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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Chronic Relapse in Teens

If your teen struggles with substance abuse and has had trouble achieving sobriety on their own, you may get discouraged when you realize there’s no cure for addiction – even at the nation’s most renowned rehab programs. However, with the right tools and therapeutic approaches, your child can learn to manage the symptoms of a substance use disorder and lay the groundwork for lifelong recovery. To protect the progress they’ve made, they must recognize the warning signs of a relapse and take steps to prevent chronic relapse from occurring.

Why Do Relapses Occur?

Addiction is a chronic disease with relapse rates similar to other long-term illnesses such as hypertension and asthma, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. While relapse is a fundamental characteristic of the disease of addiction, don’t lose hope.

First, it’s essential for you and your teen to understand that a relapse does not equal a failure. It’s possible to get back on the right track and make a full recovery after a return to substance abuse. Here are some things you and your young adult child can try.

1. Address Unique Vulnerabilities

Some factors may make a teenager more susceptible to a relapse, including inadequately developed coping skills and a co-occurring mental health condition like depression. While a therapist can teach your teen healthy life skills and suggest drug-free ways to manage mental health challenges, your child needs your unconditional love and support as well.

2. Identify Stressors

Teenagers might also start experimenting with drugs or alcohol because it gives them a sense of control in stressful circumstances. Adolescence can come with uniquely anxiety-inducing factors such as transitioning to a new school, navigating various social cliques and breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Since stress represents a significant relapse trigger, making a list of environmental, situational and social stressors and teaching your teen more productive ways to respond can change negative behavioral patterns.

3. Re-Enroll in a Treatment Program

Sometimes, a relapse is a sign that the initial treatment approach wasn’t 100% successful. Maybe therapy didn’t identify and address the reason your teen started drinking or using in the first place, or perhaps your child struggled to find value or meaning in the program’s structure. In cases like these, re-entering a program tailored to young adults with substance abuse disorders can help.

4. Adopt New Hobbies

Someone who has used intoxicating substances to manage complex emotions like low self-worth may feel purposeless in sobriety. To some extent, routine can bring meaning to early recovery, but your teen will also need sober pastimes that keep them focused on positive progress. Volunteering is one answer to this, but there are many more, depending on your child’s passions and personality.

Learn More About California Young Adult Addiction Treatment

It can be heartbreaking to witness a young person squander their potential on substance abuse, but accredited treatment programs are available to help a chronically relapsing teen get their life back. To learn more about how Hope Academy can break the cycle of substance abuse, contact us today.
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