Most parents will agree that nurturing a teen who is not plagued by drug or alcohol addiction is a challenge in and of itself. When addiction is added to the mix, raising a teen can be a trial that taxes even the most committed parent. Fortunately for those parents, counselors and therapists have identified several factors that will contribute to the success of a teen’s recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism. Applying and relying on these factors and techniques can help parents and teens through the inevitable struggles of addiction recovery.
“Teen Addiction Sources”
The first factor is to diagnose and understand the forces that led to a teen’s addiction problems in the first instance. Adolescents and teens wrestle with social and identity issues that would floor many adults, and those issues can lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues. When left untreated, those issues can drive a teen to seek temporary solace from drugs or alcohol. A teen’s defenses and resistance to counseling and therapy will be strong, but parents need to remain equally strong to encourage their teenaged children to stay with individual therapy in order to get a comprehensive diagnosis of any underlying problems. This may require a parent to cast aside judgments and beliefs if, for example, a teen’s psychological struggles are tied to gender or identity issues or if a teen is using abused substances to erase memories of abuse or bullying.
“Initial Rehab Program”
Adults who are motivated to defeat their addictions will generally complete an initial rehab program in 28 days. Because of the unique issues they face and the differences in the developments of their brains and personalities, teens and adolescents may require lengthier programs or more than one stay in a treatment program during the initial portions of their recoveries. Many adolescent-specific addiction programs offer 60- and 90-day treatments that have been shown to be more effective at contributing to the success of a teen’s long-term recovery. These programs are also geared toward beginning the treatment of a teen addict’s underlying psychological issues.
Perhaps the most significant factor that will contribute to a teen’s recovery from substance abuse is the aftercare treatment that he or she receives after completing rehab. Aftercare often involves the participation of a teen’s entire family to provide the support structure and monitoring needed to repel the temptations that a teen will feel to relapse into drug and alcohol use. Family members will have access to their own support groups to share ideas and encouragement, while a recovering teen participates in separate group and individual therapy, including 12-step programs that are geared toward teens. A well-structured aftercare program will also help a recovering teen to develop new interests and outlets to relieve the inevitable boredom that is experienced in recovery.
The ultimate success of a teen’s recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism may depend on other factors that may not be controlled, including his or her race, ethnic, and social background, and financial resources to pay for different programs. Social services and insurance programs are becoming increasingly cognizant of the need to meld these factors with teen addiction recovery programs. Parents who are committed to helping their teens to achieve lifelong sobriety will want to do extensive research to uncover the best rehab programs and aftercare therapy that will assure the success of their teen’s recovery.
Sustain Recovery Services in southern California has multiple resources to help teens and their parents with individualized programs that will increase their chances of a successful recovery 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.