Recovery is a constant up and down hill battle. The words you use to a recovering teen addict can have a disastrous impact on their recovery. Your compliments or criticisms can be a source of motivation or discouragement. Statements you consider harmless could influence your recovering teen to do their best or relapse.
Here are some statements that you just shouldn’t say to a recovering teen addict:
“Aren’t you all better now?”
Just like any other deep-rooted disease you can’t just take a few therapy sessions and you are magically cured. Addiction can only be controlled not cured. Recovery is a long process that you may not be able to understand but saying discouraging statements like these make it harder for recovering teen addicts to stay sober. Try being supportive of their constant battle instead of questioning when they will finally get better.
“One drink is fine.”
For teens recovering from addiction one of anything will not be fine. As they say, one is really one more when it comes to drinking for someone who is in recovery for alcohol abuse. It does not take that much to fall off the proverbial wagon so to speak.
“Don’t you get tired of going to all those meetings?”
Sponsored meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are a crucial part of recovery that helps former addicts not to feel alone. It also teaches them how to live without depending on a substance. Attending meetings regularly may be hard but they often become lifelines for some in recovery. Knowing they have people that can relate and share their problems means a lot for someone in recovery and questions like these often give way to allowing negative habits back into an addicts life.
“You’re better now so you should quit therapy.”
Addiction is a tough disease that without professional help whether its in-patient or out-patient is nearly impossible to recover from. Therapy provides teen addicts with a safe and productive way for them to deal with their problems. A therapist helps addicts to understand their addiction, teach them healthy coping skills and how to identify their triggers.
“Don’t worry about doing this because you’re a recovering addict.”
Although you may think sheltering a recovering teen addict from participating in events is helping them you are essentially making them feel worthless and undependable. They may still need help with addiction but treating them as a equal is a great step for moving forward and gaining trust for a recovering teen addict.