01 Sep What Not to Do When a Loved One Comes Home from Rehab
Don’t Pressure Them
The first couple of months after rehab will be the hardest. Pressuring your loved one to do things that they are not quite comfortable doing, too fast and too soon, is not conducive to helping them recover. Give your loved one time and be patient. This is one of the best ways that you can show that you care.
Don’t Shy Away from Clear Communication
Being honest with your loved one is crucial to helping them to become drug and alcohol free. Admitting to not knowing exactly what they are going through or feeling is better than not saying anything at all. Tell them that you are there to support them and that you want to help. This will remind them that you are trying to help them recover.
Don’t Be Judgmental
The recovery process is different for everyone. Some people make progress quickly, while others take longer to adjust back to their lives pre-addiction. Do not judge your loved one if they relapse. This can be detrimental to them and hinder their overall progression. Instead, encourage them. Show them the positives that you can see in them, regardless of whether they are progressing or not, and remind them of the improvements that they are making. Constant reassurance that they are improving goes a long way with a recovering addict.
Don’t Withhold Love and Unconditional Support
Life after rehab can be a very lonely one for many people. The support that was easily available during rehab is no longer as accessible. This is a crucial point where you will need to show your loved one unconditional love and support. Remind them that you are there. Take up hobbies together, exercise together, and spend quality time with your loved one. These are all small things that will remind them that they are not alone on this recovery journey.
Lee Williams, LCSW, SUDC is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Substance Use Disorder Counselor. He graduated from the University of Utah with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with Certification in Criminology and Corrections. He is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. His professional experience in the field of addiction has been centered on mental health and forensic social work. Lee has actively worked in a 12-step approach to the treatment of substance use disorder for over a decade. In addition to his love for working in the field of addiction, Lee’s greatest joys are in his experiences as a husband and father.