Tag Archive: Teens in Recovery

  1. How Sober Living Homes Help Teens In Recovery

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    Graduating from drug rehab is a personal triumph for any teenager who has struggled with substance abuse, and it’s easy to get carried away. If your teenager just finished an inpatient treatment program, it’s okay to be proud of them, but remember that your teen isn’t “cured” by any means. If this sharp transition into the real world seems like too much, even with outpatient services going on, and even if your teen thinks they’re totally fine, you may want to research sober homes. Many of these facilities are built specifically for teenagers.

    Benefits of Sober Homes

     

    According to research, sober living homes are highly effective recovery services. A study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs linked the use of these homes to improvements in several key recovery areas:

    • Alcohol and drug use declined
    • Involvement in 12-step programs increased
    • Employment rates were higher
    • Psychiatric symptoms were less severe

    Most sober living homes make use of the twelve-step program; at the least, they all require regular meeting attendance from all their live-ins. Wherever these meetings take place, they are usually open to the general public.

    Teens in sober homes must follow rules, but they are also given some personal freedoms they didn’t have in rehab. They have the tools and guidance they need to recovery–a curfew, a weekly activities schedule, a support network of fellow recoveries–yet they can also go to school, work part-time jobs, spend time with their families, and so forth.

    Rules

    • No alcohol or drugs
    • Residents must follow a curfew
    • No guests after certain hours.
    • Must attend counseling sessions or community meetings.
    • Teens must participate in house meetings.
    • Teens are assigned chores and tasks
    • Teens must go to school or work at a job

    The strictness isn’t meant to punish, but to teach and encourage discipline. Many teens in sober homes will find themselves contributing to order and organization themselves.

    Finding a Sober Home

     

    Sober living homes can be found in all states. Some are privately owned and can be found in big towns; others are located within addiction treatment clinics so that residents there can easily advance forward once they’ve completed traditional rehab, which must come first. Most addiction programs offer the service by default once your teen’s treatment is over, but you should look elsewhere as well. You need a facility that appears right for your teen and his or her personal growth, not just the most expensive option. Pay attention to where the facility is located to make sure there are no negative influences too close by.

    Before you can adopt a sober life, you have to overcome your addiction. For a consultation, give us a call at (949) 637-5499

  2. Why Do Creative Therapies Work for Teens in Recovery?

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    Most people are familiar with the stereotype of the teen or adolescent who physically lashes out against his family or friends out of frustration or anger. These episodes are frequently linked to a younger person’s inability to coordinate his emotions and his intelligence in a manner that allows him to express his frustration or anger verbally. These teens and adolescents will use drugs or alcohol to soothe bottled-up emotions that they are otherwise unable to express. When they find themselves in addiction rehab programs, creative therapies may be the best strategic option for a successful recovery.

    Creative therapies
    Creative therapies include dance, drama, music, poetry, and visual art in a variety of different media. Traditional talk therapy and psychological counseling may work well for adult addicts and alcoholics who have learned to express their feelings. Teens and adolescents, however, may not yet have the verbal skills or emotional intelligence to get the best benefit from talk therapy. For them, creative therapy opens alternative possibilities to uncover memories and problems they might have repressed but which remain unresolved.

    Influencing Issues
    Creative therapy works well for teens and adolescents on two levels. First, it helps a young recovering addict to better understand issues and problems that are leading him to drugs and alcohol. Adults can often have difficulties in understanding their own issues and problems. Those difficulties can be significantly greater with teens who are striving to find their places in the world around them. A teen or adolescent who is given a blank slate to create something will often find that music, pictures, or physical movement are superior to words when inner feelings are at stake.

    Diagnosing Art
    Second, therapists and addiction recovery counselors use the creative expressions of their patients to diagnose underlying issues that a teen would refrain from discussing verbally. A large majority of addicted or alcoholic teens and adolescents are experiencing depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems simultaneously with their addiction problems. If therapists treat only the addictions, they miss a greater opportunity to attack the catalyst for the addictions. Creative therapy gives them another tool for better, more thorough diagnoses.

    Recovery Plan
    Like other strategies and tools for addiction recovery, creative therapy does not stand alone. Rather, it is one of several tools in a therapist’s arsenal to attack addiction problems. Creative therapy is typically combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, and motivational and family therapy to give a young person the best chance to achieve long-term sobriety. Therapists understand that addiction is an insidious problem that rarely responds to a single avenue of attack. Therapists need to understand the problem and its sources before they develop the best plan that will assure successful recovery for any one individual. Creative therapy will help in both the diagnosis and the cure when it is integrated with other therapeutic strategies.

    Individualized Creativity
    Teens and adolescents will have an inherent understanding of the creative outlet that will work best for them. A teen who is strong in musical expression might have limited ability to express himself through visual arts. Thus, therapists who want to integrate creative therapy into their programs will need to determine the best creative avenue for each individual patient.

    Sustain Recovery Services in southern California has extensive experience in using creative therapy to help adolescents and young adults express their inner feelings and overcome their problems with drug addiction and alcoholism. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information about our services or to arrange a confidential consultation with one of our counselors.

  3. Ongoing Support for Teens in Recovery

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    The external and internal influences that created a person’s drug addiction and alcoholism do not disappear after he completes one or more stints in an addiction recovery program. An addict can be released from a recovery program feeling refreshed and energized, and fully intent to stay away from drugs and alcohol, but reality can sweep in and defeat even the most resolved recovering addict. Teens who are in the early stages of recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism are particularly prone to the forces and temptations that led them into substance abuse. More than other recovering addicts, teens need ongoing support after their initial withdrawal and rehab to keep them on a path to long-term sobriety.

    “Aftercare Therapy”
    Aftercare therapy and ongoing support for teens who are recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism can include several different types of therapies, educational programs, participation in substance-free social and vocational activities, temporary residency in a transitional halfway house, and behavioral counseling to teach the recovering teen how to handle the internal and external stresses that formed the sparks for his addiction. Individual, one-on-one counseling is effective to diagnose and treat depression, anxiety, or other psychological disorders that might have contributed to a teen’s substance abuse. Addiction and alcoholism are illnesses that are separate from other psychological disorders and that need to be treated separately to ensure a successful recovery. Group therapy will be better able to help a recovering teen to manage and maintain his sobriety while giving him peer group support that he can turn to when he faces temptations to use drugs or alcohol.

    “Substance Abuse Education”
    Substance abuse education and behavioral and occupational therapy can also be important components of a teen’s aftercare addiction program. A teen in recovery can rely on this education and therapy to learn how to recognize certain behaviors that lead to drug or alcohol use. He is also likely to experience bouts of boredom or uncertainty leading from a lack of knowledge and experience regarding activities that he can participate in as a substitute for drugs and alcohol. Addictive substances have a way of crowding ideas about alternative activities out of an addict’s mind. Educational and experiential programs can be useful to expose teens in recovery to various artistic or athletic opportunities that they would never have considered while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. From a broader perspective, these programs will also teach teens alternative coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses and disappointments that they may experience as a regular part of their lives.

    “Aftercare Therapy”
    Aftercare therapy for teens can also include more mundane requirements including regular testing for drug or alcohol use. As invasive and annoying as drug testing may seem to a teen, it can add structure and support to his life. Knowing that he will be tested for alcohol or drug use, either on a regular basis or at random, can be a strong motivating factor that helps a teen to stay away from those substances.

    “Pharmaceutical Therapy”
    Some teens who are at the farthest outpost of aftercare therapy might benefit from pharmaceutical therapy that substitutes low-risk medical substances for drugs or alcohol. Those substances can help to reduce cravings that lead to a relapse during early stages of aftercare support. All use of those substances should be temporary and should be administered only under careful supervision of an addiction recovery physician.

    Sustain Recovery Services in southern California can help to provide ongoing support for adolescents and young adults who are recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information about our services or to arrange a confidential consultation with one of our counselors.

  4. Relapse Prevention for Teens in Recovery

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    Teens who are struggling to overcome substance abuse problems often have a much more difficult road ahead of them than adults who are fighting drug addiction and alcoholism. The combination of a teen’s still-developing brain that leads to poor impulse control, his limited perspective and life experiences, and his social networks and peer pressure often create the perfect storm to undermine every rehab effort and to push him toward one or more relapses Awareness of the problem is a good first step toward preventing relapses for teens who are recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism. Other specific steps can further reduce that risk.

    “Teen’s Relapse Triggers”
    Relapses are frequently a function of triggers that entice a recovering substance abuser back to drug or alcohol use. A teen’s relapse triggers might include exposure to drug or alcohol use among his peers, visiting physical locations where he previously used different substances, as well as more common teen emotional traits such as mood swings, stress responses, boredom, and self-pity. Parents and counselors who are working to keep a recovering teen away from a relapse should try to identify as many potential triggers as they can and then help him structure his schedule and daily routines to prevent any encounters with those triggers.

    “Identifying Triggers”
    Identifying triggers can help keep a teen away from them, but avoiding all relapse triggers at all times will not be possible. Teens also need tools and techniques to help them fend off the pressure they feel when they are faced with a relapse trigger. Those tools and techniques can include a heightened sense of awareness or “mindfulness” of the relapse risks, or connecting the teen with one or more recovery sponsors whom the teen can contact any time of day or night for support in staying away from drugs. Like adults who are struggling to overcome addiction, teens can also avoid relapse temptations by staying busy with exercise, creative endeavors like art and writing, and connecting with nature. Teens who find themselves bored or who begin to feel too good about their recoveries may find that relapse temptations are increasing. Learning to avoid relapse triggers and developing techniques to confront them are not one-time events, but both need to be ongoing processes that a recovering teen practices and relearns throughout his recovery.

    “Unnecessary Relapse”
    Teens and adults alike further should understand that contrary to some popular culture opinions, relapses do not need to be a normal or necessary part of addiction recovery. The incidents of relapses among recovering teen addict and alcoholics may be high, but relapse is not inevitable. A teen who expects to relapse will have a harder time dealing with relapse triggers than one who approaches recovery as a continuing activity with no inevitable milestones or backward steps.
    A teen who does relapse should not conclude that his recovery is a failure. Rather, he can immediately reconnect with a sponsor and support group to get his recovery back on track and to continue his recovery and rehab process. His sponsors and counselors can help him examine what caused the relapse and his recovery can be restructured to help him avoid a relapse in a similar situation. Sometimes, this can be as simple as simple as eating well and getting enough sleep so that the teen has a better general sense of how much better he acts and feels when he is sober. He may be experiencing symptoms of other psychosocial problems, including mild depression or anxiety that need to be treated separately. When a relapse is viewed from this perspective and caregivers provide the right response, a teen can come away from a relapse stronger and with even greater resolve to stay with his recovery.

    Sustain Recovery Services in southern California helps adolescents and young adults to stay on track with the rehab and recovery programs and to avoid relapses that drive them back to substance abuse. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information about our services or to arrange a confidential consultation with one of our counselors.

Sustain Recovery changed my life in a way I never considered remotely possible. I arrived in a place where I knew nobody. Sustain Recovery gave me tools so that I never had to be alone again. I learned how to live like an adult and have genuine relationships with other human beings. I gained a sense of self respect, love, and pride from the challenges I was given by staff. I was able to work through the recent loss of my father and I achieved my goal of not taking any psychiatric medication.
I learned that life is an endless balancing act. I have to continually work on myself and my relationships with the people in my life. The staff at Sustain Recovery are all incredibly experienced and spiritual. They were available to me whether I wanted their help or not. Through their efforts and experience, I experienced the inner workings of having an intimate, loving relationship with a loving creator.
Sustain Recovery is “home” for me. I discovered a loving, caring family that helped launch me to a place I would have never dreamed and, if I would have dreamed it, I would never have believed I would be able to accomplish it.

K.C.
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