Graduation from rehab is an exciting time, and many parents can’t even imagine that their teen could ever backtrack. The change is so drastic, he or she seems like an entirely new person.
So do most teens who graduate rehab; that’s why they graduate. Roughly 70 percent of them, however, relapse within the first six months, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In treatment, teens learn to apply certain behavioral strategies to the real world; but they can’t always succeed. The real world is like a minefield of stresses: relationships, drama, disorganization, and lots of surprises. Just to stay in check, recovering teens need require an extra-wide support network consisting of multiple angles: therapists, health care providers, self-help groups, sober-minded peers, and, if at all possible, family.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to provide constant emotional support for the teenager, whether they seem to need it or not. They’re not cured; they’re just ready to continue healing on their own.
Aftercare Services for Teens
Ideally, you should find a good aftercare program for your teenager before he or she enters rehab; that way, you’ll allow yourself some time to collect, weigh, and evaluate your options.
When searching for an addiction treatment program, you should also 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
The transition from treatment to long-term recovery is so tough, we have special state-funded residential settings for that very purpose. Sober homes aren’t just for high-risk/court-ordered teens; they’re just a safe place to grow. There are still many rules to follow–nightly curfews, daily chores, mandatory meeting attendance–but you’re also monitored.
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, especially if someone in the family is feeling resentful or angry. Indifference, negative attitudes, and enabling are problems that need to be targeted and tackled in order for real emotional progress to be made.
Family counseling 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
Conflicts with parents, sibling rivalry, emotional distance, or verbal abuse–you can’t always handle these problems on your own, the way you might be able to fix a minor leak or hardware malfunction. When these issues lead to mental health crises like drug abuse…that’s when it stops being a “Do it yourself” deal and starts demanding professional intervention.
From admission through aftercare, Sustain offers the perfect kind of support for staying sober. Call us today to learn more about our intensive rehab programs for adolescents: 949-637-5499