Many teens in recovery face challenges that are hard to overcome. Such obstacles impede their ability to get through their day-to-day responsibilities. Therefore, support and guidance are necessary for sustaining recovery. At Clearfork Academy, we work to help your teen understand the journey of sobriety. Further, proper coping skills will help teens overcome these obstacles. Let’s look at ways to recognize and help with the challenges teens face in early recovery.
Boredom and Loneliness
Sometimes teenagers on the road to recovery become isolated. They may have to end friendships or take time off from school to attend a treatment center. Such loneliness can lead to a deep sense of boredom and depression that may cause them to relapse. Therefore, support and encouragement are necessary throughout the recovery process, so teens don’t give up when things get tough.
They may even need someone else to help them navigate the struggles of addiction recovery. We suggest they look to supportive family members and other peers in recovery to show more understanding and provide healthy support.
Teenagers Have Different Needs
Like any other young person, recovering teens have different needs, and they most likely can’t return to friends or hangouts related to their former drug use. However, they can benefit from forming new, healthy routines and meaningful activities.
Long-term recovery involves finding a healthy balance of self-care, hobbies and building healthy support networks of family, friends, and peers.
Leaving a Treatment Program
Qualified treatment centers like Clearfork Academy offer participants an intensive, specialized program that helps teenagers overcome substance use and begin their journey to recovery. While many teens leave treatment programs sober, adjusting to their new lifestyle will take time – especially without constant supervision. Therefore, post-treatment involves certain risks because they return to their everyday lives.
Such risks include:
- Depression: They may experience a lack of motivation or need for continuous self-improvement outside of the treatment center. Make sure to find a recovery group to maintain motivation.
- Anxiety: Without the intensive support of inpatient care, they could develop fears and anxiety about staying sober. Please encourage them to continue their growth. Consider helping them draw and work on an action plan to mitigate such fears.
Cravings for Drugs or Alcohol
Many teens experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings in the early stages of their recovery. They may find it increasingly difficult to manage them without proper coping skills.
We suggest these coping skills:
- Attending recovery group meetings and finding a sponsor
- Talking to a friend or family member
- Seeking assistance from a therapist or drug counselor
- Undergoing an outpatient care program
- Joining a class or a sport as a distraction from using substances
End Toxic Friendships
One of the biggest problems that teenagers face is how to handle friends who use drugs. In such friendships, they may feel the pressure to use again, and their shared past of drug use can trigger a relapse. These kinds of friendships put your child’s recovery at risk. We suggest ceasing all contact with such friends. Doing so will prevent them from reliving or rationalizing their former drug use with that friend.
It would be more beneficial to form friendships that support their recovery.
Keeping Drugs and Alcohol in the Home
Without a doubt, keeping drugs and alcohol poses a risk in a teen’s early sobriety. They may become exposed to controlled substances such as prescription drugs and other potentially dangerous substances.
We recommend decreasing their exposure by:
- Locking drugs or alcohol in a secure place and out of their reach.
- Get rid of as many of these substances as possible.
- Not bringing any of them into the house.
- As a parent, consider having drinks only outside of the home.
Teenagers who have recovered from substance use or addiction can often experience significant irritability or emotional distress. Teens must learn to recognize the signs of intense emotions and deal with them appropriately. We recommend teens learn coping skills like meditation, breathing exercises, or talking to a loved one.
When dealing with emotional issues, it can be helpful for teens to use physical activity like long walks or runs to release their emotions. Seeking professional care such as therapy or counseling will also benefit their recovery.
Untreated Mental Health Issues
Research shows that one of the most significant risk factors for relapse is untreated mental health issues. An effective treatment plan can help minimize depression symptoms caused by chemical dependency, trauma, or stress.
Effective treatments include:
- Medication therapy
- Group therapy sessions
- 12-step programs
Teenagers will face many obstacles in their journey of recovery. Some of these obstacles could interfere with recovery and perpetuate stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. At Clearfork Academy, we understand that addiction is a disease that requires accurate information about drug use and specific coping skills to manage life’s challenges. Our goal is to educate both teens and their parents about addiction so they can work together to overcome obstacles using healthy resources. We accomplish this through our family therapy and aftercare programs. At Clearfork Academy, your teenager will have the appropriate resources to achieve sobriety, build healthy relationships and stay involved in healthy activities within the community. Recovery is all about accomplishing goals and building the life you want. If your teen is struggling to manage their addiction, get help today. To find out more about our treatment and programs, reach out to Clearfork Academy and call us at (844) 387-8780.