Tips for supporting your loved one in rehab

If your loved one is in rehab for alcohol or drug rehabilitation and recovery then you could be forgiven for breathing a metaphorical or actual sigh of relief and thinking that the hard work has now been done.

Sadly, the hard work is just beginning not only for them at this stage in their recovery, positive though going into rehab. Also for you and anyone else who can play a role in supporting them and their lifelong recovery process.

Offering your support to a loved one going through rehab includes many facets and areas where you will need to perform different supporting and supportive roles. You will have to be there for them as they discover or rediscover their real selves and then try to reintegrate back into a normal life. It’s a tricky balance – you want to be there for them 100% but you also need to give them the room and opportunity to make some decisions and figure some things out for themselves.

Week one

The first few days of admission to rehab are often the physically hardest for your loved one. They will primarily be dealing with the physical effects of detoxing from their addiction. And they will have access to the best 24-hour care and support during this time both medically and clinically and depending on their progress, will also begin classes and sessions. Everyone will be having an opportunity to meet with their counselor during this time to develop their own individual treatment and recovery plan that will give them the best chance of success.

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The best thing to do at this initial stage is to give them some space to actively recover and gain strength. You will see the positive changes almost immediately as their physical appearance changes and they begin to eat and exercise again.

While they are going through this stage of their journey, you should make yourself available to talk when they need you to. Even if it’s just to tell them that you love them and you are proud of them and the progress they are making.

Weeks two and three

Eventually they will recover their physical strength and be able to absorb more education, training and counseling within the facility. They will take part in more classes, discussion groups and workshops before transitioning onto longer care programs which support them in the longer term post 28 days and will give them a stronger platform to continue to live in sobriety.

You can support your loved one at this stage of treatment by reinforcing their understanding of the disease of addiction, why they became addicted and who they are as a person. Concentrating on the condition rather than them, it will help increase the process of education, recovery and discovery. You can always watch an inspiring movie before you go to the next rehab session.

As they progress, there will be a strategy drawn up for reintegrating them back into “real life” and regular day to day activities. Here family members will help them by being present, helping them consider future career and life options and helping them back into a safe and comfortable living environment. There are always chances to visit and catch up – you shouldn’t be spending every day at the rehab but you can spend enough so that your presence will become a regular part of their recovery process.

Week four and on

There are many factors that can influence how successful somebody will be in their recovery including the length of their stay but the longer time your loved one has to reengage with themselves, break destructive habits and bad friendships then the better their chance of recovery.

During their long term recovery you can help your loved one to understand their “why” when it comes to addiction which is the core to preventing relapse and sustaining recovery, and we can also advise you on detailed relapse prevention strategies to help you and their loved one in the time you will be spending with them in the future.

The most practical things you can do to help is to take care of all the responsibilities at home. If your loved one knows the pets are being taken care of and the bills are being paid then they can dedicate more of their mental bandwidth to the most important thing – their recovery.

So whether your loved one is drug and alcohol rehab in Surrey, Sunderland or Stornoway, you can give them the best recovery aid you can by just being there.


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