By the time a teen graduates from treatment, they’ve acquired a whole new set of habits–good habits, like keeping busy, eating and sleeping properly, and saying No even when they want to do something risky.
Still, all teens fresh out of rehab are prone to relapse, no matter how much they shined in rehab. Up to 71 percent of recovering teens end up relaxing within six months of release, says the DEA.
Why? They’re still testing their new attitudes and behaviors. The outside world is like a minefield, full of temptations. So is the brain. Recovering teens need require an extra-wide support network to stay in check. It should consist of multiple angles: therapists, health care providers, self-help groups, sober-minded peers, and — if at all possible — family.
After a teenager emerges from rehab, it’s more important than ever to give them attention and provide emotional and moral support. They’re not cured; they’re just ready to continue healing on their own.
Aftercare Services for Teens
The best time to find a good aftercare program for your teenager is before he or she enters rehab. That way, you have some time to weigh your options and learn all about them.
When you’re searching for an addiction treatment program, ask about the support services that the facility provides once treatment is over. Those services should include:
Ongoing contact with counselors or therapists who were involved in the teen’s treatment
Referrals to therapists, psychiatrists or other specialists in the community who can manage medications and provide continuing therapy
Information about 12-step programs and other self-help groups for teens who are dedicated to staying sober
Access to transitional housing opportunities for teens who need more supervision and structure after rehab
Participation in alumni organizations for teenagers who have successfully completed rehab
Sober living homes
Some teens can’t handle the transition into the real world straight out of treatment, which is why there are state-funded environments specifically for helping people get there. Sober homes are especially important for high-risk teens with a history of relapse. The home offers a safe place to try out new coping skills. Although these residences are less structured than rehab facilities, there are still many rules to follow, including nightly curfews, daily chores, mandatory attendance at house meetings, and, of course strict restrictions against alcohol or drug use.
Support for Parents and Families
If the people closest to the addict are struggling themselves, it’s especially hard for the addict to recover. Parents, siblings and other family members struggling alongside the addict should join in on counseling sessions for families. These sessions cover a variety of topics:
The nature and causes of addiction
How addiction affects the family
Creating a supportive home environment
Keeping the lines of communication open
Setting healthy boundaries
Many of the substance abuse triggers that your teen will encounter can be found at home. Conflicts with parents, sibling rivalry, emotional distance, or verbal abuse can drive adolescents back to drugs or alcohol. Experienced family therapists can guide you through the difficult days after rehab.
From admission through aftercare, Sustain offers you and your family the support you require to help your teen stay sober. Call us today to learn more about our intensive rehab programs for adolescents: 949-637-5499