5 Things to Do When Your Recovering Teen Comes Home from Addiction Treatment

What a wonderful time it is! Your girl or boy comes home from addiction treatment. It’s easy to think that the storm has passed. That their lives are no longer in danger because of drugs. The turmoil of constantly walking on eggshells is over. Well, sad to say that the struggle has just begun. It’s now time to keep them clean – for good. Here are some things you can do to help your newly-rejuvenated teen stay on the right path after having their addiction treated.

  1. Remove Everything

Remove any paraphernalia, substances and anything that can be considered a “trigger” or reminder. This includes alcohol and locking up your medicine cabinet. Even though you love your teenager, be diligent about searching their room for evidence of use. They may resent this – therefore you must remind them that they want to make sure you stick to the treatment plan and are only helping them.

  1. Establish Continuing Care

A huge part of young adult drug treatment is continual care. Remember: addiction is a chronic disease that will not disappear after a few weeks. It is an ongoing struggle. In this case, continuing care means staying in contact with her/his support staff at the program, forms of outpatient counsel, attending support meetings and groups, and participating with them in recreational activities. The personnel at the drug treatment facility will be able to help you devise an aftercare treatment regime that will work for everyone involved.

  1. Uphill Battle

If someone like Roseanne Barr was in a mental institution—as she admitted on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast—there is no reason for your teenager to feel ashamed. It is pivotal at this point to remind yourself and your loved one that fighting a battle is best taken one day at a time. Quitting anything for good is difficult, no matter what it is. Know that an emotional rollercoaster may be on the horizon.

  1. Get CRAFT

“CRAFT” is short for Community Reinforcement and Family Training, which helps parents become more positively involved in their child’s recovery. Family members are given tools, communication improvement methods, and your child with self-care methods for handling negative emotions.

  1. Set Goals

By far, one of the most crucial things you can help them stay clean, especially if they’re going through oxycodone withdrawal (which is one of the most commonly abused opiates today), is to develop goals for themselves. What is the reason he/she wants to stay clean? Once you’ve reached an answer, question this answer. For example: one answer may be “I want to stay clean because I want to make you happy.” Then we’d question this answer by asking, “Why do you want to make me happy?” This method of constantly questioning answers will quickly separate the wheat from the chaff and may reveal brutal hard truths that must be faced. At the same time, asking questions in this manner sets up goals for what needs to be done.


This is a tremendously difficult time for anyone, regardless of their age. Addiction is a painful demon – and recovery is even more painful. This is because once something is tied up in our system, it is hard to let it go. Above all, one of the best things you can do for your recovering teen is to be patient with them and compassionate about what they’re going through.


  1. It is so important to remember that the healing isn’t over after residential treatment is done! What happens in the home after treatment is just as important or more important than what actually happens at treatment. A supportive but tough love home is key in recovery.

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