Adolescence is a time of discovery and exploration — and, for some teenagers, a time of drug experimentation. Peer pressure, low self-esteem, and depression are among the many reasons why teens may turn to drugs or alcohol. Whatever the cause, every caring parent should know that that the sooner you get help for your child, the greater are the chances for a full recovery.

For more than 20 years, Lighthouse has been helping adolescents who are battling chemical dependency to change their lives. We have learned that young people struggling with drugs and/or alcohol can best build a strong, long-term recovery in an environment where they feel safe and valued. For this reason, we offer a 3 to 12-month residential program for young men and women who are between 13 and 18 years old.

Our adolescent inpatient program addresses each individual teenager’s various needs: medical, psychological, academic, and educational.  The School at Lighthouse helps each student earn school credit and boost academic performance with certified, professional teachers and individualized learning plans.

Every teen’s time here begins with an in-depth evaluation by an interdisciplinary team. This allows us to build a treatment plan that is individualized, comprehensive, and realistic. Each patient develops an individual recovery plan, taking responsibility by setting personal, meaningful, and achievable goals. Our program is highly structured and based on positive peer culture: the treatment team guides patients in learning to support each other in communicating, solving problems, enjoying leisure time, and achieving goals in healthy, positive ways. Every patient has a primary counselor who works closely with him or her throughout the treatment process.

The family is an essential component of every adolescent’s treatment at Lighthouse. We offer a comprehensive Family Program to help family members understand addiction, our treatment approaches, family dynamics, and the path of recovery. Our goal is always to re-integrate each patient into his/her own family system as soon as possible.

Because each patient’s recovery plan is individual, we can integrate different components — individual therapy, group process, and 12 Step meetings — as needed. Patients attend a daily community meeting, where we practice communicating and resolving differences in positive ways. Everyone also attends groups on topics such as anger management, cultural sensitivity, conflict resolution, relapse prevention, and 12 Step Education. Every patient has the option of meeting with the psychiatrist each week, for counseling and medication management.

We begin the discharge planning process as soon as a patient is admitted, to make sure the right services and supports will be in place. The primary counselor involves family members or guardians in this process, along with an interdisciplinary Lighthouse team, so that the patient is referred to the next appropriate level of care after discharge. Before leaving treatment, every patient receives and reviews with us his or her Continuing Care Plan.

Lighthouse will accept all adolescent referrals that meet our admission criteria. Most of our adolescent patients are referred by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), whose case managers contribute to setting treatment goals, and remain involved throughout the treatment process.


Lighthouse has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval