Supporting a Loved One Returning From Addiction Treatment

sister hugging a Loved One Returning From Addiction Treatment

Supporting a Loved One Returning From Addiction Treatment

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: February 29, 2020

A loved one returning from addiction treatment faces a whole new set of challenges. Although it may seem they are done with treatment and maybe ‘fixed’, leaving treatment is just the first leg in an even more difficult journey to recovery. As a friend, family member, or partner, it can be difficult to navigate this part of your loved one’s journey. Through family support for addiction, you can learn how to best help your loved one.

Although the journey can be difficult, there are ways to ease the burden of a loved one returning from addiction treatment and help them to establish new, healthy routines.

Preparing Your Home for a Loved One Returning From Addiction Treatment

Whether your loved one has been through a medical detox center, has been in a residential treatment program, or both, it is likely that they have not lived in a home environment for an extended period of time. The home is the first place many patients will come to upon discharge – and it can be a big trigger. A few simple ways to help create a safe space in the home:

  • Create a warm, welcoming environment. Recovery is a process that can be accompanied by fear, shame, and embarrassment. Making your loved one feel welcome can help negate those natural feelings.
  • Include them. It is very tempting not to want to burden your loved one by creating family plans, trips or outings, but in some cases, these types of activities are exactly what the needs of your loved one. These activities can occupy their time and mental energy and give them a sense of shared belonging and decrease their feelings of isolation.
  • Honor their space. Your loved one needs a space to call their own where they can escape in the face of pressure. It’s important for you to recognize and respect their space and boundaries.
  • Make clear rules and boundaries. A life free of substance use will require a lot of discipline. The best way to start sobriety out on the right foot is to make sure that expectations are clear. This can be done through a family meeting where everyone discusses the expectations openly with one another. Whichever way you decide to do this, the most important thing is that there is a safe space to share and talk through these new boundaries.

Helping Your Loved One With Life Outside of the Home

A loved one who has gone to treatment may be triggered by facing the complications of everyday life and all the responsibilities that come with it. There are some easy steps you can take to help manage this aspect of recovery by:

  • Making sure they stay physically healthy. This can be something such as getting a gym membership together or even something as simple as helping them develop healthy habits and going for walks together.
  • Encouraging them to participate in social activities. Isolation is the worst thing someone in early sobriety can face – help them find hobbies or social activities where they can interact with others – join a sports league or a book club.
  • Ensuring that they make it to their appointment and meetings. These can be easy to miss, especially when your loved one is overwhelmed.
  • Sobriety is not an easy journey, but with a plan in place, you can help your loved one avoid relapse, and ease their way on the road to recovery.

Contact Lakeview Health

Before your loved one returns from addiction treatment, it is essential to have a plan in place. The addiction specialists at Lakeview Health have a long history of helping patients reintegrate healthily into their family, work, and social lives. Contact Lakeview Health today online, or by calling us at 866.704.7692. Help the person you love by calling today.