Drug Rehab and Short vs. Long Term Options

Drug rehab for young substance abusers is essential for lasting recovery.  Young people are notorious for acting impulsively and lacking the maturity to stay the course.  Many live for the moment without focusing on the lasting effects of their behaviors.  This is not a behavior unique to young people struggling with drugs and alcohol abuse, but is their common biological characteristic – it’s only natural!

The same way we encourage children who don’t suffer from addiction to “keep practicing your guitar and one day you will be a great musician,” and, “study hard all year and your grades will confirm your hard earned effort,” is the same way we need to encourage our sons and daughters who are addicted.

When attempting to find drug treatment aftercare for their sons, many parents opt for the shorter stay for a few reasons.  They might fall prey to advertisements that tout success for 30, 60 or 90-day programs.  Their decision is possibly based on co-dependency and emotions, not wanting to upset their son, who clearly may not want to go away for an extended period of time.  But educated parents do their research and the research shows that long-term drug aftercare results in long-term recovery.

A longer-term program allows young people to immerse themselves in every aspect of the recovery process.  Anyone wanting to be a musician knows the drill – practice the instrument for a certain amount of hours each day, learn to read music, take composing classes, perform on stage, attend a music academy, work in a music store, etc.  This is a road map to successful living.

Practicing recovery is no different.  The young substance abuser did not get where he or she is overnight and nothing will change overnight either.  Locating a reputable age and gender specific drug aftercare program, temporarily moving away from the using neighborhoods, delving into a 12-step process, finding a sponsor, getting honest with peers, watching hidden behaviors come to the surface, learning how to change those behaviors through new actions, making amends for damage done, being of service to others, all this takes time.  This is no easy task, which is why most people will shy away from it and opt for the easy road or the temporary fix.

However, taking time and being thorough while getting sober is the greatest gift a parent can give their son or daughter and it yields the most glorious results.  Allowing a parent to help them is the most precious gift young people can give themselves and their loved ones and it produces a happy, purpose filled life. Taking the time now means it won’t have to be done later.  It’s a day at a time in recovery and the time is now.

verified by Psychology Today

Last Updated on February 21, 2024


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