When your son or daughter attends treatment for a substance use disorder, among other things, they’ll learn many techniques to maintain abstinence, and to make more pro-healthy choices. While individual therapy and group counseling are well-known techniques used to address substance use, it can be just as important that treatment includes life skills training.
Often in the throes of substance use, young people don’t learn the basic skills to manage life such as how to manage time, interview for a job, manage money, etc. These skills are vital to a healthy and successful life, and can help those in recovery to continue to improve their quality of life once treatment has ended. They are key to good mental and emotional health, physical health, a successful professional and social life and better decision-making.
The skills offered will vary and depend greatly on the type of treatment program and length of treatment. In an outpatient or short-term residential program setting, there may be fewer and less in-depth training opportunities available.However, within long-term programs, in which staff will have more time with patients, life skills might be more expansive. Some programs may even ask participants to complete test(s) so that they can target training to the specific needs of the individual.
Depending upon what was offered during formal treatment, you may find that you will have to help your child learn these skills. In some cases, baby steps and lots of practice are needed, so patience is key. The following skills may benefit your son or daughter as they develop a healthier lifestyle.