The time has come for your loved one to come home from rehab. This is a time full of excitement and maybe a little bit of nervousness. With a newly sober person who is free from drugs or alcohol, this is going to be a tough transition back into the real world. While our program offers extensive training, and practicing of real world living with this new lifestyle, it is no secret that this person will now be fully responsible for their actions and choices out of the structured norm of rehab.
Unfortunately, relapses usually happen within the first few weeks of leaving rehab. As a family member or friend, there are ways that you can help this transition to ensure your loved one doesn’t relapse after coming home.
In order to help your loved ones adjust, you need to understand what kind of plan their rehab center has set out for them. Typically, before they leave rehab, their counselors will develop this plan to make their transition much easier. It would be helpful for you to fully understand this plan and play a part, maybe even having a plan of your own.
What do you do if you think your loved one has relapsed? How do you keep the lines of communication open?
Stay supportive throughout this entire process. Stay honest and open with your loved and allow them to be honest and open with you.
It is important to note that there are some actions or conversations that would actually be harmful to your loved one as they go through sobriety. Below are 11 things you, your family, and your friends should avoid once your loved one returns.
Avoid making your own recovery plan. As stated above, your recovery plan is just as important as your loved ones, especially if you live with them. Make sure you have realistic goals that pertain to your specific situation. You also need to have consequences in place in case they fail to meet these goals and expectations.
- Put pressure on your loved one. In this difficult time you don’t want to push your loved one over the edge by giving them too much to do or stress about. Give them time and space in order to do what’s necessary to fulfill their plans and goals as a newly sober person.
- Take anything personally. This isn’t about you and in these early stages, family and friends are not the top priority to this person. Meetings or any tasks they are supposed to be doing will take precedence over family functions. It is important to be supportive no matter what they are doing as long as it benefits their recovery.
- Stop communicating. Keep the lines of communication open on both ends of the relationship. Even if the honesty is negative, it is still important. Be aware that they may not even want to talk about it much in beginning. Allow for them to feel comfortable to talk to you.
- Judge. There is no set way on how a recovering addict show ease back into society. You never know how this process will go, so you must be open to the idea of it not going as planned. The important thing is to be there no matter what, especially under difficult circumstances.
- Stop them from making mistakes. They’re going to happen. It is important they even learn from these mistakes. Often when patients hit rock bottom, that is when they start to climb back up the ladder. You can’t save this person, they must decide to save themselves.
- Bring up the past. The past needs to stay in the past. Since completing their program, your loved one has learned to move on and is taking the right steps in order to do so. If you have some built-up resentment, you need to take care of this on your own time.
- Make any assumptions. While some people may want their loved ones involved in their recovery, other’s might not. Make sure you have a conversation about what they do and do not need from you. Either way, be supportive.
- Be scared of sparking a relapse. If they are going to relapse, it isn’t going to be because of anything you said or did. It is on them and it isn’t your fault. All you can do is always be honest with this person because it is for their own good.
- Blame you or anyone else. Addiction is only the fault of the addict. Whether someone may feel responsible or not, there can be no pointing fingers on other people. Your loved one will need to take responsibility of all their actions and if you blame yourself, you are not helping their recovery process.
Hide your love. Always show your love! This person may have lost friends, or even the support of family members, throughout this process. You need to always show them that no matter what you are always here for them. Take an active role in their life, visit them, and keep the lines of communication open. Maybe even bring them gifts for every week or month they are successful in their recovery. No matter what, always show you care.