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Addiction Information for Young People

Supporting Your Teen in Recovery

​Recovery is a journey filled with challenges. For many teens, recovery means developing a new lifestyle: different friends, different activities, and different attitudes.

This can be scary. You might wonder if your teen will be able to maintain these changes. You might also feel nervous about letting your teen make decisions and trusting him or her to make healthy choices. These are normal feelings.

Most people feel some fear when change happens and aren’t sure what the change will bring. Supporting change in your teen will be challenging at times. Your teen needs your love and support to maintain changes.

The Need to Change

Your teen’s recovery will be a learning process for you and your family. Addiction affects everyone in the family, and everyone has learned some ways to cope with the addiction problem. Change is a process and everyone needs to learn new ways to respond.​

Try to live in the present. It’s normal to treat your teen like you did when he or she was using, forgetting that changes have been made. Set boundaries for how your teen is behaving right now. If a rule is broken, respond to that without bringing up what happened before.

Because the person who is addicted has disappointed you before, you and other family members may need to let go of old grudges. Choose to forgive and start fresh.

Encourage your teen and other family members to go to a support group. Remember, you can give support, but you can’t force recovery. It may be a good idea to get family counselling to help everyone learn new ways to respond.

Current as of: January 3, 2017

Author: Addiction & Mental Health, Alberta Health Services