Is the program using medications safely and appropriately?

Many children and young adults with emotional and behavioral challenges need medication, even if just for a short period of time. The best outdoor therapeutic programs will accept those on medication, however, they will not change medication on anyone in an outdoor setting.

Medication may need to be evaluated once in a residential setting. Often, residential treatment is used to eliminate those medications which are unnecessary or that have problematic side effects. High quality programs work with families and their educational consultants to obtain a thorough medication history by the time of admission so that medications which have previously been tried and failed are not used again in the same way. These programs also notify parents of any medication changes, concerns or issues. Programs vary in their philosophies on the use of medication.

The best programs don’t take extreme positions favoring or opposing medication. They work to find the best solution for each child or young adult.

Prescribing practices are based on the best available current research. Medication is distributed by nurses or other medical staff and not by children.

Other questions to ask:

  • What is the programs philosophy on medication?
  • How is medication distributed to the children or young adult?
  • How will a parent be notified of changes, concerns or problems with medication?