While substance rehabilitation centers do their best to prepare patients for stepping back out into the real world, it can be difficult. If you have a loved one coming out of rehab, they will still most likely be quite vulnerable. Support from their friends and family will be very helpful to their recovery.
Support entails providing your encouragement, but there should be healthy boundaries put in place to avoid any enabling.
How You Can Support A Loved One After They Have Returned From Rehab
Having a loved one return from rehab can be a time that is filled with conflicting emotions. You may be happy to have them back but scared of a relapse. What you need to remember is that addiction is never truly ‘cured’ and your loved one will most likely still have a long road ahead of them before things return somewhat back to normal.
The first few weeks back from rehab can be both awkward and confusing for everyone involved. If you are living with a friend or family member that has returned from rehab, it is essential to maintain a regular home routine and provide a home environment that is as stable and safe as possible. Your loved one’s health may have suffered because of their addiction, so it’s essential to eat healthy meals together and take part in ‘normal’ activities such as cooking and cleaning.
It is vital that you do not take on responsibility for their recovery. You need to remember that this is their journey and not yours, and you can only do so much. One of the best things you can do is educate yourself as much as possible about substance abuse, and specifically the type of substance abuse that your loved one suffers from. This will help you understand their state of mind and be able to recognise triggers and influences.
You may want to clear your home of any of these substances before your loved one’s arrival so that there aren’t any temptations within their immediate environment.
It’s important to communicate openly with your loved one. They may have damaged your trust during their addictive spiral, but this is the time to rebuild your relationship with honesty and integrity.
What Does Life After A Substance Rehabilitation Center Look Like?
Things won’t go back to ‘normal’ straight away. Your loved one may still need to attend weekly meetings or be involved in a support group or outpatient program to aid their recovery. Their primary focus needs to be their sobriety and avoiding a relapse. It is very common for family and friends to mistake the self-care of the person returning from rehab as selfishness. But in rehab, they would have been told to focus on themselves initially before they start fixing other parts of their lives. So it’s essential to be patient and not demand too much of them.
Recognising The Signs Of A Relapse
While you should try and show your loved one that you trust them, and not become obsessed with their day to day living, it’s essential to keep an eye out for signs of a relapse. They may start reminiscing about the fun they had during their times of substance abuse and hanging out with those that they used to abuse substances with. You should look out for sudden changes in their behaviour, if they stop going to their support group, become very discouraged with life, and keep secrets from you. This is why an honest and open line of communication is very important.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help!
Living with someone who suffers from a substance abuse disease is definitely not an easy task and you may face many challenges, especially in their first few weeks back from rehab. It is important that you take care of yourself and your own needs, and do not be afraid to ask for professional help or advice if you need it!
If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, feel free to contact our professional team at Hope Again Recovery Centre. We can discuss your situation with you and how we can help. Our team is friendly and understanding. Contact us on: +27 66 307 4952