A family that has been without their son, daughter, brother, or sister as they underwent drug and alcohol treatment often anxiously awaits their loved one’s homecoming. There is often a sense of comfort and excitement knowing that everyone will be together again. However, family members are also often fearful that their home environment may not be structured enough to prevent continued use and relapse. No matter the family, an adjustment phase always occurs when a teen returns home from treatment and many families work to grapple with their new normal.
Drug Abuse Among Teenagers
A teen returning home may simultaneously feel that nothing and everything has changed. This is especially true if the teen feels like he or she has fallen behind in personal, academic, or athletic goals but is watching siblings excel in their interests. Your loved one is not alone. Drug use amongst teenagers is decreasing, but it still affects and disrupts the lives of thousands of adolescents every year.
What To Do About Changes in the Home
It is important for everyone else in the family to keep living while also acknowledging the challenges your loved one faces. The teen may have strong feelings about changes around the house. For example, if the medicine cabinet has been emptied or the teen’s lock on their bedroom door has been removed, they may respond passionately to these necessary adjustments. Parents can prepare in advance for conversations to address those problems and should always focus on the fact that these adjustments come from a place of concern for the teen.
Steps Towards a Happier Home After Recovery
Families may find themselves walking on eggshells after a teen’s return home from treatment so as not to offend the teen or create a problem. A sibling may not know what topics are safe to bring up, and a parent may not know what questions are okay to ask because so much has led to arguments in the past. Finding that balance and setting expectations and boundaries can be key. Steps like setting a schedule, agreeing that the whole family eats dinner together, and following strict curfews can help bring a sense of community and structure.
Finally, don’t be complacent and don’t ignore the signs. If something seems wrong, it probably is. And if you suspect that your teen is using again, you need to take action as a team.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, call us today at 714-443-8218