Teenagers can be difficult to deal with at the best of times – all those hormones mean constant mood changes – but especially when they’re in recovery. If your teen is dealing with a substance abuse problem, you’ve probably noticed that they are quicker to anger. All of those feelings and emotions that they’ve been numbing with drugs or alcohol are still there, and now they have lost their coping mechanism. So what can you do to keep life from being a never-ending battle with your teen?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s 2017 Monitoring the Future survey, drug use among teens is actually down, but it’s still much higher than it should be. 35.8 percent of 12th graders said opioids were easily available. about 1 in 16 high school seniors used marijuana. Past month use of alcohol was reported by 8.0 percent of 8th graders, 19.7 percent of 10th graders, and 33.2 percent of 12th graders. Daily cigarette use was reported by 0.6 percent of 8th graders, 2.2 percent of 10th graders, and 4.2 percent of 12th graders. 3.7 percent of 12th graders had used synthetic drugs, along with 2.0 percent of 8th graders and 2.7 percent among 10th graders.
If your teenager is one the kids using drugs or drinking, and you’ve been lucky enough to get them through treatment, odds are that both of you are still going to have to learn some anger management skills. The first thing you need to do is set rules on behavior, which can vary from one household to another. Maybe you don’t like for anyone to raise their voices, so speaking calmly is one of the rules. On the other hand, maybe you come from a large family that’s always loud, so instead of being quiet the rule is just to avoid any name calling. No matter what, verbal and physical threats should not be tolerated. Set consequences for breaking the rules, and make sure you stick to them.
Be a good role model. Are you in the habit of swearing, slamming cabinet doors, or throwing things when you get angry? You’re going to have to learn how to keep your own anger under wraps to set a good example.
Recognize that sometimes both of you need a time out. If you’re arguing with each other and going around in circles, and no one is any closer to ending the argument, take a step back. Let everyone cool off for a while and try to come back to the discussion calm.
Teach better coping skills. Maybe your teen has a hobby, like music or sports, that they can use to calm down. If you can, it is best for everyone to get a therapist involved. A professional can better teach you how to cope with anger and maybe uncover some of the reasons why your teen is so angry.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504 to get started.