How to Help a Loved One After Drug Rehab
When a loved one goes to drug rehab, you may not be sure how to help him or her. Even after the person successfully completes the treatment program, you still may not know. What can you do?
Here Are 5 Things You Must Do:
1. Speak to a professional.
Call the drug rehab that you’re loved one is about to leave. Some facilities have a staff member who can guide you through the process of caring for your loved one post-rehab. This person can give you advice and answer your questions. Hold onto his or her name and phone number.
Keep in mind that recovery is different for everyone, and your loved one may hit an obstacle that you weren’t expecting. Don’t beat yourself up over not knowing what to do. Give your contact person a call—that is what they’re there for.
2. Ask questions.
To know what your loved one needs from you, ask. Also, what does he or she need from people that the two of you know? What can friends or family members do to be there for him or her? You may find that you’re able to help by facilitating the communication of needs to these people.
3. Listen. Just listen.
Sometimes, people just want to be heard. Listen to the person’s problems and thoughts about recovery or the future. He or she wants to know that someone cares. Besides, talking to someone releases stress and makes people better able to face their issues.
4. Encourage continuation of therapy.
The fight isn’t over when people walk out of drug rehab. Continuing with therapy is essential to recovery. The recovering addict should be seeing a therapist or attending AA meetings or other support groups. It’s best that he or she follows through for at least one year.
Stay aware of appointment or meeting times so that you can remind your loved one. You can also offer to take him or her to therapy.
5. Observe behavior.
Watch for lying, which the person probably did when using. If you see this behavior again, don’t ignore it. Other indications of relapse include blaming others, fatigue and depression. Of course these aren’t foolproof signs, but it’s important to know what to be watching for after drug rehab.
Your loved one has a better chance at recovery if he or she has the support of friends and family. So the best thing you can do is be there for him or her after drug rehab. Know what to expect, ask questions, be a shoulder to lean on, encourage post-rehab therapy and recognize the warning signs of relapse should they appear. After drug rehab is the time when your loved one needs you the most.
Lakeview Health offers alumni support to those who complete our drug rehab program. Our alumni program offers educational programs, social events and a newsletter to help keep you informed and connected to Lakeview Health.