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When a Loved One Comes Home From Rehab, What Should You Do?

It can be encouraging knowing that your loved one is in a Malibu drug rehab program and getting the support they need for recovery. But once they complete treatment for drug addiction, what happens? It can be exciting yet nerve-wracking knowing that they will be coming home. You may worry about how well they’ll transition and if they’ll relapse, or about what part you’ll play and how you can best support them.

They’ll be shifting from a very structured and supportive environment back to an unpredictable one. Your loved one will spend time in rehab creating a relapse prevention plan, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Here are some ways that you can be supportive in helping them continue their recovery and stay on a positive path:

Give them space. It can be very tempting to hover and watch their every move. After all, if they’re about to make a poor decision, you want to be there to stop them, right? Not necessarily. You can’t force someone to change. You can’t be there to protect them every minute of every day. They have to learn to do this on their own. They might mess up from time to time, but the important part is that they learn from their mistakes.

Your hovering might make them more nervous or anxious and it may also give the impression that you don’t trust them or believe that they have changed their ways. There is a fine line between being supportive and being overbearing.

Don’t rush things. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. Avoid trying to resolve every problem you’ve had the first day. Give your loved one time to adjust and settle in. If they need to go to a meeting every day or twice a day, respect their decision. They know what they need to do. Remember that life won’t go back to exactly how it was before because that wasn’t a lifestyle conducive with recovery. Work through challenges as they arise and avoid drudging up the past. Focus on the here and now.

Respect their privacy. This goes along with giving them space. It’s okay if they want to do things on their own from time to time. You don’t have to be with them all the time. Resist the urge to check their phone or email or follow them when they go out. If they want to talk about recovery, that’s great, you can be willing to listen, but don’t try to force them to discuss things they don’t want to share.

Ask how you can help. Not sure what to do or how to support their recovery? Ask. Your loved one knows what they need and what would be helpful for them. While you don’t want to do things for them that they are capable of doing themselves, they may need time to ease back into assuming more responsibilities. They may need to take it easy to start with as they adjust. Maybe they need you to give them a ride to a meeting, watch their kids for a bit, or try a new class with them. Or perhaps they’re okay for now and don’t need anything but a friend.

Take care of yourself. Their recovery is not your responsibility. They can take care of themselves and make their own decisions. Make sure you are taking care of yourself too. That means getting plenty of rest, eating right, exercising, and going about your own routine. Your life should not be consumed by monitoring their life. That is not healthy for you or them. Have confidence in their ability to change and apply what they learned in rehab. If they need help, trust that they will ask for it and know where to turn.

If you are struggling with the impact of their past drug addiction on your life, you may want to consider therapy or counseling for yourself. There are also support groups specifically for friends and family of those in recovery. Connect with others who understand what you are going through so that you can heal and move forward as well.

Drug rehab can be a big change for everyone, not just the person in treatment. You’ll have to make changes in your own life to support their recovery and relapse prevention as well as your own wellbeing. If family programs or therapy are available, take advantage of these resources. Educate yourself as much as you can and stay active in the recovery process.

Everyone experiences addiction treatment and recovery differently. It can take time to figure out what works best for you and your family. Start the journey by getting your loved one the comprehensive and personalized care they need at Chapters Capistrano. In addition, there is also a family program that you and your loved ones can participate in. Contact Chapters Capistrano at 888-973-0230 for more insight and information about the services we provide and how they can benefit your loved one and family.