After completing treatment for addiction and your loved one comes back home, do you know what you need to do to support them? Most people are uneasy when a loved one returns home from rehab because they don’t know what to do to support them and help them remain sober. Loved ones are afraid they will do or say something to make their family member want to use again. Make sure you continue communicating with them about everything. It’s okay to tell them that you don’t know what you need to do to help them. They don’t expect you to know everything you should and shouldn’t do. This is a new experience for you all, and they probably don’t know exactly what to do either when first transitioning back into society and their day to day life.
Remember that Recovery is an Ongoing Process
The first thing you need to remember is that recovery is an ongoing process. Just because your loved one has left the rehab facility does not mean that they are now “cured” of their addiction. Educate yourself about addiction and your loved one’s
addiction in particular if you can. Some people think that once an addict has been through a treatment program for addiction,
they won’t have any more problems when returning to their everyday life. That is far from the case. Going through a treatment program or rehab does not make the cravings for their drug of choice automatically go away. Everyone wishes it were that simple. The truth of the matter is that your loved one will have to work to stay sober the rest of their life. That’s just the way it works. It is one day at a time!
After Completing Treatment for Addiction
Once your loved one returns home after completing their treatment for addiction, there are activities which you can do with them that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. You can go to movies together, exercise together, and attend other events or activities in your community which aren’t associated with alcohol. Introduce your loved one to new friends or go to places where you both can meet new people who do not use alcohol or drugs. Your loved one cannot go back to hanging out with their previous friends who do drugs or drink alcohol. They may think that they will have the willpower to avoid temptation when they are doing substances, but they do not need to put themselves in that position, especially when first returning home.
Be available to have conversations with your loved one. Everyone needs a friend or loved one who they can confide in. Your loved one will have concerns, fears, and doubts about being able to remain sober. Make sure you are available to them when they need to discuss issues which concern them. Make time for them in every way possible so they have no doubt about your concern and caring for them. If they have times when they are craving their substance of choice or are in an environment where they are uncomfortable about being able to abstain, let them know they can call you for help.
Remember It’s Your Loved One’s Journey
In the end, it is your loved one’s journey in recovery after completing treatment for addiction. You cannot smother them and you cannot watch them every minute. You have to allow them the freedom to make this journey, with your support of course. Remember, there is always the chance of a “slip” or a relapse in all addiction recovery. If your loved one slips and does drugs or drinks alcohol one time, this is not the same as a relapse. A relapse is when they go back to their old habits of using drugs or abusing alcohol.
Either way, let them know that you love them and will support them as long as you know they are trying to overcome their addiction. If they have to start over with rehab, support them as they go through their treatment program and be there for them
as they continue on their venture to recover from addiction.