Tag Archive: teen recovery

  1. How to Help Your Teen Recover After Rehab

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    rehab aftercare celebration

    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

  2. Self Identity and What It Means for Teen Recovery

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    Addiction counselors and therapists have long recognized the connection between self-esteem and substance abuse. Individuals with lower levels of self-esteem are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to bury self-esteem problems or to give them a temporary boost from the low self-opinions that they have developed. Low self-esteem is a particularly insidious problem for teen and adolescent drug addicts and alcoholics, whose struggles with their own identities and their respective places in society can overwhelm even the strongest of personalities. Teens who are in a drug recovery program can assure the success of that program if they can develop a strong and healthy sense of themselves as they move toward long-term sobriety.

    “Self Identity”
    A teen or adolescent who has developed a low sense of self-esteem will see himself as being unliked and without friends, having little worth or value, and being the object of ridicule and bullying from peers and classmates who have a greater sense of self-assurance. These feelings form an identity of worthlessness, which leads a teen to seek solace in drugs or alcohol. A teen or adolescent who goes through a substance abuse recovery program without addressing these feelings will be prone to relapses and deeper problems with drugs and alcohol. That teen will also be more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders.

    “Drug Treatment Program”
    Alternately, a teen who goes into a drug treatment program with an already weak self-identity might adopt the label of being an alcoholic or addict as the strongest marker of his identity. He might look back on his experiences while he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and decide, either consciously or subconsciously, that he preferred the personality that he exhibited during those times. A person naturally forms the foundation of his identity during his teen years. Adopting the “addict” moniker during these years can lead to lifelong drug and alcohol problems. Counselors and therapists as well as family members and friends need to take great care not to reinforce the “addict” label when dealing with teens and adolescents because of the risk of imprinting that label as the person’s primary self-identity marker.

    “Drug Addiction”
    A teen who is struggling to overcome drug addiction or alcoholism can develop a positive self-identity by making sure that all of his or her issues, and not just substance abuse, are addressed and treated during recovery. Positive affirmations from family and friends and a supportive environment are also crucial to allow a teen to develop a healthy platform to build and sustain his self-worth. This may require relocating a teen to a new school or neighborhood, and helping him to develop new hobbies and activities that better suit his natural talents. Family members may need to learn new ways to communicate in order to replace old and possibly hurtful interactions that had tendencies to reduce a teen’s self esteem.

    From a more positive perspective, a teen’s family can be the best resource he has to build or rebuild a positive self-identity. His family will know his talents and skills better than friends or counselors and they can channel that knowledge into activities that help a teen realize his own self-worth. All parents will understand that raising and nurturing a teen is a challenge even without having to help the teen with his self-identity or to keep him on track in an addiction recovery program. Families might find that the added challenge of helping a teen to gain his own positive self-identity will make all of the other challenges they face that much easier and more manageable.

    Sustain Recovery Services in southern California works with adolescents and young adults who are striving to develop a strong and positive self-identity while working to overcome drug addiction and alcoholism. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information about our individual and family services or to arrange a confidential consultation with one of our counselors.

  3. Addiction Recovery For Teenagers

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    Addiction Recovery For TeenagersIt’s not uncommon for teens to experiment with drugs and alcohol.  Our culture is steeped in the ideas of cultural rebellion and substance-infused parties. When casual use turns to abuse, that’s a problem. It’s far too easy for young bodies to develop dependencies and addictions to drugs and alcohol. Teenage addiction is widespread and affects whole families. Help is available for any young person who needs it.

    The following are some key components of a typical teenage addiction treatment program:

    • Behavior therapy
    • Family involvement
    • Healthcare services
    • Home visits
    • Peer-to-peer support
    • Psychiatric assessments
    • Positive reinforcement (rewards/incentives)
    • Recreational activities
    • Social interaction (volunteering, after school programs)


    Teenage Drug Addiction Treatment

    Although teenage addiction treatment programs differ from those geared toward adults, the same basic steps apply: assessment, detox, treatment, and aftercare.

    Before a teen can enter treatment, he or she must undergo professional evaluation by an addiction specialist. Once a diagnosis is decided, the teen is placed under medical supervision until all traces of drugs and alcohol have exited their system. (If needed, medication is administered to alleviate cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.) Then comes the extended psychological and pharmacological treatment process.

    Using a combination of therapy and the right medication, recovering adolescents learn to change their thought processes and behavioral tendencies in positive ways that will help steer them away from substance abuse. They experience the benefits of the change as it occurs, bit by bit, step by step, day after day.

    After rehab, to ensure that the teen does not return to old ways, he or she is expected to participate in some form of continued treatment—usually group therapy sessions—for the foreseeable future.  Several aftercare solutions are available through Sustain Recovery Services that encourage positive growth and development in addition to relapse prevention in addiction aftercare.


    Teenage Addiction Treatment Barriers

    Before being able to enroll in a treatment program, teenagers may have to overcome a number of obstacles. Some of these obstacles reflect the stigma against addiction and rehabilitation, while others reflect the pressure to use drugs and alcohol in the first place. These include:

    • Availability of drugs or alcohol in or near the home
    • Peer pressure
    • Shame and embarrassment
    • Unhealthy family situations
    • Unwillingness to admit to having a problem


    Take Action

    Teen addiction should be treated as early as possible. If left untreated, it leads to much more serious problems down the road. Addiction weighs heavy on the minds and spirits of friends and family as well, and teenagers must deal with the added stress of being in a confusing, and often scary, transitional period in their lives.


    Signs of adolescent substance abuse are often mistaken for mere experimentation–something most teens do, like it or not–or missed completely because the teen hides them so well. If your teenager is already caught up in the addiction cycle, call us to discuss treatment options: (949) 407-9052.

  4. What’s Included in the Extended Care program at Sustain Recovery?

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    What’s Included in the Extended Care program at Sustain Recovery?Extended care services provide a critical buffer between the initial stay at a residential inpatient treatment facility and returning home. Young adults and adolescents suffering from drug addiction are put at an disadvantage if they quickly return to their old neighborhoods. The same stresses and triggers which helped catalyze their addictions originally are still there. Immersion in that environment without the adequate skills and tools preparation can lead to relapse. Extended care continues the treatment and therapy started in treatment, allowing a recovering young adult to develop a solid foundation for a new substance-free life.

    Sustain Recovery Services has established a premier sober living environment in beautiful Orange County, southern California, that sets the standard for such facilities. The primary directive of all sober living is to establish a drug and alcohol free group home.  Recovering adolescent addicts and alcoholics can continue to participate in 12-step recovery and other programs while they re-establish themselves in school, work and communities. Most facilities do nothing more than this, leaving residents to cook and clean for themselves and to enroll in and secure transportation to group programs. Sustain Recovery goes beyond the common call for support.

    First, recognizing that healthy eating is a critical aspect of addiction recovery, Sustain Recovery offers residents nutritional guidance and planned meals. We staff our houses around the clock with qualified personnel and a three-to-one caregiver-to-resident ratio. We continue the structured schedules experienced in previous treatment programs. Therapy, group therapy, life skills training and life coaching are incorporated into the Sustain Recovery program.

    Other coaching services include educational and vocational training, resume building, and time management. We provide transportation options to allow our residents to get to and from their schools or places of employment. Perhaps most importantly, we encourage our residents to have fun. Involvement in local YPAA (Young People’s AA) is part of our programming, supporting our residents in getting involved with other young people in recovery.

    Every weekend, Sustain Recovery offers family programming including Al-Anon attendance and group family therapy. We believe that addiction and alcoholism are family diseases, therefore requiring family healing.


    Sustain Recovery Services raises the bar on providing extended care services to young adults and adolescents in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Our homes are high end luxury models, gender-separated, and nestled in the hills of southern California.

    For more information about Sustain Recovery Services unique program for adolescent after care in addiction recovery, please call 949-407-9052 today.  

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

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