Because teens have unique physiological and psychological needs when dealing with a drug addiction, it is important to help them find assistance that caters to these specific needs. Many teen addiction programs can help a teen develop pro-social tendencies. Pro-social attitudes and behaviors include a willingness to follow rules, a desire and ability to connect authentically with others, and empathy for other people. These behaviors are usually encouraged in three ways.
Teach a Teen Natural and Logical Consequences
Many addiction recovery centers concentrate on teaching youth natural and logical consequences to their behavior. Natural consequences are consequences that occur because of a behavior without outside intervention. For example, a natural consequence might be physical injury if the teen gets in an accident while driving under the influence. A logical consequence is a consequence that is given by an external source, but which is related directly to the teen's behavior. A logical consequence for driving under the influence might be that a license is suspended.
By better understanding natural and logical consequences, a teen can begin to feel more in control of their life and can begin to see the impact of their behavior on their own social life and on those around them. They can also begin to identify illogical consequences given by friends and family members that may have frustrated them and inspired them to use drugs in the past. This way, they can learn to assert themselves positively and avoid illogical consequences.
Help a Teen Identify Reasons They Started Using Substances
Often, teens begin to use drugs due to peer pressure or in order to connect with their peers. Other times, teens begin using drugs because they do not feel connected to their family and feel a desire to escape their home life. Sometimes, they begin using drugs simply out of curiosity.
During treatment, a teen may begin to understand their original social needs. Then, they will be able to learn healthy coping mechanisms to use to form authentic relationships instead of relying on drugs or alcohol to form connections. They may also learn that they have other unmet needs, such as a need for adventure, that they need to fill without using drugs.
Encourage Group Interaction
Group interaction can be encouraged in many ways. Group therapy, group projects and excursions, and volunteering are all ways that rehabilitation centers encourage group interaction. Besides allowing teens to practice making healthy connections, this can also increase a teen's confidence by allowing them to experience having a critical role in a group.
If you are concerned about your teen's anti-social behavior, talk with the professionals at a treatment center like Children's Home of NKY about how they encourage pro-social behavior in their teen patients.