Bringing your loved one home after rehab is a bit like bringing home your newborn baby from the hospital—you’re making sure the room is just right, you’re getting congratulations from friends, and you’re preparing for a completely different schedule.
Here are some steps you should take to help your loved one integrat back into life without substance abuse:
Develop an Exit Plan With the Counselor and Your Loved One
At Duffy’s, family members have an opportunity to meet with their loved one and their loved one’s counselor to help determine key exit plan strategies. Key educational topics you will want to explore with your loved one and her counselor include
- Accountability: Identify a method (time/place/person) for keeping your loved one accountability. Perhaps this will be a sponsor.
- Triggers: Identify scenarios and attitudes that might trigger both mental and physical relapse responses.
- Coping Mechanisms: Identify which activities, hobbies, interests, and types of conversations can help refocus your loved one on victory.
Don’t forget the practical either
- Housing: Where will your loved one live? Is a sober living home a viable option?
- Job: How will your loved one earn an income? Is returning to a previous job a possibility?
- Legal: Is your loved one currently in any legal trouble? DUI? How will this affect the move back home?
- Relationships: Is your loved one currently seeing someone or really desperate to start dating? It is usually not healthy for those in early recovery to enter a dating relationship.
- Education or Hobbies: What new pursuit can your loved one pursue—a degree? Some new hobby? Adding something new and exciting to the schedule can help break old habits.
Shower Your Loved One With Love and Respect
Sometimes it is easy to assume that your loved one is “all fixed” now that he or she is home from rehab. But recovery is a lifelong process. For you and them.
Don’t stop encouraging them—shower them with love and respect. They just gave up time in their lives at your request. They have to face their friends and admit they went to rehab.They risked losing their jobs to fix their lives.
Initially babies don’t sleep through the night or walk, but slowly, that all changes. They become stronger and can walk on their own.
And given time and the right support, your loved one can too experience a new life in recovery.