Traveling during the summer is often an excellent adventure for families. For many, it is an opportunity to relax and enjoy a break from work and school. But for teens who are trying to remain sober, it can be stressful. According to study results from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), drug abuse amongst teens increases significantly during the summer months. In addition, the study also found that teens’ drug use skyrockets during June and July. Since your teen needs to remain sober, Destinations for Teens offers a virtual intensive outpatient program through its teen treatment centers. Keeping your teen busy during the summer vacation is one of the most remarkable ways to deter them from abusing drugs or alcohol. After all, feeling bored is often one of the most significant reasons teens begin experimenting with drugs or alcohol. A virtual intensive outpatient program will help teens traveling over the summer remain focused on their sobriety while developing memories with their families. Here are some ways to support your teen’s sobriety on a family vacation:
Include Your Teen In the Planning Process
Family travel does not need to be expensive; it just needs to be memorable. Remember that teens love to feel valued. When teens believe they have your attention and you care, they are less likely to be angry or resent your presence–feelings that can lead them to abuse drugs or alcohol. Since teenagers love to be part of the planning process for events, this is an excellent opportunity for them to help you plan a vacation they will love.
Travel and Volunteer
Traveling to help others is a sober activity for teens to help them understand their contributions to society. As a family, you can travel and volunteer building homes, tutoring at a local community center, or serving people in a soup kitchen. These opportunities will allow your family to bond, grow and create new memories that will be part of your teen’s sobriety journey.
Include Adult Sober Activities
Your summer vacation is the best time to build your relationship with your teen in a relaxed setting. Use your vacation as an opportunity to model adults in social settings without the use of substances. Focus on creating family events that do not include alcohol or cigarettes. After all, one of the reasons teens begin smoking and drinking is because of witnessing adult behavior. The best way to help your teen is to show them that you can enjoy yourself with a glass of soda or lemonade. In addition, encourage people that are traveling with you not to abuse substances in the presence of your teen. Yes, for you, a glass of wine might be harmless. But for your teen who is working hard to stay sober, that glass of wine might represent a trigger and tempt them to relapse. If that happens, consider a drug treatment program with many teen-friendly activities, including:
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Outings and day trips
You can also use your vacation as an opportunity to explore alternatives to substance abuse, such as meditation. Teach your teen to practice yoga or walking as a form of destressing. These activities will help them continue to navigate their sobriety successfully.
Stay Sober with Ongoing Teen Treatment at Destinations
Monitoring your teen’s activities is not always easy in the summer. However, a family vacation will provide you with many opportunities to pay attention to their behavior and support your teen’s sobriety. If your teen is struggling with substance abuse, we are available to help. Contact Destinations for Teens at 877.466.0620 to learn about our teen treatment centers.