As a parent, you want the very best for your child. However, when faced with the ravages of addiction, parents are faced with the monumental task of supporting their teen’s long-term recovery. As a result, many parents are trying to find the best ways to support their teens before, during, and after addiction treatment. To respond to the quest, we’ve compiled a list of the best strategies parents can utilize to help their teens continue to maintain sobriety and avoid relapse after they come home from addiction treatment.
Establish a Supportive Community
When it comes to keeping your teen sober after treatment, having a solid support system in place is crucial. Recruit the care and support of friends and family members who can be available to encourage you and your teen. You might also seek out ongoing support from your local 12-step program, which can be invaluable for your teen during their long-term recovery. Of course, your teen’s therapist should be an integral part of your support group. Having many different parties involved with the maintenance and commitment to your teen’s sobriety can go a long way toward keeping him or her from succumbing to relapses after treatment.
Eliminate Potential Triggers
Ideally, you’ve been involved with your teen’s addiction treatment from the beginning. Therefore, you should be aware of potential stress triggers that may tempt your teen to use again. Armed with this information, make every effort to eliminate or reduce these triggers to avoid potential relapse.
It’s true that there will be times when your teen is on his or her own – such as at school or at social functions. These situations can limit your influence in reducing triggers for your teen. However, you have full control over your home and your teen’s immediate environment when they are with you. Consequently, your best defense in honoring your child’s sobriety is to remove temptations where you can.
Keep an Open Door Policy
After your teen returns from treatment, it’s important that they know they can come to you if they need to talk. Encourage your teen that they are free and welcome to approach you with anything at any time.
We understand that you might be busy. If your teen comes to you wanting to talk while you’re in the middle of something, do your best to calmly assess your child’s needs and address their concern as best as possible and return to the task you were working on. If you must put your teen on hold, explain that you will be there for them as quickly as possible, and make good on that promise.
One of the best ways parents can support teens after addiction treatment is to get involved in activities with kids. Think about enrolling in art classes, or getting outside for healthy outdoor activities. Consider what your teen is interested in, and begin getting active in those hobbies with him or her.
For instance, if your teen is into working on cars – that’s a perfect way to share their passion while getting them engaged in something other than addiction issues. In many instances, getting involved in activities teens enjoy serves as a brilliant distraction as well as a healthy alternative to addictive behaviors.
Remember to Care for Yourself Too
Supporting a teen through addiction and keeping them sustained after treatment can be incredibly overwhelming. So much so, that many parents are at risk of suffering from burnout or exhaustion. Avoid this by making time for yourself. Devote special time for yourself, so you have the chance to recuperate, relax, and renew your energy. This might be engaging in your favorite activities, or it might mean time talking to your own personal therapist.
When it comes to helping your teen thrive after treatment, it’s important to pay attention to both your child’s needs while still taking care of yourself. After all, if you are stressed out and exhausted, you will be hard-pressed to support your teen.
In conclusion, we hope these best tips to support your teen after addiction treatment inspire you to adopt new strategies that will ensure your teen’s long-term sobriety. Remember that addiction doesn’t have to rule or ruin you or your teen’s life. When dealt with honestly, openly, and with compassion, your teen’s addiction could have the potential to form stronger relationship bonds and encourage lifelong sobriety.