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The Perils of Teen Relapse After Addiction Treatment

When Teens Relapse After Addiction Treament

Relapse is always dangerous, but especially so for teens.

Teen relapse after addiction treatment is not uncommon. Arming them with tools needed to prevent relapse before it occurs is an important component of treatment. Relapse is always dangerous, especially for teens. The teenage brain is not yet fully developed, and they may not fully understand the perils they may face if they relapse after addiction treatment.

When teens are battling addiction and trying to prevent relapse, they face the ever-growing danger of fatal overdose. There are many reasons why teens, in particular, face dangerous consequences when they relapse. Understanding the risks of teen relapse in addiction may help save lives – so let’s discuss them and dispel some myths.

Teen Relapse After Addiction Treatment: Miscalculating Drug Tolerance

Using one time after a period of sobriety can prove fatal.

Teens notoriously think they are bulletproof. In fact, most addicts and alcoholics believe that they can use drugs and alcohol successfully become denial is part of the disease of addiction.

In teenagers, this misconception is most dangerous, though. Teens in addiction cannot yet think through the potential consequences of relapse like an adult does. As a result, they may not fully understand or believe that their tolerance to a drug changes after not using drugs for a while. This blind spot can lead to fatal overdoses that can occur during relapse.

After a period of sobriety, the body simply cannot tolerate the amount of a narcotic that it could before treatment. It’s a fact that tolerance builds again quickly after relapse. But, if a teen relapses, they may not understand that the quantity of a drug they were able to take before treatment can cause a fatal overdose. Decreased tolerance is especially dangerous in opiate addiction and when a relapse includes an opiate and another illicit substance.

Using drugs ONE TIME after a period of sobriety can and often is fatal because teens miscalculated their tolerance.

Teen Relapse After Addiction Treatment: Facing the Fentanyl Epidemic

Teens buying drugs may not even know they are taking Fentanyl.

America is in crisis. The Fentanyl epidemic has swept the nation and poses a constant, insidious danger to teens.

Teens who relapse can easily buy a narcotic they don’t know is laced with Fentanyl. Drug enforcement agencies across the country are finding Fentanyl in cocaine, pills, meth, and other drugs that are not sold as opiates. Literally, buying any street drug includes the risk of Fentanyl poisoning and overdose.

Please read our blog on the Fentanyl epidemic to learn more. It is critical for teens and their parents to understand the danger that exists when buying illicit drugs.

Teens Relapse After Addiction Treatment: The Risks of Social Media

Criminals are using social media to sell drugs to teens.

Every teen in addiction treatment is taught the importance of making new friends who don’t use drugs. They also learn about the benefits of attending twelve-step meetings. We must also prepare them for dangerous social media messages that entice them to get narcotics delivered to their front door.

Unfortunately, this social media strategy is effective and deadly. The stories of heartbroken parents whose children died after taking one pill sold this way are overwhelming.

Teens in addiction treatment need to know that this seemingly easy way to obtain drugs is tremendously dangerous. It is a relapse they often can’t come back from. Relapse prevention tools can help teens avoid being enticed by narcotics sold over social media.

Preventing Teen Relapse in Addiction

Support and continuing education are vital.

Teen relapse and overdose are preventable. It takes work, education, support, and ongoing treatment. But stories of teens who got sober at 15 and have remained that way long into adulthood abound. There is SO MUCH HOPE.

After being released from a residential treatment facility, like the ones offered at Breakthrough Recovery Outreach, teens need help continuing their journey to long-term recovery.

Teens need to remain active members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The value of going to meetings cannot be overstated. Meetings allow teens to express their desire to use drugs in a safe place where others can help them process their emotions and offer them tools to go one more day without using.

Further, being part of a twelve-step program means being invited to parties where they can learn to have fun sober. Most alcoholics and addicts use substances to feel comfortable in social situations. Going to parties with other people in sobriety teaches them how to enjoy life without using drugs. It is life-changing and part of the recipe for long-term recovery.

Finally, aftercare and continuing education are crucial to preventing relapse. Before leaving residential recovery, teens need an organized aftercare plan. This may mean continuing therapy sessions, aftercare training, and remaining on medication.

Stick to it, stick with it, and the risk of relapse decreases exponentially. Then, the risk of relapse is replaced with hopes and dreams for a bright future – and every teen deserves that.

If You Are Worried about a Teen in the Grips of Addiction, Breakthrough Recovery Outreach Can Help

We have special programs dedicated to helping teens stay sober

Please contact us today if you’re worried about a teen that is struggling with the disease of addiction. We’re passionate about helping teens get their lives back on track!