So someone you love has been in a drug and alcohol rehab center being treated for drug addiction. It has been difficult both for your loved one, but it has also been extremely hard for you and other family members. Now, it’s finally time for him or her to come home. You and your family have no idea how to act around the person coming out of treatment, or what to say.
Here are some ways you can make the transition easier for your family and help the person returning home after rehab stay clean.
Learn About Recovery and Addiction
The more you know about what your loved one has been going through, the better you will be able to help once he or she returns home. Read about the specific program on the website for their treatment center. Do research into other treatment programs which may be similar. If you think it’s necessary, make contact with your loved one’s rehab center to see if there is anything else you should be doing to prepare. They may not be able to tell you much, but the effort is worth something.
Consider What They’ve Been Through
Your loved one has been making many changes in his or her physical and emotional self. Returning home is going to be yet another big transition. In an effort to be helpful, you could make a schedule of how your household functions. Should your loved one be withdrawn and emotional during the first few days at home from the opiate rehab centers, that is very normal. All your loved one needs is time and space to readjust to life at home without drug use.
Set Up Expectations and Consequences in Advance
It may be useful for you and your loved one to know what is going to be expected of him or her at home. Making a plan for this in advance may save some time later on. It might also be something to discuss in the family counseling options offered at the opiate rehab center in the presence of your loved one’s counselor to help. Expectations will need to be set up about how your loved one is meant to behave when returning home. You will likely want to think about a curfew depending upon the age of the person. You will want to talk about what happens should he or she return to drug use. Setting up things your loved one will be responsible for, ways he or she can help around the house or help with the family will avoid confusion later on. Put everything in writing so you can both look at it should you need a refresher.
Find Some Meetings
If it’s recommended by the treatment center, your loved one may need to spend some time with people who have been through similar issues. This could mean finding a sober support groups, a Narc-Anon meeting site, a volunteer situation, or even some other kinds of activities outside of the house. Any situation where your loved one can be out in the world gaining a better understanding that he or she can be successful and lead a good life without drug addiction is going to be helpful.
Recovering addicts will eventually be in need of something to keep them occupied. Finding a job, even if it isn’t something they want to do forever, is a good start. Finding a job will give your loved one something to be responsible for and people to be accountable to. It will give them a sense of purpose and some independence. Often when returning from rehab, patients find that their families and friends treat them differently. Finding a job in a new environment will give your loved one a whole new set of people who didn’t know him or her before and don’t have any preconceived notions as to what kind of person he or she is.
Always remember that your loved one has a made a lot of changes in the recent past. Facing addiction is a very difficult thing to do emotionally, physically and spiritually. The best thing you and your family can do is be supportive and compassionate, but don’t be a pushover.