Preparing for your Loved One to Return from Treatment
Your loved one has decided to enter into recovery by going into treatment, either by choice or by intervention. They took the first step and entered into a residential treatment program. Now it is time for them to return from treatment and the feelings of hope and joy are turning into fear and anxiety. A lot has changed during their treatment, and there is always genuine concern regarding trust and the commitment to change. The loved one has started a healing process but your hurt and pain still feels fresh.
You have shown care, concern and have supported your loved one as best as you can. It is important to remember that rehab is only the start of the process. More work and effort will be required to overcome their addiction, as a result- clear communication and boundaries will be needed to ensure that it does not feel like you are walking around on eggshells, fearful of what is to come next.
The first step in getting ready, is making sure the home is a clean and safe space. Remove all alcohol. Check for hidden paraphernalia, drugs, alcohol and prescription medication. You might be surprised at what you find and where you find things. The house needs to a safe space for your loved one when they return from treatment.
Clear and open communication is very important. Don’t be afraid of being honest and direct with your loved ones. Talk about their potential struggles, triggers, fears, relapse and goals. Make it clear that you are no longer willing to support their addiction but you will support their recovery. Set clear expectations and boundaries, let them know exactly what you require from them. You will need to discuss honesty and more specific requirements, such as curfews, drug testing, how their finances are handled and even what happens if there is a relapse.
Discuss their discharge plan with both your loved one and their counsellor. On leaving treatment your loved one will be given a plan to maintain their recovery, this will include support meetings in your area, possible contacts to help them integrate into the recovery community, suggestions for structure and routine. Try to gain an understanding of what will be required to maintain recovery. The recovery process can be confusing and having a better understanding allows you to be able to support your loved one better. It also gives you an idea as to when they are slacking and not doing all that is required of them.
Don’t forget about your own healing. Addiction can be very destructive and taxing on the addict and the people closest to them. Just because they have gone into treatment does not mean your hurt and pain go away. You are also in a healing process. Seek out therapy or look for support groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.
Remember, entering a treatment program and returning from treatment, are merely the first steps. This is a difficult transition period, it requires the practice of love, compassion, patience and tolerance. You are both actively trying to heal the wounds of addiction. The reality is that this will take longer than the length of the average treatment program.
Stories of Recovery
- The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.Oliver VGRead more
- On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.Johan BRead more
- I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!Carla SRead more
- "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."Angelique JRead more