Maintaining a Sober Summer With Your Teen
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While summer is a fun time full of activities and get-togethers, it can also bring temptations and triggers for teens with a substance use history. But this doesn’t mean your teen must hide all summer and can’t have fun. As a parent or caregiver, you can help your teen have a sober summer by creating safe options to have fun and by supporting them. We will share several ways you can help your teen make this a summer to remember without the influence of dangerous substances.

How to Help Your Teen Have a Sober Summer


Encourage Healthy Activities

The extra time and freedom that summer provides can be dangerous for teens who are trying to remain sober. But you can also use that time to promote healthy activities. Encourage your teen to spend time outside participating in biking, hiking, and swimming activities. This will keep them occupied and allow them to stay healthy, which can prevent relapse.

You can also be an example for your teen by participating in healthy outdoor activities. This can also serve as an opportunity to spend time together and talk. Use this time to your fullest as you help your teen have a sober summer.

Host Sober Summer Events

One way to ensure that your teen is attending a sober summer event is to host one. Allow your teen to have a fun movie night or BBQ at your house. When your teen is home, you can rest easy that there will be no temptations around. Be sure they surround themselves with peers who support their sobriety and will not tempt them to relapse. Many teens make friendships during their treatment programs that last until their program ends. Having these sober friends around can help your teen stay on the right path.

Teach Your Teen Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness can help teens become more aware of their thoughts and feelings, especially if they are feeling tempted to use drugs or alcohol. It helps them learn how to cope with their emotions without turning to substances. Research has shown that mindfulness can help to prevent relapse.[1] You can help your teen practice mindfulness by meditating, learning yoga, or taking a nature walk.


Introduce Them to New Activities

If your teen is tempted to revert to old habits and friends who don’t support their sobriety, introduce them to new activities. Whether it’s a sport, summer theater group, or volunteer opportunity, allow them to choose a new activity that will keep them occupied and introduce them to new people.

Set Boundaries to Maintain A Sober Summer

You need to set boundaries to help your teen have a sober summer. This can include letting you know where they are at all times, setting a curfew, and understanding the consequences they will face if they don’t follow your boundaries.

Provide Support

Some teens will revert to their old habits if they feel they are not getting the support they need. Let them know that you are there if they need to talk to you or if they feel tempted to relapse. Encourage friends and family also to lend their support. Ensure they can access support groups and group therapy sessions if needed. Being around those going through the same thing can help your teen know that they are not alone.

With that support comes the encouragement to stay sober. Remind your teen of all they’ve accomplished on their journey and the importance of staying the course. Sometimes, they need that little voice in their ear to tell them to keep going. With the right support network and encouragement, your teen can enjoy a sober summer and still have fun.

Help Them to Relax

It’s no secret that stress can lead to substance use. To help your teen have a sober summer, make sure they relax. This will not only help their mental health but also lower their risk of relapse. Encourage them to use coping mechanisms they’ve learned, such as:

  • Journaling
  • Creative Therapies
  • Exercise
  • Listening to Music

All of these can help your teen to relax, protect their mental health, and enjoy time with family and friends without using substances.

Be Aware of the Signs of Relapse


If a teen does relapse over the summer, parents need to recognize the signs immediately to help them get back on track. These include:

  • Depression
  • Mood Changes
  • Poor Hygiene
  • Fatigue
  • Isolation

If you notice your teen exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s essential to talk to them right away and seek professional help so that they can get back on track.

Does Your Teen Have a Substance Use Disorder? Let Ember Recovery Help

Ember Recovery is committed to helping teens overcome their substance use disorder and remain sober. This includes an aftercare program that tackles the many issues that can arise once a teen finishes their program and enters the real world. Our team provides realistic coping strategies that teens can use their entire lives. At Ember Recovery, we understand that the road to recovery does not end when teens leave our program. Our continuous care provides them with the support they need to succeed. To learn more about how Ember Recovery can help your teen, reach out today.