How to Help Someone After Rehab

Addiction recovery is a long-term process and rehabilitation at an inpatient treatment centre such as the Riverside Clinic is often just the first step of a long journey back to being clean and sober.

One of the most difficult parts of addiction treatment is returning home after a recovery program. It can be very challenging adjusting from the structured environment of the rehab centre and making the shift back into everyday life.

Family members can play a large part in helping the individual to stay sober and keep away from drugs and alcohol. A supportive environment is key to preventing a relapse and family and friends must do all they can to provide support and encouragement

If your loved one is coming home from drug rehab soon, there are a number of things you can do to make the transition easier for them.

Providing a Supportive Home Environment

Living at home is very different from being in the rehab centre for an addict. While you may not be able to provide 24/7 health care and therapy for your loved one when they return home, you can still make the environment conducive to recovery.

  • Remove any alcohol, drugs, or paraphernalia– it’s very important to provide a drug-free environment to reduce temptation.
  • Provide a good example – attend a support group for families and friends, don’t drink or use drugs, eat well, and exercise regularly. This will encourage your family member to do the same.
  • Encourage your family member to join you in healthy activities – exercise, meditation, arts and crafts, gardening, and cooking are all activities you can do together to keep busy.
  • Stay calm and detached – it’s natural to feel angry when caring for an addict but don’t show this anger towards your loved one. Be positive and remember, while you can provide support, it’s up to them to stay sober.

Remember to Seek Support Yourself

Caring for an addict can be stressful. Remember to look after yourself and indulge in some self-care treats such as a nice bubble bath or professional massage every once in a while.

Attending family support groups with other friends and family members can also be very useful for helping you work through your feelings and understand how you can support your loved one.

Family therapy can also be very beneficial to attend together. This not only helps to reduce the chance that the addicted person relapses but can also help you to cope with your emotions and learn what you can do to make your loved one’s life easier while in recovery.

Don’t Judge or Be Controlling

It can be tempting for family to put their foot down when their loved ones come home from rehab and follow their every movement to make sure they’re not slipping up.

This is not helpful for those who’ve struggled with addiction and you need to step back and let the individual work towards recovery in their own time.

There are always ups and downs in the recovery process and there are bound to be setbacks. Do your best not to judge in the event of a slip-up and instead to provide unconditional love and support.

It’s very important to be open and honest when recovering from addiction. If your family member is too afraid of the consequences if they tell you about their struggles, it could lead to a relapse.

Encourage open communication and don’t dwell on the past – this is a chance for a fresh start for both of you.