Allegations levied against teen boot camps include:
- Physical abuse, include starving, beating, kicking and choking
- Molestation, rape and other forms of sexual abuse
- Beatings and other types of physical abuse
- Verbal abuse, including degrading, shaming and humiliation
In the United States, several teen boot camps have been shut down over the past few years, primarily due to reports of severe abuse and punishment. Several deaths have been reported.
What can Parents Do?
Before you search for a treatment center or wilderness camp, remember that addiction is considered a disease because it alters the brain in very real, physical ways. Like any other disease, addiction isn’t “fixed” by fear and punishment. However, addiction is treatable.
Be sure a teen treatment provider is appropriately accredited in your area. For example, treatment centers in the United States must be accredited by (CARF) the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities; or JCAHO, formerly known as the Joint Commission.
Proper accreditation ensures the program has passed a rigorous process and thorough review indicating the facility has met accepted standards for quality care.
Therapists and counselors should be highly-trained, appropriately certified, and experienced with problems that affect youth. Programs should be positive in nature, not punitive.
Programs should include not only addiction treatment, but your teen should have access to a variety of therapeutic programs tailored to address her particular issues. Teen programs should also include life skills training and continuing education that ensure your child won’t fall behind in his studies.
Ask plenty of questions, and most importantly, don’t leave your child at the boot camp if your instinct tells you something isn’t right. Look for a adolescent treatment center that will treat your teen with skill and compassion.