Teenagehood is supposed to be beautiful. Like a bud, your child is blooming into self-realization and adulthood. But who said it would be easy? The period between 12-19 comes with its fare of challenges. But you never dreamed of your lovely teen wallowing in the quagmire that is drug addiction. Your child will be discharged from rehab soon. How do you keep him on the road to recovery after a teen treatment program? Here are eight steps to guide you provided by basepointpsychiatry.com:
Ways To Help Your Teen Stay On The Road To Recovery
1. Learn as much as you can about drug addiction and withdrawal
Chances are you have scanty information on drug abuse and recovery. It was not necessary. But now that drug addiction has come knocking at your door, get some books and flip those pages.
Arming yourself with information specific to your problem is your best line of defense. There are plenty of books, blog posts, pamphlets, and so much more on drug abuse out there. Ensure that you get your information from reputable and authoritative sources such as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.
2. Cleaning your house thoroughly
Well, not literally. Get rid of any medicine you’re not using and old prescriptions. Collect all the drugs you can lay your hands on and put them in your medicine cabinet. Keep them under lock and key at all times.
It is also advisable to pay attention to your child’s room. Comb it and get rid of any remainder of drugs they have been using or could use. Pay close attention to hidden areas such as crevices and other areas that look suspicious. They may be harboring drugs.
This step is essential to avoid any temptations that could cause a relapse.
3. Draw up a recovery plan
Rehab equips your teen with a recovery plan which contains practical steps for him/her to stay on the road to recovery. Please pay close attention to it. Also, please come up with a recovery plan at home. Coming up with a plan involves the two of you. Sit and write down the things that should be done or avoided to support and maintain progressive recovery.
Some families usually opt for a contract with boundaries and rules for their child. It also includes positive reinforcement for good behavior and repercussions for breaking the rules and pushing boundaries.
4. Get counseling for both of you
It needs no rubbing in that road to recovery isn’t rosy. Drug addiction recovery drains not only your child but your mental strength too. Both of you need to cope with this challenging transition period.
For successful recovery, you will need the input of a psychiatrist, addiction counselors, and behavioral therapist. They will direct you on what to expect during the post-rehab phase of recovery, for example, the kind of behavior to expect and how to handle certain situations.
A psychiatrist may help in unearthing the root cause of the problem. Perhaps your child was taking drugs as an escape route from something unpleasant such as anxiety and depression.
5. Learn to detect signs of a relapse
You have been working hard to maintain sobriety, but sometimes relapse is inevitable. If you catch one initially, it will be easier to deal with it yourself before it runs out of hand.
Look out for signs such as sneaking out, reconnection with friends they used to hang out with and take drugs, avoiding therapy appointments, defensive reaction if you talk about drugs and sobriety, and finally, mood swings.
Good social support apart from the family is a crucial constituent of sustainable recovery. They need to be in social groups with other teens with a shared interest in recovery. Most of them attend Narcotics Anonymous(NA) while still in rehab. There are other-step up social support groups, for example, Refuse recovery.
You should help your child find the right social groups but ensure the groups are for people who are either on their way to recovery or are clean. These meetings and locations are often included in the aftercare plan issued when being discharged from rehab.
7. Help your teen establish experiences such as hobbies
Sometimes, teens indulge in drug and substance abuse because they have nothing else to do with their time or are lonely. Counseling should help you in establishing the real culprit, but you should talk to your child.
There must be something that the teen is interested in, such as playing a musical instrument or a particular game. Facilitate them in growing these hobbies. This way, they can channel out spare time and energy.
It wouldn’t hurt too if you showed them your hobby. Bring them along when you do gardening or in your choir practice sessions.
8. Take it a day at a time and reach out whenever you need help
Addiction is a disease. It won’t end overnight. Both of you should learn to take each day as it comes. Deal with the issues that will come up and count your gains and losses when the day is over. Smile. Tomorrow is a new day.
Finally, calling out for help doesn’t mean weakness. The first six months are the hardest, with a very high possibility of relapse. You don’t have to do it single-handedly. Always feel free to enlist the help of experts such as doctors, behavioral therapists, and even psychiatrists whenever you feel the situation is spiraling out of control.