There Is No Such Thing As Drug and Alcohol Treatment For Adolescents, with Robert Schwebel and Lynn Smith

Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
There Is No Such Thing As Drug and Alcohol Treatment For Adolescents, with Robert Schwebel and Lynn Smith
Loading
/

ABOUT THE EPISODE:
When Dr. Robert Schwebel was approached by a local treatment agency about developing a drug program for adolescents, he was not interested. He decided to meet with the agency about the proposal, but also to share hard truths that he thought would encourage them to find someone else: Don't promise drug free kids overnight. Help them learn to make good decisions rather than telling them what to do. Incorporate life counseling. Rather than rejecting him, the program agreed to Robert’s suggestions and hired him.

Robert hoped to find and tweak an existing treatment program that incorporated these principles, but couldn't find one. In the 1990s, residential treatment centers were cash cows, with professionals often advising parents to place their kids in inpatient treatment at the first sign of experimentation. He describes most of those programs as "watered down 12-Step programs," demanding instant and complete abstinence – which he believed was unrealistic for most adolescents. So he started from scratch. The result was the widely adopted Seven Challenges Program.

One of the many programs that have adopted this adolescent-specific model is Elements Wilderness, and Lynn Smith, co-founder, and primary therapist there joins me and Robert to share the provider experience with the Seven Challenges model. We cover:

  • How The Seven Challenges builds a climate of mutual respect and honest discussion
  • Why practitioners don't insist on drug abstinence when adolescents are engaged in the challenges
  • The power of asking kids what they like about drugs
  • Why "come back when you hit rock bottom" is the wrong approach

EPISODE RESOURCES:

This podcast is part of a nonprofit called Hopestream Community
Learn about The Stream, our private online community for moms
Learn about The Woods, our private online community for dads
Find us on Instagram: @hopestreamcommunity
Download a free e-book, Worried Sick: A Compassionate Guide For Parents When Your Teen or Young Adult Child Misuses Drugs and Alcohol

Hopestream Community is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and an Amazon Associate. We may make a small commission if you purchase from our links.

the parent’s gathering place

Join us after
the episodes

Hopestream Community is a private online destination where parents find resources, education and personal connections when their child struggles with substance misuse, addiction, and mental health challenges. We teach skills that help improve communication and rebuild broken relationships, while empowering you to motivate your child to adopt or maintain healthier choices.

Learn more and join us >