“My son came home from rehab. How do I make sure he doesn’t relapse?”

Hi, welcome to Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
at Teen Therapy Center here in Woodland Hills, California. And every Wednesday at noon, we
come to you, joining you on your lunch break to answer your parenting questions. And here is
our parenting question of the day. My son came home this week from residential rehab for drugs.
I wanna make sure he doesn't relapse. How do I help my son stay off drugs and fly right now that
he's home? So, first, I want to acknowledge the pain and frustration and the anxiety that parents
go through when their kids go through addiction. It is heartbreaking to watch your son or daughter
go through this, and my heart goes out to you. And I totally understand this question. This question
has come up before, and it's a very important one. First of all, you say that your son has come
back from rehab. I'm assuming he's a teenager, probably high school. Hopefully your rehab
center that you worked with, worked with you

on developing a safety plan for him. You know, having him transition out of rehab, which is a
safe contained place, coming back home where there may be a lot of triggers. Hopefully you guys
all have a plan for that. If you don't, and you should, but if you don't here's some things to keep
track of, keep in mind. First thing is make sure that he has a supportive environment. Family,
peers, make sure he is in a sober environment, which means that you probably need to make sure
you don't have any substance in your house. No weed, no alcohol, no medications that he can get
to, and you may say, well, you know, his thing was weed, and we drink wine. That's okay. It's easy
to substitute one addiction for another. It's best to just stay sober for everyone. Make sure
that the people he's around are sober, which goes into the next thing, is make sure he's in a sober
community, like, you know, a 12 -step group that meets every day. And yes, every day, especially
in the beginning, the risk of relapse

is so powerful in that first year. So you want to make sure that he is focusing on his rehab, his
recovery every day, and that is a priority. So find teen groups. There are plenty of teen groups
in the Valley, here in San Bernardino Valley, that do, that talk about marijuana abuse, alcohol
abuse, opioid abuse, you know, all these addictions. It's really important. And if you do have,
let's say your son was in opioids, you know, rationalizing that weed is okay, because there's
much more minor thing, it's not going to fly, he's going to get lost in that addiction. So it's
important that you make sure that he is staying clean. And you are there for him, that he has a
sponsor, he has someone to call three in the morning to make sure that he if he's having cravings.
Another thing is the environment, you know, not only in a home, but there are locations. There
are people he used to hang out with or be around that are going to be triggers and we want to make
sure that we put space between him
and those triggers as much as as reasonably possible. And that he's talking about those openly.
You know, you don't want him hanging with the guys who are still smoking weed. You want to make
sure that he's also avoiding places where he used to pick up, wherever his plug used to be. Make
sure you avoid that part of town. If it was a really, you know, if it was the mall, he may want to
avoid that mall for a while until he's stronger in his sobriety. You want to make sure that you're
keeping follow -up appointments with his therapist, his psychiatrist, whatever those, you
know, his medical doctor, those things as well. And also, not only just, let's focus on positives
too. Helping him recognize what he's grateful for, what he is thankful for, what he is hopeful
for, you know, give him a reason to stay sober. If there's a focus on positivity, on things that
he's working towards, he's grateful for, that helps him stay sober. Because that's a reason
to stay sober. You know, when everything is

always negative, it's easy to go, well, forget it. Why should I bother? So I think it's important
to focus on those things as well. And also, lastly, make sure he has healthy habits. Whether
that's more exercise, whether that's a creative hobby, playing guitar, rock climbing, knitting,
you know donating his time to a you know a charity I don't know what that is but make sure it's something
that he finds gratifying and fulfilling in some way and that he can share with others again being
social having an emotional intimacy with others a healthy emotional intimacy will help him
stay off drugs as often drugs and alcohol are substitute for healthy emotional intimacy so
those are things you want to consider obviously there are a lot of that can happen. Make sure
he has a safe place with you, that he can come to you and talk to you, even if he relapses, that you
were a safe place to come to, that you can get him help and support. So that's our question for
today. If you have more questions, you

can always email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com. We'd love to get your questions.
Keep them coming. We'll answer your questions next Wednesday at noon. And again, my name is
Kent Toussaint. I lead two organizations, Teen Therapy Center, and also the non -profit organization,
Child and Teen Counseling, which is a training site for therapists in grad school that offers
low -cost counseling to the community. Thanks again. We'll see you next Wednesday, November
19th at 12 o 'clock. Talk to you then. Bye -bye.

Recovering from addiction can be an incredibly tough road to start down. The support of friends and family is invaluable during this time. This week’s Tips On Teens question comes from a parent wondering how to be the best pillar of support in their child’s recovery:

“My son came home this week from residential rehab for drugs. I want to make sure that he doesn’t relapse. How do I help my son stay off drugs and fly right now that he he’s home?”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com.  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.