A Guide to Early Recovery: Why Having a Mentor Prevents Relapse

Early Recovery | Transcend Recovery

Early recovery is fraught with challenges that often seem insurmountable. After all, rebuilding your life takes time, and you can expect to encounter a great deal of stress. Having a mentor gives you an important person that you can turn to when times get tough. As you create your post-treatment recovery plan, use this information to cultivate a relationship with a mentor that helps you avoid relapse in early recovery and beyond.

Understand What a Mentor Does

Mentors play a supporting role to people who are in early recovery, and it is important to realize that a mentor differs from a counselor because they focus more on helping you stay accountable with your sobriety. A mentor is also not the same thing as a friend. While your mentor will celebrate your achievements, they will also offer services such as home inspections and drug testing to help you stay on track with your commitment to sobriety.

Know Where to Find a Mentor

While you were in treatment, you had everyone you needed to help you get better. Now, it is time to begin building a network of support that will help you stay sober for the long-term after early recovery. Mentors are found in sober living communities where they work with members of the group to ensure that everyone stays committed to a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. These mentors can also work with you on an outpatient basis as you make the transition to living independently.

Recognize the Qualities of a Good Mentor

To be effective, it is important for mentors to understand the nature of addiction. In fact, many of the best mentors have struggled with addiction in the past. They undergo specialized training that allows them to coach you on topics such as goal setting, conflict resolution and managing cravings during early recovery. Naturally, you should feel comfortable talking with your mentor, yet they must also have a strong personality that is capable of holding you accountable if you experience a relapse. You will also want to find a mentor who possesses these qualities.

• Friendly demeanor that sets you at ease
• Strong communication skills
• Experienced in working with people in recovery
• Commitment to ongoing training and self-improvement
• Ability to accept people from diverse backgrounds
• Awareness of challenges that occur in early recovery
• A desire to help others meet their goals

Learn How To Cultivate Positive Relationships

For many people coming out of treatment, their contact with a mentor becomes one of their first experiences with developing positive relationships in early recovery. Over time, your mentor will also extend their reach in your life to include members of your treatment team and your family. As they become involved with other people in your life, your mentor can show you how to improve family dynamics, avoid negative influences and renew relationships that were damaged during your time struggling with addiction.

Be Willing to Open Up to Your Mentor

During your time struggling with drugs and alcohol, you may have stopped trusting people in an effort toward self-preservation. However, it is important to find people that you can lean on now as you advance in your sobriety. Make sure that your mentor is someone that you feel comfortable opening up to about the events that occur in your life during early recovery. Keep in mind that they have heard many things before as they worked with others, and telling them the truth is the only way for them to be able to develop an effective plan for helping you rebuild your life. For instance, you can let your mentor know that you are dealing with a family conflict. Once you do, they can then begin to help you find positive coping methods to mend the relationship and avoid falling prey to your cravings during early recovery.

Meet Regularly to Continue Improving Your Life After Early Recovery

A mentor relationship is designed to last as long as you need it. For some, you may only need a mentor during early recovery when you feel the most alone in life. Alternatively, you may find that having a mentor helps you gradually make improvements over the next year, and you rely on their support each step of the way. Your mentor will also work with you to develop a schedule for meetings that works with your lifestyle. For instance, they may meet with you once a week to chart your progress towards finding a job or check on your sobriety.

Moving forward in your life is easier when you have a sober mentoring program available to provide you with support. During the earliest days of recovery, you will naturally need help identifying the next steps you take on your journey to recovery. Whether you are worried about slipping back into old habits or are ready to jumpstart your progress toward improving your life, your mentor is always there to guide you with positive words of encouragement from your Los Angeles IOP treatment to sober living and beyond.


Adolescent Mentoring Can Keep Temptations at Bay

Adolescent Mentoring Can Keep Temptations at Bay | Transcend Recovery Community

During adolescence, teens can be lured into all sorts of unhealthy experiences, including drug use. Although teens might know the risks that come with substance use, sexual activity, and other risky behavior, peer pressure can be a powerful force that leads them to make an unhealthy choice.

Yet, when teens have positive influences in their lives, such as mentors, they are more likely to make choices that mirror the behavior of the healthy adults in their lives. And this is especially true when the relationship between a teen and their mentor is positive, encouraging, and nurturing. In fact, research shows that mentors, no matter what area of life – career, health, school, spirituality – can dramatically improve a teen’s ability to succeed and achieve.

Mentoring is a partnership between two people (i.e., your teen and the mentor). Mentoring provides teens with the opportunity to think about how they are growing, learning, and developing. It gives teens the chance to think about the choices they are making for themselves and reflect upon the consequences of those choices.

Transcend wishes to enrich and protect families from the risks of substance use by supporting not only men and women, but also their teens and young adults. Transcend recognizes that the biggest contributor to the success of mentoring is the relationship between the mentee and the mentor. It is this relationship that helps an at-risk youth have experiences they might not have had before. For instance, a teen is more likely to feel heard, seen, and understood with a mentor in their lives. They might feel safe to discuss their emotions versus push them away through the use of substances.

And it’s not only the high quality relationship that a teen has with a mentor, but Transcend also uses a three prong design, which includes connecting teens to positive resources, creating a family action plan, and keeping teens accountable. This design keeps teens on track and focused on their goals. Here are a few benefits of adolescent mentoring:

  • Increased participation in academics.
  • Better grades.
  • Higher aspirations for the future.
  • Involvement in and care for their community.
  • Improved interpersonal skills.
  • Stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers.
  • More involvement in preparing for college and their future.
  • Avoidance of drugs and alcohol.
  • Enhanced self esteem and self confidence.
  • Healthier lifestyle choices.

Furthermore, research shows when there is a positive relationship in a teen’s life they are more likely to make the changes they want to make. Many teens struggle with the substances and don’t know how to respond to the pressures of their peers. Yet, adolescent mentoring can help strengthen a teen’s self-esteem, empowerment, and confidence.

With the guidance of a Transcend mentor, a teen might find the ability to set clear boundaries among their peers, especially those who are offering them drugs or encouraging them to drink or use drugs.  With a mentor, a teen might have the self-confidence to say no to a friend versus giving into peer pressure. Adolescent mentoring with Transcend Recovery Community can help teens keep temptations of substance use and other risky behavior at bay.


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