Rules for Parents of Post-Rehab Teens


When a teenager has a serious addiction to a dangerous substance, he might need inpatient rehabilitation to treat his problem. Eventually, your adolescent will complete the rehabilitation treatment and the time will come to go home. As a parent, you will have rules to follow to help your teen succeed.

Relinquish Responsibility

  • Although you might feel a strong sense of responsibility for your child, it’s important to separate the child from the addiction as much as responsibility, according to the website for the Northbound Academy, a rehab clinic for young adults. It’s futile to try to recover from an addiction for someone else, children included. Resist the urge to assume responsibility for your teen’s addiction and behaviors. Step back and let your teenager navigate the post-rehab battle. It’s important to encourage, but you can’t do it for your teenager.

House Rules

  • Institute house rules with clear consequences once your child returns to the house, advises the Cigna website. House rules might include curfews, school attendance and chores. The concept of “contingent support” often works well with rehabilitated addicts, according to the Choose Help website. When you make a house rule that insists on sobriety, the attached consequence would be a removal of support if the teenager fails to remain sober. This might mean that the teenager can no longer live in your home if he chooses not to maintain sobriety.

Continued Treatment

  • Participate in any continuing family treatment and therapy that's recommended for your family and teenager. This can include family therapy or parental support groups to help you navigate the trials of parenting a child with an addiction. Your child will also have therapy and counseling that should continue, according to the Treatment Solutions website. Help and encourage your child to continue all recommended therapy and counseling after rehab as well.

Monitoring and Supervising

  • As your teenager returns to life on the other side of rehab, monitor and supervise your teen’s conduct to ensure you are aware of any issues. Because relapse is be a constant threat, know the warning signs, advises Dr. Neill Neill, psychologist and author in British Columbia, Canada. The main warning signs of relapse are lying to cover activities and behavior, blaming and adopting the position of a victim, feeling ashamed of current circumstances and feeling unnaturally euphoric. If you see signs of relapse, act swiftly to get your teen additional help.


  • Photo Credit George Doyle/Valueline/Getty Images
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