If you’re a parent or guardian of a teen with addiction issues, then you know first-hand how challenging life can be for you, your family, and your child. Thankfully, there are innovations and improved therapies in place that can make your teen’s recovery from addiction a lot easier. With this in mind, here are some sober living tips for teens that can help them live full, happy lives without dependency on life-threatening addictions.
Make Ongoing Therapy Easily Available
Studies show that the few months after getting sober are some of the most trying for teens. The temptation to relapse is very strong, especially as a teen is still learning to cope with living life sober. Therefore, it’s important to have ongoing therapy available to your teen. Make therapists and counselors easily accessible by setting up online therapy for teens. In this way, teens can pop on their phones or laptop and speak to mental health care specialists if they feel the need. Continued therapy that is responsive and quickly accessible has proven to keep teens on the right track to avoid the risk of relapse during their journey of staying sober.
Establish a Supportive Community
When helping your teen adapt to sober living, it’s crucial to have a supportive community in place. Alert friends and family about the situation, and make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of supporting your teen for sober success. Recruit help from support group members and keep their contact information handy in case you need extra help. Of course, you and your teen’s therapist should always be an integral part of your support group. The more caring and loving people you have that are rallying for your teen’s long-term sober goals – the more promising your teen’s future will be in living a sober life.
For those seeking a sober lifestyle, attending church and participating in youth activities can be a great way to build community and find support. Youth group games can be a fun and engaging way to distract from any cravings or struggles, while also providing an opportunity to meet new people and discover new aspects of life. Explore fun youth group games here to find games that are age-appropriate, enjoyable, and suit the interests of the participants. Being part of a community, particularly one that encourages positive values and behaviors, can help individuals in recovery stay focused on their goals and find a sense of purpose and belonging. Whether it’s through church or other youth organizations, participating in group activities can be an important part of a sober living journey.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Any kind of addiction can wreak havoc on a teen’s mind and body. Between increased depression to the risk of malnutrition, substance abuse can deplete a child’s body of the energy and nutrients it needs to fully develop. Therefore, consider implementing a healthy diet to support your teen in sober living. Eating healthy is a simple, natural way you can help your teen recover from addiction as well as help them stay sober. You should also think about establishing a regular exercise routine, which is proven to stave off depression and encourage sober living. Encouraging your teen to stay fit and healthy is an effective way to keep your teen uplifted and away from addiction triggers.
Have a Backup Plan
No parent wants to think about their child reverting back to devastating addictive behaviors. However, relapse is a reality in most individuals with addictive disorders. While it might seem counterintuitive to prepare for the worst and expect the best – having a backup plan in case a relapse happens can be a lifesaver in terms of reestablishing balance after a slip-up. Draw up a firm plan of steps to take in case your teen regresses in recovery. Consider including your teen when you make this backup plan, so he or she knows what to do before, during, and after a potential relapse.
Accentuate the Positives
When a teen is adjusting to sober living, it can be very difficult. There are a lot of emotions to manage, there’s peer pressure to contend with, and a whole slew of other details that can negatively impact a teen’s long-term sobriety. With this in mind, make every effort to highlight the positive aspects of your teen’s commitment to being sober. Point out how not using has improved his or her life in truly positive ways. This action reinforces the benefits of staying sober while simultaneously encouraging your teen to stay away from addictive substances.
In conclusion, we know that adolescent substance abuse isn’t something most parents want to deal with. However, it’s a reality in many families today and a subject that must be faced with stalwart honesty, understanding, and compassion. We hope that by following these sober living tips for teens, you can help your teen successfully achieve long-term recovery. Ultimately, the more involved you are with your teen’s recovery, the more assurances you both have for improved health, enriched lives, and bright futures.