Steps for Teen Girls

Normally I don’t plug specific treatment facilities in this blog but there’s a special place in my heart for teenage girls who are struggling with addiction. Also, I know that finding AFFORDABLE QUALITY CARE is often the deciding factor whether or not parents can get the help their daughters need.

Last winter I received a call from a mother desperate to get her daughter into a treatment facility – it was critical yet money was an issue.  I encouraged her to keep searching because when I was ready for rehab I hit dozens of dead ends but because I refused to give up I was able to find a facility in the south willing to take Canadian health insurance. It was like winning Lotto. I shared this with the mother and a few days later she called to tell me she’d struck gold. Steps Recovery  “Help and Hope for Teen Girls Who Hurt” 

I realize a lot of people probably fret at the additional cost of flying their daughter to a small town off the main airport routes. For the record, I found a reasonably priced ticket to Baton Rouge and drove a rental car the rest of the way. It took less than 90 minutes.  When I was desperate for help, I took the “by any means necessary” route.  If flying is too expensive, consider driving or a greyhound bus.  90 days of quality treatment comes out to be around $15,000  ($5000 per month).  I had the opportunity in April to visit the facility in Lafayette Louisiana and meet with founder Jacque Robinson-Richard.

Patty: Can you describe your vision and the struggles you’ve encountered since you opened last winter?

Jacque: My background is working with Adolescent females since 2001.  I saw back then that girls were under-served.  I saw boys and girls together in substance abuse treatment facilities and found out that 70% of treatment time was devoted to keeping them separated.  A lot of important treatment time lost.  When I started my first program in Minnesota, I went to Hazelden Center for Youth and Families and met with Jim Steinhagen (Executive Director). Hazelden became my number one referral source. Being a start-up has it challenges. With my other start up we struggled with money at first but that has not been the challenge this time. The struggle I have now is getting the word out.

Patty:  Is there a clean time requirement to become a resident? What is the age-group you treat?

Jacque: We are now doing primary and extended residential so clients do not have to arrive with any clean time however we do not have a detox unit. If they require a medical detox we can refer them to a detox facility. Our clients are between the ages of 13 – 17.

Patty: How long do you think a young woman should stay at Steps to optimize their chances to have successful long-term recovery?

Jacque:  They stay a minimum of 90 days. It is proven that the longer a person stays in treatment the greater the chances are for success. We have on-site school.  We can help them set up the GED program after they have completed at STEPS

Patty: Can you describe an average week at Steps?

Jacque: We do meditation group every morning followed by school during the school year. During the summer we switch to a living skills group instead of school. This is followed by lunch. Afterwards they have group followed by treatment work and individual sessions. Sometimes they’ll go on an outing to the park or other places during the afternoon. They go to an AA or NA meeting every night after dinner. When they return they have free time to watch TV or play games.

Patty: Do you work with a psychiatrist for clients with dual diagnosis?

Jacque: Yes. Dr. Bob Winston is board certified with addiction medicine.  He has a strong ethic about medication and what is appropriate with recovering addicts.









Patty is a nationally recognized certified recovery coach and writer. She lives in New York City.

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