Helping a Family Member through Drug Rehab

Your loved one has finally agreed to go to drug rehab. Maybe you’ve staged an intervention or maybe your family member has agreed to go to drug rehab on their own; however you’ve arrived, your loved one is finally getting the help they need. It is now up to your loved one to do the work to gain sobriety, but you can still be there cheering them along the way. Helping your family member through drug rehab can provide the support and encouragement they need to focus on recovery and gain sobriety.

Helping a Family Member through Drug Rehab: Before

Even if your family member agrees to go to drug rehab it is not uncommon for them to try and back out, especially if you wait too long to send them to rehab. Fear, denial and the strong pull of their addiction can quickly change their mind about what’s best for them. If this happens, don’t accommodate their rationalization about why they don’t need rehab or let them make excuses for putting it off. Have the rehab already set up and travel accommodations made before the intervention so they immediately get into treatment after they agree. Your family member will probably be scared or nervous, so reassure them of your love and support and that you’ll be waiting for them when they return.

Helping a Family Member through Drug Rehab: During

During the first few days or weeks of rehab, you probably won’t be allowed to speak to or contact your family member in any way. This is for their own good and is designed to help them focus on their recovery without the distractions of the outside world and relationships. Once contact is allowed, it’s a good idea to write letters of encouragement and send pictures or comfort items as long as they’re allowed. Keep your letters and phone conversations positive and avoid talking about problems at home. You want your family member to feel supported and loved, not worried about what is waiting for them at home. Even if you miss your family member and it hurts to have them away, avoid saying things that will make them feel guilty or too homesick, which could make them leave treatment early.

Helping a Family Member through Drug Rehab: After

When your family member graduates from drug rehab it is a very exciting time. It is also a very delicate period in which old triggers and cravings can threaten their sobriety. Talk to the counselors at the drug rehab about your family member’s sobriety. If they recommend sober living or another form of aftercare, be supportive and encourage your loved one to go. If your family member comes home immediately after drug rehab, remove any triggers before they return such as alcohol and prescription drugs. You may even have to ask certain friends or family members not to visit. Above all, continue to be supportive of your loved one and listen to them.