Tag Archives: Teen Rehab

Tag Archives: Teen Rehab


Teen boy home from rehabParenting in and of itself can become really challenging during your child’s teenage years, but when our teens come back from rehabilitation, it can feel as though we’re stepping into an entirely new world. We may begin to question whether we’re saying or doing the right things that are beneficial for their recovery; we may become paranoid, worried that we’re going to miss signs of substance abuse and we may not know whether to trust our teens again or to watch their every move. It’s certainly a major change when teens come home from rehabilitation, because they’ve just spent between 1 and 6 months surrounded by structure, sobriety leaders and more. If your teen is about to come home, don’t be worried – there are steps you can take to make this as smooth of a transition as possible.

It’s All About Perception

First and foremost, you need to take a quick inventory of how you’re feeling about everything right now. Have you come to terms with the fact that your teen is recovering from addiction? How do you view relapse? Relapse is a normal part of recovery and, while we should try to reduce the risks of it as much as possible, you don’t want to view your teen’s success in recovery based on whether or not they relapse. In fact, you’ll want to view their recovery as an ongoing process with ups and downs. The sooner you can adopt this perspective, the better.

Secondly, how important do you make your child’s recovery? If you don’t place it as a high priority, your teen will be able to sense that – and it will make it more difficult for them to remain sober without your full support. Greg Williams, 26 years old, shared his story of struggling with marijuana and prescription drug addiction when he was 17 years old. Several years ago, he told Family Circle, a website that covers topics such as teens, health, family, holidays and more, about his experience with addiction recovery and support. He stated,

“…My parents – they did not cause nor could they cure my addiction. However, my success in overcoming it is very much because of them and the support they provided me. They continue to help me make healthy choices, and I owe everything in my life to them.”

Place Your Expectations to the Side

Many parents become ready to emphasize house rules when their teen comes home, but you may want to recognize that recovery maintenance is what’s most important right now. Respect your teen’s return home by encouraging them to practice gratitude, kindness and more – just like you would with a guest staying at your house. This type of encouragement will help ease your teen back at home without overwhelming them. Residential treatment requires a lot of work from teens, and it’s likely that your child may be feeling stressed and/or exhausted. As DrugFree.org notes, encourage your teen to return to work/school at a slower pace if it’s needed; promote healthy activities, such as adequate exercise, healthy food, water and good sleep.

Be Prepared, and Be Resilient

A 2015 study published in the journal Behavioral Science highlighted the many phases that families go through when their teen struggles with addiction: 1) confirming suspicions, 2) struggling to set limits, 3) dealing with consequences of drug use, 4) living with blame and shame, 5) keeping their child safe, 6) giving loss to the child they knew before, 7) living with guilt and 8) choosing self-preservation. Addiction causes a lot of heartache, but you have to remember who and what you’re here for.

Remind yourself of what addiction is capable of and note that your teen may still experience triggers and cravings to use substances. Teens can experience relapse just as quickly as they may recover, but it’s important to remember that they’re all steps taken in their journey to recovery. Discuss consequences with your teen, and make sure they are specific and clear. If your teen nears 18 years of age, be sure to seek additional help beforehand if possible; it can be harder to convince your teen to go back into treatment once they’ve considered themselves an “adult” by legal standards. Mutual boundaries are often a great way to ensure that both you and your teen know what’s expected of them – and if rules are broken, everyone is in agreeance on what will occur.

Don’t Give Up

Whether your teen likes to vocalize it or not, they need your support. They need your unconditional love and patience. They need you to stand up for them, to fight for them, to be a voice of reason. No matter how you’re feeling about what’s going on with your teen, there is rarely a logical reason to give up on them.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

Teenage boys experiencing rehabAccording to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1.3 million U.S. adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 had a substance use disorder (SUD) in 2014. During this transitional period, adolescents are at heightened risk for alcohol and drug use; the teenage brain has not yet fully developed, making it more challenging for them to exert critical thinking skills. If you have a teen who has been struggling with substance abuse, the sooner they seek help, the better. Teens have a high possibility of recovering from substances without taking it into adulthood if they obtain treatment early on; before pursuing treatment, however, you and your teen may be wondering what “teen rehab” truly looks like.

Personal Experiences

1. Admitting the Problem

In 2017, Tonic, a portion of Vice Magazine that covers trending topics on mind, body, healthcare and more, sought to get some information from those who’d attended rehabilitation for substance abuse as teens. Sammy, age 31, expressed that it was hard for them to go through rehab because they kept wanting to “write off” their drinking as part of teen experimentation. They stated,

“I actually struggled for a really long time to admit [I was a person with alcoholism] because I never did my drinking in bars and never got a DUI.”

Since drinking and drug use is often considered a normal part of “teen angst” or adventure, many teens in rehab must acknowledge that their patterns of behavior are not healthy for them.

2. Becoming Part of a New Community

Morgan, 22, explained that she got out of rehabilitation for Xanax, alcohol and opiates a month before her 21st birthday. Despite having gone through a journey to understanding that she did struggle with addiction, she came to know many people throughout treatment that helped her form a sense of community. She even came into contact with an old high school friend who had been practicing sobriety for a few years. She stated,

“A bunch of sober people showed up and I actually had a really nice time.”

As with anyone in recovery, teens will need to find people they can rely on who support their recovery efforts. Going back to the same social groups they abused substances with will only reinforce negative patterns of behavior.

3. Finding Yourself

Many teens become lost during these developmental years, as they’re trying to figure out who they are. They’re more susceptible to follow through with peer pressure because they want to “fit in” and, without having a clear sense of their own values, beliefs and identity, they’re at an increased risk for making impulsive decisions. Jamie, 23, told Tonic that despite her friends believing her weed and alcohol addictions were simply “phases”, she came to realize that it was through rehabilitation that she gained a sense of clarity about who she was. She stated,

“Most of my peers are popping Adderall when midterms and finals roll around. I can become envious at time…But then I think: how awesome that I get to do this sober – it’s all me!”

Components of Rehab

Therapy

Teen rehabilitation is similar to adult rehabilitation in that individual therapy and group therapy is going to be a part of the daily experience. Teens need someone to talk to – someone to learn more about addiction from, someone to share their experiences with and someone to develop healthy ways to work through thoughts and emotions. The Fix highlights many benefits that therapy can bring to our teens:

  • Guidance through a sensitive time
  • Mediation in family work
  • Mental health “tools” and ways of thinking about substances
  • Enhanced learning opportunities

Environment

In residential treatment programs, teens are provided with much more guidance and support than they would receive attending anything else. Here are some specific benefits of residential treatment:

  • An environment with no triggers – teens who are not surrounded by friends they abuse substances with are able to heal much more efficiently than those with constant reminders
  • Families receive a short break – for many families, a break is exactly what’s needed when their teen is in and out of trouble with substances. Family members can take a step back from unpredictability and feel safe in knowing their teen is being well taken care of.
  • Structure – with daily schedules, teens quickly learn to formulate a plan from morning to night. There is little down time for them to think about acquiring substances – and residential treatment will ensure that all their activities planned throughout the day promote their sobriety, healing and recovery.

Support

Teens need as much support as possible, and this accounts for all aspects of their lives. With an entire healthcare team by their side, teens are encouraged to live a life that speaks to their mind, body and spirit. 12-Step models of support provide youth with clinical therapy, educational services and adventure programming – all of which speak to the heart of recovery.

Education is incredibly important for teens during this time, and recovery shouldn’t set them back. ARCH Academy specifically offers a fully accredited private high school with grades 7-12 and includes GED prep, credit recovery options and follow-up placement. Between the love and support provided by staff, to the teachers, to their therapist and their family, teens are set up to succeed.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.


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