Rehab isn’t the end of the recovery journey; it’s just the beginning. Outside the secure, supervised clinic, recovering teens must continue their sobriety efforts with the help of family, friends, and aftercare services – the most popular of which are teen support groups.
The journey Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy states that adolescents in recovery do their best when they associate exclusively with other sober-minded peers. That’s where teen support groups come into play. These meetings offer strength, support, and hope for recovering teens who are likely used to a completely different environment.
Peer pressure is one of the biggest drivers of drug abuse. However, peer pressure can also be used positively, as a way of helping young people stay sober. Support groups make use of this paradigm by offering fellowship: a group of people who share similar goals to your own make use of this paradigm by offering fellowship: a group of people who share similar goals to your own. At group meetings, members receive praise, guidance, and criticism as needed—in a warm, caring manner, always. They also get the opportunity to learn coping skills and other important ideals through group service projects and leadership exercises, like organization groups or, eventually, becoming sponsors themselves.
Many addicts believe they’re all alone, and that they have to fight alone, or else they’ll never really conquer their problem. In reality, most addicts who have stayed sober for the long term had to learn to utilize outside help. Self-isolation tends to snowball, so it’s important to break the cycle as quickly and effectively as possible.
Types of Support Groups
There are many types of support groups available. Most rehab centers include them for both treatment and aftercare purposes. Some are family-oriented, others reserved for the teen. In these therapy-centered groups, teenagers are encouraged to discuss issues that affect their age group most, such as:
- Peer pressure
- Academic performance
- Parental expectations
- Social triggers
- Sexuality and dating
- Facing the pressures of adulthood
Locating a Support Group
Teen support groups like AA and NA can be found all over the world. Most are completely free and extremely inviting. They hold meetings in public buildings, churches, recreation centers, and so on. Online meetings and telephone support are also widely-available for those who cannot attend traditional meetings regularly. The easiest way to get involved with a support group is to ask your teen’s rehab clinic for a referral. This should be handled before your teen graduates from rehab, just to make sure a plan is in place.
To get your child involved in a support group, give us a call at 949-637-5499