Drugs have a significant detrimental impact on ability to learn and retain information. With the adolescent brain still in development repeated drug use may have long term serious effects. — Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D., LPCS
If there is anyone who can help a teen recovering from drug addiction, it is undoubtedly his or her family. A recovering teen needs guidance and, at the same time, a fresh start in life. Relapses in drug addiction are normal at the earlier stages of recovery, but this does not mean that a full recovery is far from happening.
Below are the most important ways of keeping your child’s chances of relapsing at the minimum.
Make Your Home Safe And Friendly
Your child is recovering and still at his most vulnerable stage. Remove anything in the house that would remind him of such a low phase of his life. If you have any displays or ornaments of wine bottles, take these out from his sight. Better yet, take them all out of the house.
Create Family Moments
The purest and most natural form of bonding is eating a meal together with the whole family. Planning a family bonding does not have to be expensive. You can have a picnic or a mini-vacation somewhere to forget the stressful parts of your life. Your child will feel better knowing that everything, including his relationship with you, will eventually get back to normal.
Do Not Exclude Your Child From Social Events
The most difficult challenge that your child will experience after recovering is finding a new set of peers again. More often than not, peers or friends of people suffering from drug addiction are also drug addicts themselves.
Do not leave your child behind. Keep involving him on every family plan. Treat your kid like a normal member of the family. Do not make him feel like he is a burden or someone who needs delicate treatment because of his addiction.
Help Your Child Find A New Hobby
Usually, what triggers relapse is boredom. If your kid does not find any new stuff to dwell on, then the chances are that he will go back to substance abuse. As a parent, you may suggest new things that he can try as a hobby to distract his relapse thoughts. Do this without any hint of compulsion.
Depending on the substance being abused, you may begin to notice marked hyperactivity or extreme happiness followed by a “crash” where the mood becomes just the opposite. The individual may appear very lethargic or more irritable than usual. Thinking and behaviors may become irrational and unpredictable. —
Be Knowledgeable About Your Child’s Condition
Continue finding support from professionals. Your constant communication with your kid’s doctor will help in mitigating all the chances of relapse. Parents must know the warning signs of addiction relapse and all the possible ways to avoid this from happening.
Get Help From Peers
Ask the help of parents who are also dealing with recovering teenagers; don’t be shy. Let them offer pieces of advice to you. Parents need help not only in making their children better but also in keeping themselves healthy amidst the situation of their family.
If parents succeed in maintaining an affectionate relationship with their teen – which can certainly be challenging at times – then they probably do not need to worry so much that their kid will develop troubling drug habits. — Nigel Barber Ph.D.
While events of relapse are normal, especially in the early stage of recovery, these episodes shouldn’t be that frequent. Aside from the above tips, parents are encouraged to maintain strong family relations with the rest of the family. The most important thing to note when it comes to recovery is that family is the most reliable foundation that anyone can have. So, you must be there for your child no matter what.