How Do I Support My Teen’s Recovery after Addiction Treatment?

after rehab or after addiction treatment

“So, what’s next?”

Many parents feel ill-prepared when their child has completed inpatient or outpatient drug addiction treatment. They often feel uncertain on what to expect after addiction, and have many questions about how to best support their child’s recovery. Sometimes it can seem that a child will be “fixed” once they complete treatment. In reality, the recovery journey is just beginning.

Continuing Care, a website and guide, gives parents the tools and supports to make their families stronger and deal with the complex and challenging situations during the days, months and years after treatment.

For many teens, addiction is a chronic condition that will require management into adulthood and, for some, throughout life.

Continuing Care is divided into four sections, presented in a Q&A format:

  1. The Meaning of Continuing Care
  2. Ensuring Follow-Through
  3. Reinforcing the Message
  4. Monitoring in a Supportive Way

Within these sections, you’ll find insights on how parents can set realistic expectations for their child’s recovery including how to help them adapt to their new environment in sobriety, how to avoid the people, places and things that can trigger relapse and what to do if relapse occurs.

With good continuing care after addiction that is appropriately adjusted to individual needs, a teen or young adult should be able to manage his or her condition. Your child may initially need your help, but eventually he or she should be able to manage it without you, as he or she matures.

Keep Your Child Healthy Following Treatment

The end of substance use treatment is just the beginning of the road to recovery. Your child will need your help and support to get there.

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11 Responses

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    Chris Winters

    March 14, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Julie, I like the idea to set some realistic expectations when it comes to your child’s addiction recovery. My nephew has had a few issues with substance abuse. I definitely think that he should try to visit a treatment center to help him to recover.

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    Ridley Fitzgerald

    December 1, 2016 at 6:27 PM

    Having a teen who struggles with addiction is hard. I definitely agree that treatment is just the beginning, so it’s good to keep that in mind. I know some friends who have kids like this, and I will show them this.

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    Nash Rich

    March 7, 2016 at 7:21 PM

    I’m not a parent yet, but I’ve had friends that struggled with drug addiction. I can imagine it would be hard for parents, and with the way the world is going, I’ll probably be a parent with a child that struggles with an addiction of some kind. I think it’s good parents have tools they can use to make the family stronger. I think if a family is strong, then the individuals in the family can make it through anything.

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    Cheryl Smith

    January 5, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    I agree that good continuing care is critical in giving support to anyone who has finished addiction treatment. Being a shoulder to lean on is more important than criticizing failures. I also think that showing love will help tremendously. Trying not to judge is difficult, but would really help a teen gain trust and continue down the path of recovery.

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    Liz Armeson

    December 7, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Wow, this was really helpful for me! Getting treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction isn’t easy, by any metric, but it’s so important. It is vital that you make sure your teenager knows that they aren’t going through this alone, and you want them to succeed as much as they do. Just lending a helping hand and being available to talk whenever they need can make a huge difference.

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