After rehab, what comes next? Staying substance free after a history of abuse can be incredibly challenging. Your teen might lose focus and relapse into old habits. Here are eight ways you can help your teen stay clean and sober.
Stay in a Sober Living Home
Image Credit: Matt Jones
As part of their transition after recovery, your teen might stay in a sober living home, where they can have the support of other people who are also overcoming addiction. These houses are designed to reduce temptation and prevent your teen from suffering a relapse.
Go Cold Turkey
A common way to stay sober is by abstaining completely from substances. It can be risky if your teen convinces him or herself that they know their limit and can moderate their drug or alcohol intake. Instead, you can help by ensuring that there aren’t any addictive substances in the house and advising friends and family to keep an eye on your teen so they’ll avoid temptation.
Engage in Physical Activity
Image Credit: Dave Meier
Taking care of the body puts the mind in the right state to focus on sobriety. Exercise can chemically boost your mood through the release of endorphins. When your teen’s feeling good, they’ll have more willpower to fight their addiction. You can encourage them to take part in team sports or set up a schedule to go for a weekly run or swim.
Focus on Hobbies
Boredom is another factor that can lead to a relapse. Taking up an engaging but cathartic hobby like drawing, knitting or playing an instrument can help to distract your teen from their troubles. Even more, they might feel motivated to set goals in improving their skills for a certain hobby. For example, they may want to become a better guitar player, so by setting the goal of learning three new songs in a month, they’ll become productive and focused.
Image Credit: Carissa Gan
Maintaining a healthy diet is important during recovery, even though it can be tempting to indulge in replacement cravings. The substances that your teen was abusing could have had a negative physical impact, but eating regular nutritious meals can help repair the damage.
Find Positive Influences
Your teen should avoid social situations where there will be drugs or alcohol. If they go back to hanging out with friends who are using addictive substances, they may feel pressured to join. Being isolated isn’t ideal either, though. Encourage your teen to work on maintaining healthy relationships with people who support their sobriety. They’ll have someone they can turn to, whether it’s you or a close friend, who can talk them through the temptation.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Image Credit: Matthew Kane
Stress can cause your teen to seek out substances for relief. Relaxation techniques like doing yoga, performing meditation, or even just chilling out with their favorite music can help them mitigate anxiety and reduce cravings.
Overcoming an addiction can take its toll on a person’s self-esteem. Doing good deeds is a great way for your teen to help others and learn to be proud of their accomplishments. Recommend that your teen volunteer for a local charity or perform small acts of kindness, like holding the door for someone else.
Staying sober is physically and emotionally challenging. But there are many effective coping strategies that they can use to stay sober. If your child is struggling with their recovery, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Feature Image: Ben White