It’s a sad fact that many parents across America are faced with their worst fear when they learn that their teenage child has developed a dependency to drugs or alcohol. Addiction doesn’t discriminate and teenagers from all walks of life may fall victim to harmful substances. Fortunately, help is available to your teenager if this occurs. Once you’ve gotten them through a good rehabilitation program, you will want to turn your attention to finding good substance abuse aftercare programs designed specifically for teenagers that will keep them on the right track to achieving a healthy and sober lifestyle.
Substance Abuse Aftercare Aimed at Teenagers
Once your teenager has successfully completed their rehabilitation program, it is essential that they be enrolled in one of the best aftercare programs that will reinforce all of the steps they learned in rehab and continue to be sober. The rehabilitation center that helps your teenager will, likely, be able to refer you to suitable aftercare programs that you can choose from. This may be an inpatient or outpatient program that will provide one-on-one counseling sessions, group therapy with other people their age, behavioral therapy, mental and emotional support, educational support and arrangements for them to attend local meetings specifically for teenagers after they return home from rehab.
Special Considerations for Teenagers
Unlike those in adult substance abuse aftercare programs, your teenager’s brain and body are still developing and can be more adversely affected by substance abuse. Because of this, a teenager entering aftercare will have special attention paid to their physical, mental and emotional development. If it is determined that they are deficient in any of these areas, then a treatment program will be designed for them to catch up to where they should be respective to their particular age.
Education is another special consideration for teenagers attending aftercare programs. If your teenager is in an inpatient treatment program, then they will be tutored each day to keep them up-to-date with their studies, so that they can expect to return to their normal pace at school upon completing rehab. An outpatient program will help you arrange for alternative schooling, if it is determined that it is detrimental to your teenager’s recovery to return to the same school setting.
Because teenagers are at a crucial time in their life when they are developing their own identities within their social setting, it is taken into special consideration in teen aftercare programs. Unfortunately, many teenagers become substance abusers because the people that they consider friends pressured them into using the drugs. It’s important that they learn that those people aren’t the best choice for friends; the aftercare programs should teach them better ways to realize their own identity and how to obtain healthy new relationships with their peers.
How Parents Can Help
Even though the relationship between teenagers and parents can often be strained, you must remember that your role, as a parent, is extremely important if your child is to truly succeed in recovery. Give your teenager unconditional love, at this time more than ever, and make sure that they understand that you believe in them and their ability to stay clean. Parents may also help by introducing new friends to their teenager through church or clubs the teenager may enjoy. Keep no alcohol in the home, keep all prescription drugs locked away safely and even consider moving to a different neighborhood to give your teenager a fresh start.
While it won’t be an easy road to travel, your teenager can return to the wonderful person you know he/she was before the addiction occurred. You can once again see your happy child with a bright future, but it will take a lot of hard work on the part of both the teenager and parents. Support them through the drug rehab treatment as well as while they take part in aftercare programs, this is the best thing you can do for them. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you think your teenager may be in trouble. Getting a good hold on the problem as early as possible will make success a much more accessible goal and your teenager can get back to living the wonderful life he or she was meant to have.