Is Sober Living the Right Choice for My Son?
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The teenage years can easily be considered one of the most tumultuous periods in a person’s lifetime. Change takes place on most every level, with teens experiencing ongoing fluctuations on hormonal, emotional and psychological levels. With the rampant increases in substance abuse rates, it’s no wonder some teens get caught up in drugs and alcohol considering the inner turmoil many of them go through.
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated 1.5 million teens aged 15 to 17 struggled with substance abuse issues in 2009. Even for teens who do get needed rehab treatment help, life after rehab places many of them right back in the thick of things with little to no supports in place.
As boys (and men) in particular tend to gravitate towards drugs more readily, ensuring your son is fully prepared to re-enter everyday life after rehab can help reduce the likelihood of relapse. Sober living programs provide the type of transitional living environment that can best prepare your son for living a drug-free lifestyle in the real world.
Making it through drug rehab is a huge accomplishment for teens and adults alike. While many do reenter normal life after completing rehab, the effects of addiction can last considerably longer than a rehab stay.
For teens, this means maintaining abstinence from drugs (or alcohol) in the face of peer pressures, academic demands, family conflicts and the various environmental cues that trigger old drug-using behaviors. Sober living programs give teens a chance to apply the tools and strategies learned in drug rehab within a supportive environment while gradually taking on the pressures and responsibilities of real life.
Sober living environments work to foster drug-free living environments where teens learn responsibility within a community of like-minded peers. Unlike residential rehab, teens have the freedom to visit with their families, attend school and/or work part-time jobs provided they live and spend their nights at the facility.
These programs follow a strict ‘house rules’ structure wherein teens take on various responsibilities in the home during their stay. In effect, sober living environments help teenage boys develop the types of habits and routines that promote a drug-free lifestyle.
Boys who develop substance abuse problems often have problems dealing with authority and following rules. While teens do benefit from the coping skills learned in rehab, a rebellious attitude can make it all the more difficult for teenage boys to readjust to everyday life.
Within a sober living program, teenage boys learn accountability through daily interactions with staff and peers while maintaining adherence to house rules and requirements.
Sober Living Benefits
The sober living experience provides teens with a firm foundation for long-term abstinence from drugs. Teens not only acquire valuable coping skills but also develop confidence along the way.
According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, benefits gained from sober living include –
- A reduced risk of relapse
- A healthy outlook on life
- Improved attitude
- Improvements in academic performance
Most of all, teens come to realize the importance of a healthy support system as a means for remaining engaged in the recovery process.