Friends show support to each other through thick and thin.
When your loved takes the brave step to participate in life-changing treatment, then make sure she knows you are there for her. You will want to strike a balance, though, because you do not want your loved one to be dependent on you—she needs this time to figure things out and develop her own inner strength. But she should still know that people back home love her.
One way to show your support while your friend is in treatment for her drug or alcohol addiction is to send gifts. Each person is different, but as someone who knows your friend well, you’ll know which gifts to avoid because they might be a trigger for your loved one and which ones can show your love and support.
Here are some suggestions we’ve collected to get your ideas flowing:
Although your loved one will have a daily schedule of education sessions here at Duffy’s, he will also have some time in the schedule to reflect, exercise, read, or socialize. This is an opportunity for your friend to do something he enjoys. So send a gift that will captivate his mind and emotions.
Books and games are always great for distraction, allowing your loved one to enjoy new experiences and worlds. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, and trivia are also a few suggestions. If you decide to send your friend a book, make sure the content is light, even humorous or inspiring. Again, keep in mind what may be triggers for your friend when selecting a book.
Does your friend enjoy exercise as a way to de-stress? Send them a new work out t-shirt, some good running socks, or a new water bottle.
If your friend enjoys drawing, send them a blank drawing pad with some nice graphite or charcoal pencils. A good quality journal also makes a great gift for your friend to write down thoughts, ideas, or struggles. Don’t forget to include a pen that they will like!
Remember that it’s important that your friend feels supported and not alone. A funny card or handwritten note can go a long way. Slip one in your friend’s suitcase or send one as soon as your friend enters treatment, since the beginning of treatment can often be a difficult transition. But don’t stop there. Depending on how long your friend’s treatment is, he will be away from home for a little while and may experience some homesickness or even maybe nervousness about coming home. Help put your loved one at ease by reminding him that someone will be a support for them after treatment.
If you are digitally inclined, a digital picture frame is a great comfort. Ask your friend’s family and close friends for a few photos (be conscious of triggers) and then add them to the digital photo frame. Your friend will be able to see all the people that care about her throughout the day.
Other comforting gift ideas might include a sweatshirt from home or a pair of wool socks can be nice, or a favorite t-shirt that maybe they forgot to pack.
Perhaps the most comforting gift you can give, though, is yourself. At Duffy’s, we regularly provide you with opportunities to visit your loved one–it’s always such a joy to counselors and guests alike when a loved one’s family visits them on Family Days. Take the opportunity to be there for your loved during this time, and be the reminder they need that there is life after rehab.
Your friend really needs support—give her or him a smile right now!