Preparing Your Teen Child Before Entering Rehab

Teen drug use has been on the rise in the United States. Do you have a teen child who has been struggling with substance addiction but recently agreed to begin rehab treatment? That is a big step to celebrate! Given how difficult it is to convince a teen child into entering treatment, this means that your intervention is going in the right direction.

However, do you know how to prepare your teen child before entering rehab treatment? This is also an important stage in their journey towards recovery. Treatment is not just about staying at a facility for an extended time. There can be many emotions and expectations involved. The more you prepare them for the experience in the right way, the smoother this phase of recovery can go for your teen child.

Setting Up the Right Expectations

If you ask your teen child how they feel about entering treatment, you might hear about their stress and fear — affirming these emotions to be normal because new and uncertain experiences always make most people stressed and anxious. Allow your child to express these worries. If necessary, direct these questions to a professional interventionist who can guide your child through their concerns.

Getting more informed about the treatment process can help your teen child mentally prepare for the journey ahead. Ask what they feel confused about in terms of what will happen during treatment. Explain that the main focus of rehab treatment is to teach a person how to function without using drugs and alcohol. Emphasize sobriety as a top priority and explain how different staff members are there to help them achieve that goal.

There will be discomfort during the process of rehab treatment. Explain that most people suffer from withdrawal symptoms during detox, and sometimes they will receive close monitoring and medications to help relieve this discomfort. Explain how both one’s body and mind will be cared for after detox, so it is essential to follow the routines of therapy sessions in order to get better psychotherapeutic care.

Ensuring Open Communication

Encourage your teen child to always vocalize their emotions. Explain how therapists and counselors will help people explore themselves to assess what drove them to substance addiction in the past. Emphasize cooperation and honesty as guiding principles because health experts in the rehab center will need to rely on a person’s own honest self-assessment to truly help that person.

As a parent, your open channels of communication with your teen child are very important. Make a deal that both of you will regularly communicate about daily happenings and challenges as well as small victories. Express clearly to your child that nothing is more valuable to you than their happiness after gaining sobriety.

Your Trust and Motivation Go a Long Way

Sometimes, a teenager’s substance addiction may have already disrupted some relationships in the family. This is especially true if deception has occurred during their active addiction. If this is the case, it is crucial to repair these relationships to a certain level of harmony before your teen child leaves for rehab at a residential facility. The trust between parents and their child needs to be rebuilt. Maybe this will be the first time for your child to stay at a place other than home for such a long time. Work out these relational difficulties and give each other trust so that you can both expect a new beginning.

Discuss with a professional interventionist and the rehab treatment center about how often parents can visit. Most of them encourage family members to visit regularly. A teenager in rehab needs all the family support they can get. That is often a primary motivator for young people to go through treatment. 

Both you and your teen child need to be informed that their recovery journey is not over even after rehab is complete. It would help if you came up with another intervention plan against intense cravings and potential relapses following treatment. Meanwhile, your job is to keep motivating your child toward long-term sobriety.

The entire family needs to be educated that substance addiction can become a brain disease with mental health implications. This can help you fight off the residual stigma that society so often attaches to addictive individuals to the extent that it debilitates them. A more constructive way is to view your teen child’s condition as any other kind of disease and offer ongoing support and trust to them. 

If you have an addicted teen child who has agreed to begin rehab treatment, that is undoubtedly a good beginning. However, are you prepared for the challenges ahead? Do you know how to prepare both you and your teenager before this journey, which seems full of uncertainty? Maybe it is time to work with an experienced interventionist. At South Florida Intervention, we have professionally trained interventionists to work with teens and their families. Our recovery coaches can also help both parents and their teen children understand rehab treatment, sobriety, and what it takes to continue sustained recovery. Over the years, we have helped many families to support their loved ones toward long-term sobriety. You will benefit from a range of services we offer, including recovering coaching, parent coaching, sober escort, and detailed case management. We can connect you with trusted health professionals who have plenty of experience in maintaining long-term sobriety. Call us at (202) 390-2273 today for more information.