Oxycodone is a highly addictive painkiller that can cause a person to develop a dependency on it if it is misused for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, many young people come across this painkiller, consume it, and find that they are unable to stop taking it as time goes on. When they acquire oxycodone from their parents’ medicine cabinets or take it from a friend, abusing this potent pain medication can derail a youth’s efforts to reach his or her true potential. If it becomes apparent that a young person in your life is abusing or addicted to this substance, know that all is not lost. There are numerous options for care available.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Desert Hills provides a full continuum of behavioral healthcare services that range from sub-acute residential treatment to community-based programs for children, adolescents, and their families. Since its opening in 1990, Desert Hills has grown from a small residential program to the largest and most respected provider of behavioral health services in the state of New Mexico, offering three different locations where individuals can access services. In order to ensure that we are offering the highest quality of care possible while meeting all of our patients’ unique needs, we provide ongoing training for and supervision of all our staff members, making sure that they are up-to-date on the latest evidence-based treatment modalities. Because we are able to offer each child and adolescent customized and personal care, we can address the specific problems that oxycodone abuse has imposed on your child’s life and help him or her develop the skills needed to return to living the healthy, happy life that or she deserves. At Desert Hills, we are dedicated to not only improving the lives we touch, but to helping to change the lives of those we serve, one child at a time.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If you begin noticing that pills are missing from your bottle of oxycodone and if you observe that your child had been acting out of character lately, you are right to be concerned. Having a child who is misusing oxycodone can trigger a great deal of worry in parents and legal guardians. Though as someone who can act on behalf of a youth who may need treatment, you can take a few steps towards helping your child overcome this potentially lethal form of substance abuse. Please consider the following:
- Learn about the signs of oxycodone abuse and familiarize yourself with the telltale signs of intoxication.
- Form a safety plan with other loved ones so that you all know what to do in the event your child needs emergency medical attention due to his or her abuse of this medication. For example, you all can learn the signs of overdose and plan for who will call 9-1-1 and if an overdose occurs.
- Research treatment options that are catered to the needs of young people and contact a center or two to learn about their admissions criteria and process.
- Talk to your child about his or her oxycodone abuse. You will likely be met with resistance, though it is important to convey your concern and express your intentions of support at this time.
- Schedule an assessment for treatment for your child. Be sure to offer any helpful information to the assessor so that your child’s treatment provider will have the information they need to create a thorough treatment plan.
- Make sure that you participate in any scheduled family sessions or meetings with your child’s care provider. In doing so, you will be an active participant in your child’s treatment and can show your support for him or her.
- Make sure that you practice good self-care. You will not likely be able to offer the support your child needs if you are overly stressed during this time.
Lastly, it is a good idea to learn what you can do to help your child once he or she completes treatment. This can include taking him or her to follow-up appointments and assisting him or her with his or her recovery and coping skills.
Why Consider Treatment at Desert Hills
Delaying treatment when your child is battling an addiction to oxycodone can leave him or her vulnerable to experiencing numerous negative effects as a result. His or her grades may plummet, which could lead to academic failure or expulsion. He or she may engage in criminal activity to acquire oxycodone and find him or herself in jail or with a lengthy criminal record. Your child may experience an overdose that could damage his or her health or lead to death. It is possible that your child may also turn to the use of other substances and develop an even more serious substance abuse problem. For these reasons and more, it is beneficial to seek proper, effective, child or adolescent-focused care as quickly as possible.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Desert Hills, our philosophy is based on the approach that treatment should be centered on patients and their families. We work to provide our patients and their families with inner wealth and opportunities to grow. We are dedicated to using evidence-based treatment modalities on every unit to ensure that patients and their families have the highest likelihood of obtaining long-term, successful outcomes.
It is our mission to provide high-quality, comprehensive behavioral and mental healthcare services to children, adolescents, and their families by offering a fully array of therapeutic interventions across a vast spectrum of care. All of our services are individualized, culturally sensitive, and fully centered on our patients and their families. The clinical emphasis at Desert Hills is placed on assessment, treatment planning, discharge, and aftercare planning, with the all-encompassing goal of preparing patients to have a successful future in home, at school, and within the community.
If you feel that you are in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Types of Treatment Offered at Desert Hills
Here at Desert Hills, we have 10 distinct units, each of which features programming that is designed specifically to address the needs of a wide variety of populations. Each unit implements a chief treatment modality throughout its programming, which coincides with the needs of the patients on that particular unit. Desert Hills strives to use evidence-based treatment modalities on every unit in order to ensure that patients have the highest likelihood of obtaining long-term, successful outcomes. Described in more detail, below are some of the services that Desert Hills affords our patients:
Medication management: Medication management is provided for all patients throughout each one of our treatment programs. This is done so as to make sure that each patient is fully supported in getting all of his or her medication needs taken care of, while simultaneously being properly monitored to ensure the therapeutic effectiveness of any medications that have been prescribed. For children and adolescents who are struggling with oxycodone abuse, but who also have the compounded issue of a co-occurring mental health disorder, they may find relief through the implementation of certain psychotropic medications. Such decisions will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Individual therapy: On each unit, patients are provided with at least one individual session per week. These sessions are meant to be a time where patients can meet with a therapist in a safe and confidential setting in order to process through specific concerns they are facing, keep track of personal treatment goals, and work on individual skills-building in order to more effectively cope with stresses and triggers.
Group therapy: Here at Desert Hills, all of our patients attend group therapy at a minimum of three times per week. These group sessions offer children and adolescents the opportunity to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Some of the topics that are covered in these groups, depending on the specific program that a patient is taking part in, include interpersonal effectiveness, conflict resolution, anger management, stress management, and correcting and replacing thinking errors. For those patients who are also struggling with substance abuse concerns, psychoeducational groups are held regarding the effects of substance abuse on the body, brain, and overall functioning.
Family therapy: Since family involvement is important to the overall success of recovery, we hold at least one family therapy session per week for each patient. Family therapy focuses on guiding and facilitating an open dialogue, as well as educating parents, caregivers, and other family members on the intervention skills that are being used in treatment. The process of doing so will help ensure the patient’s success long after discharge.
Educational services: Continuing one’s education while at Desert Hills is a very important part of our treatment program. Schooling at Desert Hills provides our patients with a positive, safe, and individualized place to learn and grow. All teachers communicate weekly with the treatment team, assuring consistency in the individual goals set for each student.
Additional services that are available depending upon each patient’s specific needs include:
- Play therapy
- Bilingual mobile assessments
- Peer council
- Art therapy
- Canine therapy
- Music therapy
- Equine therapy
- Red Rocks Group (a Native American peer group)
- High and low ropes courses
- Services for deaf and hard of hearing patients (administered by deaf therapists and other mental health technicians that are trained in American Sign Language)
- NA / AA meetings for patients who are struggling with substance abuse concerns
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
All patients from our residential treatment center have the opportunity to step down to one of our many outpatient care options, of which include the following:
Clinical day treatment program: This program allows patients to live at home, while also addressing any behavioral or academic issues they may have. These services are provided on a year-round basis for children and adolescents, including students from middle school through high school. There are both regular and special education services available, allowing students to earn summer credits and catch up if they have fallen behind academically. Additional services include group therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, and various experiential therapies.
Intensive outpatient program (IOP): Our IOP is designed to treat adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 who are struggling with substance abuse concerns as their primary diagnosis. Programming is held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30pm-6:30pm, and on Saturdays from 9:00am-12:00pm. Services for this outpatient program also include group sessions, individual therapy, and family therapy.
Behavioral management services: These services, which are led by six management specialists, can take place in the home or at school. The goal of these services is to help prevent children from needing a higher level of care, allowing them to remain in their home and school environments.
Treatment foster care: This program is licensed and certified by the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to license, train, and support foster parents and treat children between the ages of 4 and 18 who are placed in their homes. TCF provides around-the-clock clinical supervision, on-call therapy, and case management services.
Psychiatric outpatient clinic: Our outpatient clinic is staffed by psychiatrists who work with clients between the ages of 4 and 17 who are in need of psychiatric evaluations or medication management. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm and appointments can be made with the coordinator of the program.
Whatever your child’s continuing needs may be, Desert Hills provides a wide range of services that will be able to address any and all of those specific needs. We will do everything in our power to help your child overcome his or her concerns and learn to see the world as a safe and happy place once again.