Frequently Asked Questions

Parents who are considering treatment for their children often have many questions.

Below are some of the most common questions we hear from parents.  Click on the questions to reveal answers below.  If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at 513-792-1272.

What can I do to improve my child’s chances of success in treatment?

Change is difficult – it is difficult for parents as well as teenagers.  Perhaps the biggest key to helping your child is to model behaviors that you wish to see them adopt.  This is particularly true with relation to your personal substance use and the decision to follow through with ASAP treatment recommendations.  If teens believe their parents see value in treatment, they are more likely to benefit.  After all, research shows that the best predictors of success in substance use treatment are quick enrollment, attendance at all sessions, and completion of a program.

Although they may not fit all family’s needs, the following pointers can help parents improve the likelihood of success while engaging in ASAP treatment:

  1. Be a positive role model by exhibiting healthy behaviors and a willingness to acknowledge your faults.
  2. Set clear limits with your child with an expectation for total abstinence.
  3. Encourage your child to engage in new activities.
  4. Share meals together, without cell phones or other distractions.
  5. Plan for dedicated family time or activities.
  6. Talk to your child about their friends and help them identify which of their friends are true supportive relationships and which are “using buddies.”
  7. Attend Nar-anon or Al-anon meetings while encouraging your child to attend 12-step meetings.
  8. Establish clear about rules and expectations for your child’s behavior.
  9. Discuss your child’s issues with trusted others.
  10. Allow your child to experience the natural consequences of their substance use.

Although setting limits with your teenager can be difficult, it is imperative to helping them live a life in recovery.  If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to ASAP at 513.792.1272.

Do you drug screen kids in CHOICES, TRIP and aftercare?

Teens that attend the TRIP program are subject to random drug screens.  Clients provide at least one screen weekly.  There is no additional charge for these drug screens under typical circumstances as they are bundled into the cost of the TRIP sessions.

For teens attending CHOICES, continuing care, or individual therapy, drug testing is not bundled in the cost.  If a parent wishes to test their teen you can:

  1. Have ASAP can test your child using our forensic drug testing procedure.
  2. Buy at-home testing kits from ASAP staff.
  3. Purchase at-home testing kits from a drug store.

Why is group therapy the best choice for treating adolescent substance abuse?

The biggest factor that makes group therapy a first-line treatment is the peer feedback that does not occur in individual therapy. Although teens often respond to the interventions provided to them by therapists, the modeling that occurs in group treatment offers significant benefit.  Peer interaction helps the adolescent to recognize the ways that drugs and/or alcohol have controlled their thoughts, ideas, and behaviors.

Another factor that elevates the effectiveness of group therapy is dosage. Individual therapy typically occurs for one hour, one time per week.  The TRIP program meets for 9 hours per week including education components and weekly drug screens.

Sometimes, a teen’s desire to avoid group therapy is part of a denial process. Your child may believe that if they, “keep this private, it will go away.”  Just like an infection, an addiction will not disappear because we want it to.  Group therapy offers the best intervention to help teens eliminate the consequences they’ve experienced due to their drinking/drug use.

What if my child says s/he won’t come ‘no matter what’?

This is a common occurrence.  By the time teens arrive for an ASAP assessment, their life has become surrounded by substances and those who use them. Letting go of this life is surprisingly painful. Often, teens have tried to convince their parents that their use is ‘no big deal’ because ‘everybody does it’ or ‘marijuana is harmless.’ These statements are simply not true.  Particularly for teenagers’ (and young adults’) brains, marijuana is a dangerous drug that harms many more people than even heroin.

Substance use problems are an illness. As a parent, you have often been tasked with making tough decisions without your child’s input. Treatment is no different – don’t compromise on treatment if your child really needs it.

Won’t other drug-using kids in the program negatively influence my child?

If your child is referred to the ASAP TRIP (Total Recovery in Progress) program, he or she has reached a level of substance use where they are able to get alcohol and/or other drugs.  Research shows that the benefits of attending group session far outweigh the risks of their becoming more connected to drug using peers.  

To help teens establish sober contacts, we also encourage clients to attend 12-Step Meetings (NA/AA) and Smart Recovery to begin to cultivate relationships with peers who are already committed to abstinence.

What can I do to prevent my child from relapse?

Relapse episodes can be very disheartening for parents, especially when they have invested great resources into their child’s treatment.  However, it is important to recognize that addiction is a relapsing/remitting condition.  What is most important about a relapse event is that both you and your child learn from the experience and work to avoid the same situations in the future.  Regardless of the level of care you are recommended for, ASAP will help to make meaning of relapse events and work with you to reduce their reoccurrence.

If my child is almost (or just turned) 18, is treatment really worth the hassles? 

If your child has an illness, his or her age won’t affect the treatment or the problem. Often, a teen says, “I will be an adult and then you can’t make me do this anymore!” If a teen can take care of all of their financial (and other) obligations at 18, then they should make their own decisions. However, if you continue to pay for their car, insurance, cellphone, housing, and/or food, they remain dependent.

For a dependent, 18 is just a number. An 18-year-old son or daughter may still need to your encouragement to get help as well as support through treatment and into recovery. Their potential anger towards you will not be lifelong. Once you establish clear and appropriate boundaries, they will begin to respond to your reasonable expectations.

I think my child has ADHD, how can you help me?

ASAP works with other treatment professionals to help your child cope with his/her ADHD. ADHD is closely related to increased impulsivity, behavioral disinhibition, and substance abuse. Therefore, it can be a significant hurdle with a teen’s ability to stay clean and sober.  If you feel that your child may have ADHD or needs additional services, please see your child’s care manager to receive a formal referral.

I have other children and a busy schedule, how will treatment fit into our lives?

Our CHOICES education program meets once per week for four weeks and time commitment is not typically a significant barrier. Intensive Outpatient treatment is a more significant time commitment.  However, like other life-threatening illnesses, it takes time, commitment, and determination to regain health. ASAP offers two IOP tracks, one on weekdays and one on the weekend in order to best accommodate your schedule.

What do we do if we have a vacation planned?

Decisions to suspend a vacation are left to a family’s discretion.  We recommend not missing more than 3 consecutive sessions in a row. We recommend that you consult with your child’s care manager or an ASAP staff member. We understand that some absences cannot be avoided and we do our best to work with family conflicts.

Please note: Your insurance reserves the right to restrict your benefits should you miss during treatment.

My child needs a letter for court and/or school. Can you help me?

ASAP works with courts, schools, and employers to provide letters addressing assessment results, treatment progress, and completion status.  ASAP requires a 1-week lead time for the completion of all formal correspondence.  There is a $50 fee for all letters.

What if I am not sure my child’s problem is really as severe as you are saying?

An assessment at ASAP uses a clinical interview, the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI), and the parent evaluation before making a formal recommendation. Recommendations are made in accordance with the criteria established by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).  The ASAP staff does not set level of care recommendations. We simply follow the guidelines of substance use disorder treatment best practice.

Unfortunately, parents are often the last to know how serious a problem has become.  Each of our staff members has many years of experience working with adolescents who have substance use problems, performing many assessments each year.  If you believe that your child does not have a problem as severe as we diagnose, please ask for more information about how the diagnosis was made or if interested, pursue a second opinion.

What if parents disagree with each other about following the recommendation?

It is not uncommon for parents to perceive a child’s behavior quite differently.  Sometimes, parents will disagree about the best course of action following an issue.  You may wonder: Should we reach out and get help?  Are we blowing this out of proportion?  

Ultimately, each parent must decide whether they trust a professional’s recommendation and whether or not they wish to follow through with treatment.  One way to resolve some of these disagreements is to ask your ASAP professional for the rationale behind their recommendation.  Often, this will help parents build their own understanding about what makes their child’s use problematic.  As with other medical problems, you may wish to seek a second opinion.  Because of the expertise needed in the area of chemical dependency, ASAP is happy to provide referrals to professionals who are adequately trained to make an appropriate recommendation.  Please contact us if you would like this information.

How do you know my child’s problem is really in need of intensive treatment?

We find that sometimes parents are in shock upon hearing that their child has a substance use disorder, and wish that the problem wasn’t as serious as it turns out to be. It is important to note that ASAP does not establish the standards by which substance use disorders are identified.  Rather, ASAP evaluates your child through established standards – diagnosing using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-V) and providing recommendations in accordance with the criteria established by the American Society of Addictions Medicine (ASAM).

The TRIP IOP treatment program is based on established research that shows outpatient group treatment to be the most effective for adolescents with substance use issues.  

Can my child attend just 2 of the 3 weekly IOP sessions? We can go for more weeks.

Research evaluating the effectiveness of treatment have identified nine hours as the optimal dose for intensive outpatient treatment.  In order to maximize your child’s likelihood of success, they will need to attend all treatment sessions and receive the entire scope of material presented in our program.

We offer two programs (weekday and weekend) to help accommodate your family’s schedule. We understand that on occasion there are unavoidable conflicts. When this happens, it is very important to let our staff know before the missed session.

What will this cost me?

ASAP is contracted with all major insurance companies that have subscribers in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.  Please call us directly to get specific information about your insurance status and the benefits you are entitled to for substance abuse treatment.

What is continuing care and will my child need it?

The continuing care program is a weekly 1-hour group therapy session that helps teens to maintain progress made in the TRIP program.  Any client who has successfully completed the TRIP program is eligible to participate.  Clients are charged $20 per session and attend once weekly for 20 weeks.

Research indicates that the longer adolescents engage in treatment/recovery, the more likely they are to experience positive outcomes.  As such, ASAP provides the continuing care program to help teens maintain connection to ASAP staff, connect to other successful teens, and continue identifying a life in recovery.  ASAP believes attendance at continuing care is essential to your child’s ongoing growth.  Additionally, ASAP recommends teens attend NA/AA/SMART Recovery meetings and hosts two weekly meetings at our facility.


  • “I couldn't have asked for a better program for [my daughter]. She bonded with all of her group members and also counselors. I have hope for [my daughter] to continue on in the right direction.”

    – Parent of Ashley, 17

  • “Very helpful. Best thing I've done. Ever.”

    – Ashley, 17

  • “We are grateful ASAP provided a place and safe environment for our son to heal.”

    – Parent of Richard, 16




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