When your teen has struggled with substance abuse, it is natural to be concerned about their risk of relapse. Getting your teen help through treatment is the first step. However, after treatment, it is important that your teen continue to practice the skills they learn in treatment, including self-awareness. When they have self-awareness, a teen’s risk of relapse decreases. This is due to their ability to care for their needs and address challenges and stress with coping tools rather than using substances. Treatment at Sustain Recovery helps teens improve their self-awareness and provides care that increases their ability to practice self-awareness after treatment.
Substance Abuse and Self-Awareness
Your teen’s challenges with substance abuse and addiction are complex. However, when your teen is struggling with substance abuse, their behavior is characterized by compromised decision-making, a lack of ability to control their behavior, and often a lack of awareness of what is driving them to use substances. What these have in common is self-awareness. Therefore, a lack of self-awareness often comes alongside substance abuse.
Fortunately, your teen is in a phase of development where they can build skills that will impact the rest of their lives. Improving self-awareness, therefore, helps decrease your teen’s risk of relapse now and in the future.
Decreasing Your Teen’s Risk of Relapse
There are many ways that self-awareness helps decrease your teen’s risk of relapse. Enhancing their ability to manage their mental health, care for their needs, and build a community, improves self-awareness and can make a significant difference in your teen’s risk of relapse and overall quality of life. Treatment at Sustain Recovery considers the need for improved awareness and integrates it into your teen’s treatment program.
Managing Mental Health
Mental health and substance abuse often go hand in hand. Therefore, if your teen struggles with substance abuse, they may also have mental health challenges. However, managing mental health difficulties can be very hard for teens. Fortunately, self-awareness is a skill that can help your teen to manage their mental health.
By improving their self-awareness, your teen can better understand how they are feeling. When they identify their feelings and thoughts, they can better cope with them healthily. They can acknowledge, accept, and cope with emotions and mental health challenges in a healthier way. However, when your teen is struggling and unable to identify their feelings or thoughts, they will search for ways to feel better, and substance abuse is a quick and easy fix for many challenges.
Community and Your Teen’s Risk of Relapse
Having a supportive and healthy community is an important part of managing your teen’s risk of relapse. This is because a community provides a place where your teen can find care, support, and encouragement. However, building a healthy community can be difficult when your teen has struggled with substance abuse.
As a parent, you can support your teen in building a community. One way you can help them is by encouraging them to improve their self-awareness. Self-awareness is a foundational skill that allows your teen to be empathetic and create true friendships. When they are aware of themselves, they are more able to monitor themselves in social settings and share who they are with others. As a result, they can participate in a community that supports them in staying sober.
Self-care is a skill that greatly decreases your teen’s risk of relapse. By being more able to care for their needs, your teen is less likely to engage in risky activity, be pressured by others, or look for a way to escape their feelings. As a result, they are more likely to stay sober.
The foundation of self-care is self-awareness. Being self-aware helps your teen know what they need to do for themselves. For example, when your teen knows that they feel stressed and what helps to manage stress, they have the information to care for their needs. However, without self-awareness, your teen may feel stuck and look toward substances as a way to solve the immediate issue.
Decreasing Your Teen’s Risk of Relapse By Managing Triggers
For your teen to manage their risk of relapse, they must know what is causing them to abuse substances. Triggers are people, places, or feelings that cause your teen to feel like using a substance. Your teen will have unique triggers. Awareness of these triggers can help your teen manage their risk of relapse.
Awareness is the first step to discovering triggers. When your teen is aware of how they feel, think, and are drawn to, they can identify triggers. However, without the ability to sense how they feel, your teen will struggle to identify people, places, or situations they need to avoid to stay sober.
When a teen has struggled with substance abuse, their level of self-awareness is likely low. However, through self-awareness, both in treatment and at home, you can help to decrease their risk of relapse. At Sustain Recovery, we understand that self-awareness is a skill that will help your teen, now and in the future. We integrate self-awareness into our programs and can help you find ways to encourage your teen’s continued progression of self-awareness in their lives. If you have a teen who is struggling with addiction, mental health challenges, or trauma, we can help. Call us today at (949) 407-9052 to learn more about how we can help your teen build foundational skills for their recovery and life.