Top Reasons Why Teens Relapse and How to Prevent It


In recovery, the worst scenario is to watch someone relapse. It can be because of their intense obsession with alcohol and drugs. Relapse is not easy for the sufferer or their family. The important step to combat the triggers and cravings, which accompany after abstaining from alcohol and drugs, is called relapse prevention. Parents need to understand the reasons why teens relapse before they take steps towards relapse prevention.

Teens often undergo the three phases of relapse

  • Physical – Teens are not in the state to recognize the negative results, so they ignore any support and compulsively start increasing their substance abuse dosage.
  • Mental – Teens constantly sustain a negative outlook. They start to idealize their past drug usage and often think of returning to it.
  • Emotional – Teens actively avoid working on coping mechanisms. They distance themselves and hide emotions from others. They even don’t care about themselves.

Take relapses seriously as the risk of overdose often accompanies. When teens abstain from drugs, they start to lose the developed tolerance that they had developed during regular abuse. It means if they relapse and start taking their original dose levels then their body will be unable to deal with it. It can be fatal!

It is common to relapse, so be prepared. As soon as you identify a relapse get your teen to safety. You can choose an inpatient treatment facility. The main aim is to offer the teen a safe place to detox until all the toxic eliminates from the body. The next step will be to include a teen relapse prevention plan.

Post-mortem of the relapse

Before you design a prevention plan to reduce the risk of another relapse identify the reasons that led to a setback.

  • Did she/he fully complete or failed the initial treatment process by skipping therapy or meeting sessions?
  • Did the teen have to undergo a huge life change like eviction, breakup, and loss of a loved one or breakup? This can be the catalyst for relapse.
  • Are there factors like home issues or mental health challenges that may have caused the relapse?
  • Was he/she socializing with new or old friends who were into drug abuse?

Relapse prevention plan

Include the contact information and phone numbers of support groups. Even get to know the details of stress-relief strategies or coping mechanisms. Identify the relapse triggers and get to know ways of avoiding or handling such situations. Make sure to keep this plan handy, so can it be accessed instantly whenever needed.

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