may accompany adolescent abuse.

  • Individualized treatment planning based on the understanding that adolescents enter treatment in varying degrees of readiness to change. Each treatment plan identifies concrete treatment goals, expectations and mutually agreed-upon time frames.

  • A structured yet flexible daily schedule that includes individual and group counseling, addiction-related education groups, chores, schoolwork, 12-Step meetings and recreational activities to help patients learn new skills and alternatives to substance-using behavior, and develop support systems

  • Academics. Cumberland Heights provides an education component to ensure that the patient does not lose academic deficiencies so the patient can return to school after treatment.  The youth program is staffed with highly trained and licensed educators.

  • River Road Academy. For adolescents who want a fresh start and additional recovery support, Cumberland Heights operates River Road Academy, a state-approved private high school.  RRA provides a drug-free environment for students committed to working a program of recovery.  Students can apply for admission once they have achieved 30 days of sobriety.

  • Family involvement, which is critical to the treatment process.  Families are expected to participate in weekly family counseling (either face-to-face or by teleconference), a weekly multi-family group and a four-day intensive family program.

  • Continuing care planning, designed to assist the family in developing a recovery plan that clearly spells out the next four steps to support gains made in treatment.

Youth extended care

Cumberland Heights offers a 31- to 120-day Extended Care Program for adolescents who have completed primary treatment.  The program allows adolescents to continue the personal recovery and family work begun in primary treatment.  They participate in group, individual, experiential and service work while continuing their education at River Road Academy, Cumberland Heights' private school for recovering teens.


Youth intensive outpatient program

Cumberland Heights. also offers youth outpatient services for boys and girls in the early stages of chemical dependency.  Treatment is designed so young people can continue their school and outside responsibilities.  This outpatient program provides intensive therapy three hours a day, four days a week.


Youth program goals

The goal of Cumberland Height's youth program is to help young men and their families find the most effective way to deal with the challenges they face and commit to recovery.  This includes developing a mutually agreed-upon treatment plan, establishing a caring and respectful therapeutic relationship, providing a positive experience within the 12-Step community, and creating a safe environment in which to address the difficult issues associated with substance abuse and addiction.




Find out more about Drug Treatment programs that challenge relapse.

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