7 Best Ways to Prepare for Someone Coming Home from Rehab

7 Best Ways to Prepare for Someone Coming Home from Rehab

Preparation helps loved ones support recovering addicts who return home from rehab

When an addict returns home from rehab, her friends and loved ones can play a major role in supporting lasting recovery. Below are seven ways to prepare to provide the best support possible for recovery:

  • Learn about addiction – If you want to help, start by learning about addiction. Some people errantly believe that addiction is a matter of character and self-control, but it is actually a disease of the brain reward system that affects memory, motivation, perception and neural circuitry. Learning about addiction instills compassion and it empowers people to provide more effective help, such as recognizing relapse risks and signs.

  • Sober-proof the home – With the addict’s permission, go through the house and remove any alcohol, drug stashes, delivery devices (e.g., pipes, papers and needles) and other items that might trigger memories of substance use. If other individuals in the house use prescription drugs medically, then secure those drugs in a safe location before the recovering addict arrives.
  • Reduce contact with bad influences – Bad influences can be people, places or situations, and loved ones can help by making such influences less available. While it is impossible to control all social situations, discourage interactions with people who might motivate unhealthy behavior or who might spark negative emotions. Strive to bring positive people, influences and experiences into the recovering addict’s life.
  • Address family issues – Circular causality, per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2004, is a process in which addicts and family members encourage negative behaviors in response to the other person. Loved ones need to address unhealthy behaviors and emotions if they want to promote recovery. Counseling can address dysfunctional family dynamics, frayed emotions and forthcoming shifts in responsibilities. Furthermore, Social Work Today argued in 2010 that an addict’s children sometimes experience posttraumatic stress disorder, but counseling can help.
  • Deal with individual issues – In 2011, the American Society of Addiction Medicine stated that genetics are about 50% responsible for addiction vulnerability, which environmental factors exploit. In light of this, family members and friends should evaluate their personal genetic and environmental risks of addiction, because then they can protect themselves and the returning loved one. Friends and family also need to identify and eliminate any enabling behaviors.
  • Research and plan recovery activities – Working with a rehab center and local resources, research local support groups options, sober activities and aftercare counseling. Before committing to any of them, you should evaluate a few of them firsthand to make informed recommendations. Furthermore, if quality sober activities are limited in your community, then plan your own fun. Recovering addicts are in most every community, and the activities you create will help more than just your loved one.
  • Be a role model – Positive role models influence both recovering addicts and the people in their social circles. Set a positive example on how to handle conflict, anger, stress and emotional issues; encourage exercise, proper eating and other healthy routines that aid recovery. Being a role model can also involve abstinence from drugs on alcohol-associated holidays in which the loved one needs help. Even before the addict returns home, be a positive example and inspire other people to make positive changes as well.

If you have questions about rehab, treatment or interventions, then call our admissions coordinators who are available 24 hours a day to help. They can answer questions, provide information and even check health insurance plans for benefits. Please call our toll-free helpline now.

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