Being a teenager is hard, no matter who you are or where you’re from being a teenager is an interesting difficult time. Countless movies have been made about high school and college and the awkwardness that comes with those years of life. Think back to when you were that age, all you wanted to do was fit in, have friends and have fun. Remember the power of peer pressure? The power it had to make you do things you thought you may have never done, we are products of our environment and at that age, we so easily influenced by our surroundings. Teenagers will experiment with drugs and alcohol, peer pressure plays a part in this. Some teenagers that experiment will never do it again or just use those things on occasion. While others can become addicted and everything in their life will change.
The time spent in high school and those early years of college are some of the most important in one’s life. If you are a friend or family member of a teenager in recovery there are a few things you will be able to do to help your loved one avoid a relapse. There is temptation all over the place at that age, helping your loved one get through early recovery and helping them stay positive will help them avoid relapse.
When a loved one is in recovery from drugs or alcohol it is very helpful when that person has support from family and friends. When that loved one is a teenager that support is, even more, important. If you are the friend or family member of a newly sober teenager then your support can be the difference between them staying clean/sober or them relapsing. During teenage years most teens don’t want anything to do with their parents, this can make being a parent in this situation very difficult. You don’t want to smother them, you need to let them grow. Offer your support; don’t force it on them, teenagers like to rebel. Tell them that you will give them a ride to a recovery program, let them know that you are there if they need to talk, you can help them find a job or find a new hobby. As a parent, you will want to keep a close eye on your son/daughter, but don’t make it too obvious. You probably know them better than anyone else, if you feel something is wrong to express your concerns.
As a friend of a teenager in recovery, your role is to be exactly that, a friend. Don’t treat your friend differently now that they don’t use drugs or alcohol. It’s probably a good idea to not use those things in front of them while they are in early recovery. What they need most is friends, they need to feel like they are not an outcast or a black sheep. They need to have fun, go bowling, go to the movies, go for a walk, watch TV, play video games, talk to each other about life, laugh; just enjoy life with them. Your friendship maybe the most important thing in their life.
Alanon and Alateen is a great tool to have as a loved one of a teen in recovery. These are recovery groups made for family members and friends of recovering addicts and alcoholics. Alanon and Alateen groups are held throughout the United States. It is held very similar to how an A.A or N.A is, except instead of the group being made up of addicts/alcoholics it is comprised of their loved ones. You will be able to build your own support group and learn more about addiction.
There is an amazing amount of support groups on social media, from Facebook to addiction blogs. You are not alone in this situation, these groups will help give you hints on how you can help your loved one. You can share your story with others, talk about how their addiction has affected you and your family. Hopefully, you will build friendships this way and use those friendships to help your teenager build a support group.
Most teenagers will deny using and abusing drugs, so sometimes an intervention is a necessary part of their recovery process. Contact Intervention Services now at 1-877-478-4621 to start the process of getting help for you, your family and your loved one. You don’t need to wait for things to get worse. An intervention can stop the pain and chaos and help bring peace of mind to you and your family.