You’ve researched and selected the rehab center that you feel will best suit your loved one. They decided to go through with the treatment process. Now what? It’s easy to fall back into old habits and start using again once the treatment program is over.
Recovering from addiction takes time. The best thing you can do is stay by their side while in treatment and continue to support them when they graduate from rehab. Set expectations for yourself and your loved one so that you don’t burn out and become resentful of the situation.
Here are fourteen tips, mainly based on The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s advice, to support your loved one’s recovery post-rehab and stay sober after rehab:
Be patient with them as they navigate life after rehab. While some people find it easy to adjust to life outside of rehab, others may struggle with it. Remember that each step forward is progress, and be patient as your love progresses, no matter what happens during this period. Don’t take negative actions or words personally during this time because your loved one isn’t reacting to you — they’re responding to all these changes. So give yourself some slack, and practice patience as your loved one treks through the path of recovery, especially in the beginning.
Learn About Addiction and Recovery
To best support your loved ones in their recovery, we recommend studying the realities of addiction and the recovery process. This will give you an insight into their world. Thus, you will better understand SUD symptoms and your loved ones’ daily experiences with recovering.
Ask Them About Their Needs
Individuals in recovery share different needs. Therefore, we recommend asking them about their needs and expectations for their lives post-drug rehab. For example, you may find that they need a listening ear or some financial assistance to get back on their feet. This allows them to feel heard while also giving you an idea of their struggles.
Avoid Enabling Behavior
Some may find it tempting to go the extra mile to ‘help’ their loved one. Yet, we suggest using discernment in such matters. Watch for enabling behaviors because such actions will not help your loved one recover and may even make matters worse. Thus, if they ask for assistance in completing a high-risk activity for their recovery, you don’t have to support it.
Seek Support for Yourself
Consider finding healthy ways to deal with your feelings about your loved one’s SUD recovery. Supporting a loved one in recovery often takes a considerable chunk of our energy and well-being. Consider attending a support group, such as Al-Anon, where you can connect with others supporting someone with SUD. In addition, you may want to seek out therapy, especially family therapy, or join a support group for families of SUD patients.
Remember, addiction is a family disease, affecting everyone involved with the person who has SUD. Learning how it affects you can help you better understand your loved one’s condition and how to support them in recovery.
You may not always understand how your loved one feels or how they are coping with life after rehab, but being supportive can make a significant difference in their recovery process. Offer your love and support whenever you can, and encourage them to seek out counseling if they need additional guidance or help with any problems they encounter during their recovery process.
Do Not Judge
A big part of the recovery process comes from letting go of any shame or guilt associated with past actions. Thus, create a judgment-free zone that encourages support and compassion. If you need to vent, consider seeking an outlet for yourself.
Celebrate the Successes and Small Victories
As your loved one continues on their journey through recovery, take the time to celebrate with them. Every step toward sobriety calls for a celebration. By recognizing these milestones, you show your love and support. You can start with commemorating their graduation from rehab.
Have a Relapse Prevention Plan
If your loved one relapses, be ready. Have a relapse-prevention plan that you can put into action. That might include calling their sponsor, going to a recovery meeting, or meeting with a therapist.
Help Them Seek out Support Systems
Some rehab centers offer alumni programs where former participants can meet regularly and support each other’s sobriety goals. If your rehabilitation center doesn’t provide this program, consider them joining an outside recovery group like Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery. Again, peer support will significantly increase their likelihood of long-term recovery.
Help Them Avoid High-risk Situations
High-risk situations leave them vulnerable to relapse. High-risk situations may include:
- Being around people who currently use drugs or alcohol.
- Constant isolation from friends and family.
- Going to bars, parties, or other places where drugs and alcohol are available.
- Spending time with old friends that have not taken responsibility for their SUD recovery or have not been supportive of your loved ones’ recovery
When setting boundaries, think about what is best for your and your loved one’s long-term recovery. Think about what situations may be high-risk for your loved one’s SUD recovery or well-being. Avoid these as much as possible. For instance, if you do not want them to invite friends who use or drink over, let them know about this boundary before the event. This will help prevent conflict later on down the road.
Talk to Them about Maximizing Their Aftercare Program
An aftercare plan helps people stay accountable in recovery to prevent a relapse. Aftercare may include therapy, group meetings, or medical treatment plans. Help them understand the value of continuing such programs even if they have completed an inpatient program.
The best chance that a loved one can have for long-term health and wellness will come through intervention and treatment. Yet, the transition from a drug rehab center to everyday life can be one of the most difficult challenges for a person in recovery. Nonetheless, the right treatment center will provide them with the tools and foundation to succeed. If you wish to help a loved one recover from drug addiction, you can take some steps to provide more support and aid in their recovery. At Restoration Recovery Center, we offer a range of treatment options to individuals who are struggling with addiction. We provide many counseling and drug detox options for individualized care. This facility is dedicated to helping every individual, regardless of undergoing rehab for themselves or a loved one. We encourage those concerned about the welfare of their loved ones to call (888) 290-0925 today.