Challenges Facing Youth In Recovery
Every year, it seems, the number of young people in recovery rises. The question of why is mostly a mystery. Either addiction is spreading, which would be unfortunate; the stigma behind it is receding, which would be great; or both. Regardless, young recovering addicts require a special kind of support. Depending on their particular stage in life, the experience of youth in recovery is often very different than that of adults or elders.
Attending College While Sober
Most teenagers have a difficult time transitioning to college, but for youth in recovery, it can be really, really difficult to find a group of friends. Drinking and partying are the two main components of college life. Everybody knows it. Those who don’t participate – even if they’re not in recovery – may feel tempted just to fit in. They don’t realize that most colleges are home to lots of fun, sober-minded clubs, organizations, and games because those aren’t in the spotlight.
Today, it’s easier than ever to find support and acceptance on campus, even as a recovering addict. That subset of youth – the sober-minded ones – is growing. Most universities offer sober dormitory housing. Here, sober students are able to meet and unite. (Getting into those dorms is usually pretty easy, but you have to arrange for it months ahead of time, just like with normal dorms.)
The 21st birthday – A Rite of Passage
With all the hype that surrounds this imaginary life milestone, it can feel outright wrong, even while in recovery, to refuse the tradition: go out, get drunk, and have an incredible time doing so. Those who remain true to their recovery goals may feel sad, or even victimized, for not being able to partake in the festivities.
When a 21st birthday is approaching, it’s a good time to remind yourself why you’re going sober in the first place: because life is better this way. It’s more fun this way, if only you embrace it. Plan other kinds of events, with other, sober friends.
If you haven’t established that sort of foundation in your life just yet, keep it simple. Arrange for a close friend or family member to visit you, or plan for a celebration once you’re home. When in recovery, try not to get hung up on big festivities, expensive outings, or the particular day of the month. Appreciate the little things.
One of the most prominent problems for young addicts is the availability of help, or at least the way they perceive it. Most insurance plans cover addiction treatment, and if not, there are other options. Call Blueprints to discuss them: (888) 744-9969