Youth Outpatient Treatment

Youth Outpatient Treatment Program Overview

It is absolutely crucial that youth (and their parents) understand the fundamental neuroscience of addiction if they want to successfully overcome this disease. Once a family is armed with the latest research, they can recognize why certain behaviors and problems exist, and the unique challenges that come with managing a disease that has only recently been recognized as such.

New Leaf Treatment Center has been helping families deal with drug and alcohol abuse. Among Bay Area youth, there is a widespread use of marijuana, tranquilizers, pain medications (Oxycontin), stimulants (Adderall), and alcohol. Currently, we are experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of heroin use, which is a sad by- product of the prescription drug abuse epidemic that has swept the nation. There are a large number of opiate addicts that are young, educated and /or employed who need medical help to recover and embrace treatment.

Our specialized Youth Program offers medically supervised outpatient detoxification, individual counseling, drug education groups, healthy activities, and family support groups. We feel our program owes much of its success to the outpatient model we use that does not isolate patients from the real world environment they have to deal with day in and out. Youth are taught how to access their own risks for addiction, whether stopping use is difficult or easy, and how to handle and manage  craving so they can stop.

We have established five clear program goals.

1. Assist and provide the support required for clients to initiate abstinence.

A developmental imperative for youth is to achieve independence. In general, youth hate being controlled. As addiction begins to develop, it is essential that each youth recognize that they are not in control of drug use, but rather that drugs are controlling them. For many, this realization motivates them to resist the control that drugs have over them.

2. Help prevent relapse using the very latest clinical and motivational strategies. 

Resilience factors that protect against addiction are identified and strengthened.  Factors that perpetuate use are identified, and strategies to stop use are developed.

3. Provide healthy and engaging alternatives to drug use where clients participate in activities designed to be fun, as well as instructive.

Because cessation of alcohol and drug use often exposes youth to boredom and irritability, it is essential to have replacement activities that are enjoyable.

4. Provide education and support for parents to help negotiate a path of solid and informed recovery.

5. Achieve an understanding of drug abuse and addiction, its causes and consequences, their own individual biological predisposition, and the environmental factors that drive their disease.  By attacking the causes of craving, initiation of abstinence becomes feasible and sustainable.

Medical Detoxification

Medical detoxification is defined as the use of medications to treat drug withdrawal symptoms. Medications are used to relieve distress and promote recovery by alleviating symptoms of early abstinence that interfere with function and increase craving. If the client has symptoms that interfere with daily function for more than three consecutive days, the use of medications is considered.

Licensed clinicians, under the supervision of the Medical Director, are responsible for developing, within five days of admission, an individual written plan for medical detoxification for the client that is based upon the following information:

  • By client self-report during intake and assessment
  • In consultation with the client’s primary care physician, and/or the referring physician
  • By review of the client’s medical records

Treatment for physical withdrawal from substances is based on nationally recognized, published protocols.  The treatment plan includes, at minimum:

  • Identification of the specific drug(s) and detoxification protocol to be used
  • Documentation of the client’s physical dependence including, but not limited to vital signs, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological status
  • Documentation of the client’s physical health including any existing acute/chronic medical problems
  • Documentation of the client’s mental health including any existing acute/chronic psychiatric problems
  • Statement of the anticipated length of the medical detoxification program

Individual and Family Counseling

Counseling at New Leaf is collaborative and confidential.  We work with dually diagnosed adults and adolescents on an individual basis to help develop their specific recovery and relapse prevention program.  We offer support, hope and encouragement in addition to addressing underlying issues that contribute to their disease (PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, etc.).  We use Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral therapy as well as some Somatic strategies to help with long-term sobriety.  When appropriate, families are included to help with additional support for the client.  We find family work to be essential in fostering positive changes and establishing new family norms, boundaries, and acceptance.  In addition, we work with clients who have outside therapists in an on-going, collaborative way.

Group Treatment

We offer a 12-week open psychoeducational group that is based on the New Leaf’s Craving Identification and Management (CIM) Curriculum.  Clients are supported in their efforts to learn about the causes of their cravings and how to best manage them with specific tools.  Clients learn about the cycle of addiction, the pleasure scale, the risk factors to getting the disease of addiction, as well as becoming experts in defining addiction.  Relapse Prevention Workshop (RPW) is offered three times a week for one hour each.  RPWs provide structure, education, and support for initiating abstinence and preventing relapse.  We understand that use episodes are symptoms of the disease of addiction and do not punish use episodes, but instead analyze and learn from them.  

Family Support Group

Family support services are available, and participation is strongly encouraged. Parents and other family members meet weekly for mutual support, education about the disease of addiction, and an exploration of their role in the family disease process. We observe significant changes in the identified patient – the addicted person – when other family members are able to make calculated and informed changes themselves.

Activity Group

One of our program goals is to provide healthy and engaging alternatives to drug use.  We provide a supervised, sober group activity by hosting an activity night once a week.  Our clients become equipped to handle craving from stress and environmental cueing while developing healthy habits in outpatient treatment.

Drug Testing

Clients are regularly tested in order to promote recovery.  When drug screening by urinalysis is deemed appropriate and necessary by the treatment staff, New Leaf Treatment Center uses both on-site testing and random testing scheduled through third party laboratories.

Courts may require substance abuse evaluations, particularly in child custody cases.  Substance abuse evaluations include an interview, drug testing, and a written report with recommendations.  Expert witness testimony is also available.


At the end of treatment, focus begins to shift towards aftercare.  Clients begin attending a weekly Intermediate Recovery Group.  Intermediate Recovery Groups and continued individual counseling support long-term sobriety by incorporating craving recognition with management skills for issues that arise as clients reengage with work, school, and relationships.  Participation is recommended for at least six months.

Admission Criteria

  • Minimum age of 14 years
  • Primary substance abuse problems characterized by compulsive use and causing significant social, psychological, physical, or behavioral problems
  • No physical or psychiatric disabilities which preclude participation in the program structure, and/or activities even when granted reasonable accommodation
  • Client must be willing to accept program rules and follow the treatment plan developed by the clinician and the client
  • In cases of probation or parole, the probation/parole officer must be notified and all parties formulate an agreeable contract at the time of the initial evaluation

Program Fees

New Leaf Treatment Center relies entirely on payment for treatment services to pay for clinician salaries and for the costs of operation. Therefore, each client is fully responsible for payment of all costs associated with their treatment. Coverage for alcohol/drug treatment is variable. We will help you find out what your insurance will cover. We will provide you with help in obtaining reimbursement from your insurance company for services. However, insurance reimbursement is ultimately the responsibility of the patient.