Spring is here, the school year is wrapping up…it’s an exciting time for teenagers! But if you’re in recovery from substance abuse, triggers can pop up much more often. You need to be careful about how you celebrate the end of another school year and the way you spend your summer.
Read these six tips on how to avoid relapsing at the end of the school year into summer while still having fun and hanging out with friends.
Know Your Triggers
Whether your triggers are certain crowds of kids, places teens hang out, or a Saturday night when you know everyone’s out and about, steer clear of them. It’s the easiest way to avoid falling back in with the wrong crowd or caving to a craving to use.
It’s Party Time
Spring fever means you’re anxious for school to be over and summer fun to start. For some, this means parties after prom or road trips and activities during the week. If you’ve been avoiding parties or events where you knew there’d be kids who were abusing drugs or alcohol, keep it up! Don’t be drawn in by thinking you can handle being around kids who are drinking or doing drugs. The temptation is too much for anyone determined to stay sober. It’s not worth the risk.
You’ve managed to deal with peer pressure during the school year, and it hasn’t been easy. Now that school’s almost over, even kids who don’t usually party may give in to the temptation of a “good time.” It’s the end of the school year, so teens tell themselves it’s fine to have a few drinks or get high. They’re going to want you to join in. (Ever notice that kids who use don’t want to do it alone?) You worked too hard during recovery to get sucked back into using because someone else is pressuring you. You can say no. If they keep bugging you, just walk away. It’s not worth your energy, and you don’t need to defend your decision to stay sober.
Plan it Your Way
Instead of sitting at home alone after prom or on summer nights when you know kids are out partying, plan your own celebration. Get friends together for movie night, a cookout, or even host a murder mystery dinner. Just because you’re not using doesn’t mean you have to kiss your social life goodbye. Connect with like-minded friends and focus on having fun. You’ll feel good in the moment and the next day, when you can be proud of your choices instead of waking up regretting a night out with the wrong crowd.
Still Seek Support
You’re taking a break from school, why not take a break from meetings? Because you need them! The end of the school year brings a new set of challenges. Surround yourself with other teens going through the same thing. You don’t have to do it alone.
If you are looking for an outpatient support group for teenagers in recovery, check out Rehab After School, a program designed to help you get through your struggles. We can help you navigate your last few weeks of school so you can stay on the path to sobriety and wellness.