Aftercare for addiction recovery is extremely essential, and it’s importance can’t be overstated. It forms a significant part of a teen’s successful recovery. What is aftercare? It can be defined as the continuing individualized programming that takes place after completion of treatment. The National Institutes of Health published a study on the advances in substance abuse treatment for adolescents, which state that aftercare reduces the probability of relapse and helps teens in recovery continue to build on the motivation for recovery that they gained in treatment.
Aftercare Promotes Healthy Choices
Part of a comprehensive rehab program is one where adolescents learn about addiction and delve into the issues that are beneath their own drug or alcohol misuse. The treatment protocol is designed to help prevent relapse after treatment, and an aftercare program builds on that foundation.
Aftercare programs realize that healthy and productive relationships as well as a healthy lifestyle are an important part of long term recovery and such plans promote that through individualized programming, which can include:
- Individual cognitive behavioral therapy during which the teen continues to work on identifying harmful beliefs and replace them with healthy ones.
- Family therapy to repair damaged relationships and improve communication skills in the house.
- Attending peer support group meetings regularly to foster a sense of community and personal accountability as well as developing healthy relationships with non users.
- Attending events or joining groups that don’t involve drugs or alcohol.
Healthy Relationships in Recovery
Dysfunctional relationships can be a major trigger for relapse. A teen has to develop happy and healthy relationships because that will go a long way towards promoting their long term recovery. The decisions teens make are affected by peer pressure, both good and bad. Positive friendships are important in helping teens get through the ups and downs of adolescence.
Parents can help their teens create a healthy support system by ensuring that they attend support group meetings and therapy sessions. Parents can also provide opportunities for their teen to spend time with non using peers. Of course, the family should engage in therapy together as that can help maintain open and honest lines of communication with the teen and set clear boundaries.
Healthy Lifestyle in Recovery
A constructive aftercare plan should include ongoing counselling for the teen, to promote an overall healthy lifestyle. The teen will learn about the importance of good nutrition and adequate sleep as well good physical and mental health which are essential for staying away from drugs and alcohol. The importance of exercise cannot be overstated. Parents can help their teen find a sport or other physical activities that the teen would enjoy. This will keep the teen active and involved with non using peers, and distracted in a healthy, fun way.
Parents should remember that if the teen is bored or isolated, those feelings can be triggers for relapse. Making sure that their teenager is engaging in enjoyable activities and forming new stable friendships is part of promoting a healthy, long term recovery.
Does your teen need support in recovery? We can help. Call The Villa for more information.