When a loved one makes the decision to find help for a drug or alcohol addiction, friends and family breathe a sigh of relief. Better times are on the horizon and they can get their old friend back. But with this rejoicing also comes a concern: What should we do when our loved one comes home from drug rehab?
Treatment is just the first step. Families must be prepared for what happens after therapy. In a best-case situation, you and your family never lost contact with your loved one during inpatient addiction rehab. Some rehab centers offer programs that allow you the opportunity to visit and be a part of your loved one’s recovery process. Other times, you must wait until your loved one is discharged.
In either scenario, families must know they are a part of a long-term process—there is help you can give even after your loved one is discharged. Here are four things that you can do to help the recovery process of a newly discharged loved one.
1. Be Supportive
The most important thing you can do when your loved one comes home from a addiction rehab treatment center is to be supportive. This is the first time that your loved one is leaving the safety and comfort of an inpatient treatment center and is entering back into the world where temptations are abundant. It’s not going to be easy. But knowing there is a support system at home is a powerful asset to a recovering addict.
Being supportive is vague and somewhat confusing to friends and family since they don’t really know what their loved one has just gone through. A very simple and effective tactic to being supportive is to simply ask what your loved one needs from you.
2. Set Expectations
Letting a loved one know that you are there to be supportive is a great first step to the assimilation process after drug and alcohol rehab. The next conversation is to set expectations. Outline what your expectations are for your loved one’s return as well as allow him or her to express any expectations he or she may have for you. An example might be to not allow alcohol into your home under any circumstances.
Setting expectations can be tricky, since expectations can lead to failure and disappointment. Make sure that the both of you are setting reasonable expectations. Write these down and place them somewhere familiar to help you both remember them.
3. Establish Boundaries
Rehab treatment can stir up a lot of old memories and emotions. During recovery, your loved one is experiencing a great deal of change in a very brief amount of time. That’s a lot to handle. After rehab, be sure to set boundaries between you two to make sure that both parties are comfortable.
Having support is wonderful to a recovering addict, but they must also adjust and enjoy their new life. Friends and family must understand that their loved one can fend for themselves. They don’t need you to help them with everything. If there was a very codependent relationship during the addiction phase, it’s important to everyone that they learn how to function on a daily basis, void of the damaging behavior. It can be just as difficult for families to back off, so boundaries must be set.
4. Follow Through with Consequences
Expectations and boundaries are helpful, but there should also be consequences if your expectations and boundaries are not being met. This is important. Families often do not follow through with enforcing their own rules, which only enables your recovering loved one, rendering all the previous discussions useless. Be sure to clearly establish what the consequences will be if the rules are not followed. Do not hesitate to enforce these consequences when necessary. It’s going to be difficult, but so will a relapse and another stint in drug rehab. Be firm, and be fair.
Communication and execution is key when your loved one is released from a drug or alcohol addiction treatment center. Believe it or not, you’re crucial to the recovery process. Take this responsibility seriously and follow our four steps to increase the likelihood that this is the last rehab program your loved one experiences.
If you or someone you know needs another chance at addiction recover, perhaps the Non 12-Step Rehab program here at Prominence Treatment Center is the right place to start. Give us a call at.