The teen years are a time when young people are highly vulnerable to the attitudes and opinions of peers. Peer pressure is one of the strongest influences which drive teens to abuse drugs and alcohol. When it is turned into a positive direction, the powerful force may also help young people stay sober. Learn more about the power of teen support groups for recovery.
Fellowship and Recovery
The lifelong journey of recovery starts with just a few steps. A supervised environment inside a rehab facility may be just what is needed to provide resources to help maintain sobriety. Rehab programs for teens should offer referrals to meetings and community groups to provide fellowship. Some of the benefits of a group include:
- Positive reinforcement from other teens who choose a drug-free life
- Guidance from adult counselors or therapists with experience and training in addictions
- Coping strategies to help respond to substance use triggers in healthy ways
- Opportunities to learn about responsibility through group service projects
- Confidence building through leading meetings, organizing groups or acting as a sponsor
Types of Groups
Many types of support groups exist to help teens in recovery. Group meetings are a key component of drug rehabilitation at addiction treatment centers. Families are invited to participate in sessions while others are reserved for teens and one or more adult therapists. The following issues may be discussed inside a group:
- Peer pressure
- Academic performance
- Parental expectations
- Social triggers
- Sexuality and dating
- Facing pressures of adulthood
Many drug programs are 12-step focused, which serve as a guideline for worldwide recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). The following are some principles that people in 12-step programs acknowledge:
- Addiction is a physical and spiritual disease which can be overcome by surrender to a higher power
- Participation in a 12-step group free of charge with anonymous membership
- Members acknowledge mistakes made as a result of addiction and seek to make amends
- Members express gratitude and maintain sobriety by helping people with addiction
Teens find support in myriad groups and different ways, so it is important to find the support mechanism which best helps teens feel connected and empowered to stay sober and clean.
Locating a Support Group
Support groups for teens are available all over the world, including one’s own community. International groups like AA and NA hold meetings in public buildings, churches, community centers and private homes. Online meetings and phone support are also available for teens who cannot interact face-to-face. Treatment programs provide support as part of aftercare services. Teens who graduate from rehab can continue to draw support from the groups after program completion.
The Villa believes teens have the power to transform their lives when supported by family, friends and a network of individuals who understand addiction. If your teen is struggling, we can help. Call us to find out how to get started.