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Parents seeking residential therapy for teens who are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse are often so embroiled in the emotions, chaos, and processes associated with getting help that they overlook a basic and important aspect of choosing the right therapeutic boarding school: find out if the program not only has a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy, but when and how it is implemented.
This is more important than you might realize.It is common (and wise) for parents and educational consultants to research the track records of therapeutic boarding schools. Such research seeks insight from state regulators, commentary from parents of former clients, and references from professionals not directly associated with or employed by the school. And yet, such research rarely delves into the question of whether or not the boarding school properly engages in its own workplace alcohol and drug testing.
Why is this important? If your teen struggles with either abuse or addiction, it is likely that he or she will engage, at some point, in a process called glorification. Normally this will occur among peers in treatment. But it sometimes occurs in the presence of residential staff, teachers, and therapists. While glorifying their drug or alcohol use, they tell stories about where substances were used, who was involved, and how it felt. While glorification is dealt with in different ways, depending upon who is present when it is taking place, it has a subversive quality to it that can be quite dangerous.
Treatment programs, such as therapeutic boarding schools, sometimes employ people who have previous drug or alcohol abuse issues. Although this is not intentional, and efforts through background screening, pre-employment workplace drug testing, and random drug and alcohol testing, is employed to avert employee problems, there is always a possibility that such individuals will be hired. And although these individuals may never relapse, and may prove to be exceptionally valuable employees, there is always the possibility that they will be "triggered" by student glorification.
Should such a situation arise, and the employee leaves the treatment environment "fiending" for his or her drug of choice, there is a possibility that the individual will relapse off-campus. Once this occurs, if the school does not employ effective training for supervisors to identify signs of drug and alcohol abuse, and if that training does not include a well-established process to readily act upon those signs, your teen might find him or herself being treated by an individual actively engaged in relapse.
These situations, while uncommon, have occurred. Sadly, they can result in a treatment nightmare for the school, the parents, and for students. Ironically, parents and educational consultants rarely ask schools what their workplace drug testing policies are. They do not ask if workplace alcohol testing takes place when signs of alcohol abuse occur. They do not seek to understand whether or not the school, which is dedicated to the drug and alcohol treatment of teens, actually has an effective pre-employment drug testing process, supported by management training for suspicion-based alcohol and drug testing, random testing, and incident-based testing.
These questions should be asked. Parents and consultants … Inquire! … You deserve to know.
This article was written by Avisha, a writer for Integrity Sampling, Australia's leading workplace drug testing and alcohol testing company, providing Australia with a wide array of services to businesses and organizations.
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Parent and Teen Resources has long been recognized as a leader in the delivery of treatment services to families in the United States. As you come to know us you will see that our primary interest is in the long-term healing of your child. We specialize in knowing the best programs for troubled teens throughout the country.
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We employ a thorough process of identifying, planning, and implementing effective and strategic interventions for troubled teens and their families. Programs for troubled teens extend from therapy, to residential placement, and back to local therapy again. Unlike other "industry leaders" in our field, we provide a unique relationship with you and your local community in our efforts to save your child. Contact us and see how.
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