If your teen has recently experienced a relapse, they may be feeling a little lost and confused about what to do next. It’s a natural thing that can happen, and there’s no shame in it. We’ve rounded up several tips your teen can use to help them get back on the road to recovery.
Avoiding things and situations that tempt your teen is key to preventing another relapse. If they’re recovering from alcoholism, they may want to stay clear of any social events where people will be drinking. If they have friends who abuse the drug they’re addicted to, your teen should steer clear of those friends for the time being so your teen won’t feel pressured to use the drug.
Most people relapse because they’ve been triggered by something. Help your teen think back to their relapse and consider why it might have happened. Some people are triggered by crowds and loud noises, while others are triggered by feelings of isolation and loneliness. Other common triggers include feeling overconfident, expecting too much of other people and suffering from depression. If your teen can identify their triggers, they’ll be more likely to avoid future relapses.
Seek Medical Help
It’s crucial to get professional help after a relapse. If your teen is already seeing a doctor, counselor or therapist, make sure to set up an appointment with them right away. If your teen hasn’t received professional help for their addiction yet, they can talk to their family doctor. After consulting with a physician, you can consider treatment options for your teen.
Find a Distraction
Mindless activities, such as doodling, knitting or reading lighthearted books, are good forms of distraction. This will help keep your teen’s mind off their addiction, and prevent future relapses.
Break the Day into Moments
Sometimes, during recovery, even the idea of taking it “one day at a time” can seem too overwhelming. A day can feel like an eternity after recovering from a relapse, so let your teen know that they can take it one hour, one day or one moment at a time.
Open Up to Family for Support
If your teen has recently relapsed, they may be experiencing feelings of embarrassment and shame that could prevent them from opening up to you, other family members as well as friends. However, it’s important for loved ones to know about their relapse so that they can better support your teen in their recovery. Explain to your teen that you’ll always be around to listen to their problems in a non-judgmental environment.
Create a Mantra
Your teen may find a short mantra such as “I can do this,” “I am enough,” “I will feel better” or “this too shall pass” helpful to speak out loud when they’re struggling with negative thoughts and feelings. Even if the mantra seems false at first, the more they repeat those words, the more your teen will come to accept them as truth.
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