For teens, the process of rehabilitation extends well beyond detoxing or simply just getting clean. Getting your child into teen drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment focus not only on solving the immediate problem, but also on equipping him or her with the skills and tools necessary to get acclimated to a sober lifestyle and stay strong in the face of temptation.
Rehabilitation is not a quick fix; it is part of a long-haul reconditioning plan designed to prevent future relapses. Therefore, support groups serve as a comforting way to share the journey with individuals going through similar circumstances. Together, they can uplift one another in times of struggle or doubt, offer advice and learn from one another’s personal experiences. Your teen will also hear from guest speakers and gain valuable life lessons that will help to reshape his or her life.
When looking for a proper teen support group, keep the following three life skills in mind. Your teen will need them to ensure the future ahead is promising.
1. Daily Living Skills
Teens eventually become adults. The transition leads to greater responsibility and independence—two components that build greater self-confidence and strength. During my time working at an adolescent rehabilitation center, it amazed me how many teenagers walked through our doors who stared at me with a confused blank expression when I told them it was time to do laundry for the week. Most of the kids had never done their own laundry!
Basic laundry instruction should be a regular part of their daily life skills support group. They should learn everything from separating colors, to how much detergent to use, to what all the different settings on the machine mean. Other daily living skills should include basic cooking for one’s self as well as cleaning—how to properly make one’s bed, how to organize one’s personal space and proper sanitation of area’s such as restrooms or kitchens.
Within time, you’ll be astonished by how these simple daily living skills, which are often glossed over, will make your teen feel more in control of his or her life and surroundings. The value these skills hold will help them proceed through life able to handle their own.
2. Professional Skills
Most teens undergoing treatment haven’t the slightest idea how to properly format a resume, let alone describe their skill set in a way that attracts employers. Even if they get traction with their resume, the hardest part of the employment landscape has to be faced: dressing the part and having the communication skills necessary to sell themselves as the right employee. And on the job, they must have the required qualifications to keep it, such as showing up on time, following instructions and bending to authority.
Lack of employment, according to studies, is one of the greatest risk factors to a person’s sobriety. Job training is therefore critical to gaining the job that will empower one to obtain a future career path and remain sober.
3. Decision Making & Goal Setting
Your teenager's time spent in teen support groups should reap real world value. Playing board games like Monopoly fosters financial awareness. They'll learn renting versus owning property, cost of utilities and taxation, but more importantly how to make financial decisions based on one's current budget. Suddenly a board game turns into life application.
But much can also be gained from having structure and setting goals. When entering rehabilitation, your teen will be required to follow a set timeline. This means attending meetings, waking up, doing laundry, showering—all on time. In the real world, especially once these teens have jobs, time management is key and moving up the corporate ladder means using incentives as motivation to get from one platform to another.
A rehabilitation program with a reward system for adhering to the structured setting will make adjusting easier and give your teen goals to work towards. Armed with rewards points, they can choose how they are spent. Perhaps your teen will use 20 points on an hour of video games or save the points for a bigger prize. The point is, once they leave rehabilitation, they should be able to apply these same methods of structure and goal setting in their own life.
While there are many different kinds of support groups for people of different ages, genders, races and struggles, the best support groups will not only provide peer support but also instill skills that will allow your teen to obtain success in all areas of his or her life so that he or she can have the fullest and happiest life imaginable.