Renaissance Ranch

Supporting a Loved One Returning Home From Addiction Treatment

May 25, 2024

Having a loved one navigating the trials and tribulations of addiction treatment can be wrought with emotions. Meanwhile, if your loved one is returning home from treatment soon, these emotions may be exacerbated. On the one hand, you may feel extreme peace and comfort since your loved one decided to pursue sobriety and recovery. Yet, you may also feel discouraged and anxious, especially if this is not your loved one’s first time in treatment. In addition to effectively navigating these emotions, learning how to support your loved one as they return home from treatment is essential. 

At Renaissance Ranch, we believe that the family unit plays a critical role not only in an individual’s decision to pursue treatment but also in their ability to maintain healing once they return home. Through our family program and other family resources, we extend a helping hand to family members, ensuring that each member has the knowledge and tools that they need to empower their loved one’s healing and sobriety upon returning home from addiction treatment. By interacting with treatment professionals and strengthening education, you can feel confident in your ability to support your loved one during this challenging process. 

Understanding the Process of Addiction Treatment

From identifying root causes of symptoms to navigating trauma, addressing emotional dysregulation, developing healthy coping skills, and more, your loved one has spent a significant amount of time and energy in addiction treatment. Yet, their transition back to daily life outside of treatment will not come without its own unique challenges. One of the most valuable ways that you can best support them during this time is by working to understand what they just went through, as well as what the journey ahead will look like for them. 

What Did Your Loved One Endure in Addiction Treatment?

Many treatment facilities and programs prioritize regular communication with the family unit to ensure that all members understand what their loved one is going through in addiction treatment. However, some facilities may be completely confidential and leave clients to choose whether or not they will disclose their treatment experience with their loved ones. Regardless of whether or not you know specifics about your loved one’s recovery program, there are still many things you can do to understand the process of addiction treatment in general. 

For example, if your loved one resided at the treatment facility for the duration of their treatment, you can do some research about residential (inpatient) addiction treatment. Both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs share many similarities, yet inpatient treatment programs have their own unique benefits. One benefit is that it separates clients from external triggers, such as familial conflict or drugs and alcohol. In this case, loved ones returning home from an inpatient addiction treatment program may experience intense triggers for relapse when exposed to alcohol and other drugs, especially in early recovery. 

Meanwhile, in general, addiction treatment provides clients with numerous therapeutic opportunities to address the root causes of the addiction at hand. Your loved one likely participated in several evidence-based and holistic treatment modalities, from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), neurofeedback therapy, and 12-Step programming to breathwork, meditation, and more. It may be helpful to learn more about these modalities as your loved one returns home from treatment, as it can help them recognize your interest and dedication to supporting their healing. 

How to Best Support a Loved One’s Transition Home

In addition to becoming educated about the addiction treatment process, you can support your loved one as they transition home from treatment by using it as an opportunity to reflect and implement new and healthier lifestyle changes. Perhaps you use alcohol occasionally, and beer or hard liquor is a staple to keep in the house for social gatherings and for when visitors come over. In consideration of your loved one’s recovery, it may be best to temporarily remove alcohol from the home or take a break from substance use altogether. 

Developing Healthy Communication Strategies

In a similar way, conflict may also be commonplace at home. However, for most people in recovery, unhealthy conflict can increase the risk of relapse. Thus, working with family members to develop healthy communication strategies before a loved one returns home from treatment can help to protect their sobriety and recovery. Some effective communication strategies can include:

  • Active listening
  • Finding compromise
  • Respecting personal space
  • Setting boundaries
  • Managing expectations
  • Limiting enabling behaviors

Having Open and Honest Dialogue

Another way to support a loved one’s transition home from addiction treatment is by having open and honest dialogue with them about what they need during this time. Oftentimes, as loved ones, we can create false narratives and assume what we think our other loved ones need from us. This notion can be challenged by setting expectations and boundaries appropriately when your loved one returns home, once they are ready to acclimate back to life outside of treatment.

Similarly, it is important not to pry your loved one about what they endured in treatment. Creating a safe space for them to be vulnerable will empower them to share their experience on their own terms. 

Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Ranch

At Renaissance Ranch, we understand how overwhelming it can feel to wait for a loved one to return home from treatment as well as know how to best support them once they are home. Fortunately, we work with families to help make this transition as seamless as possible for both the loved one returning home, as well as for their family members supporting them. 

Since recovery is a lifelong journey, the family unit remains a long-term, critical source of support and encouragement. As such, supporting your loved one is something worth celebrating. 

If you have a loved one who is returning home from treatment soon, it can be helpful to learn ways that you can be as supportive as possible during this transition. Removing alcohol and drugs from the home, practicing healthy communication, and reflecting on personal lifestyle choices are all things to consider, as this will ease their transition back to life outside of treatment. Meanwhile, it is important that you also have the support that you need to be there for your loved one throughout their recovery. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer family programs and resources to ensure that all members can develop coping skills for lasting healing. For more information and support, call us at (801) 308-8898.