When your loved one begins their rehab journey, you may be wondering how you can best support them in their recovery. Whether they are attending inpatient, residential treatment for an extended period of time or an outpatient treatment program, there are many ways you can show them love and care. The rehabilitation and recovery process can present challenges and obstacles for everyone involved. While your loved one is getting the help that they need, here are some ways to advocate for your loved one while they are in treatment:
Become Educated about Addiction
One of the best ways to show your support is by educating yourself about addiction and substance use disorders. A substance use disorder (SUD) is a complex condition in which a person engages in uncontrolled substance use despite negative consequences. Addiction impairs daily functioning to the point where an individual focuses on substance use to the exclusion of all other activities. Substance use disorders involve dependency, a state in which the brain has built a tolerance to the substance and now requires it to function.
Becoming educated not only helps you to be more compassionate towards your loved one; it also can provide you with the necessary coping skills to sort out your own feelings. Addiction can be frustrating, and it can be difficult to learn to trust your loved one again. Remember that your friend or family member needs your support as they begin this new chapter in their life. Their willingness to change is highlighted in the fact that they are in rehab and participating in treatment. It is just as important that you understand their experience in rehab as it is for your loved one to be getting help.
There are many resources available to learn about addiction, including books, websites, podcasts, and even peer-led support groups. The more you learn about addiction, the better you will be able to empathize with your loved one during and after treatment.
Reach Out to Your Loved One
Many treatment programs allow individuals to make and receive phone calls during their stay. One way you can extend your support is by having encouraging phone calls with your loved one. Inpatient treatment facilities can be intimidating. This is especially true in the first few days because they can be lonely. However, just hearing the voice of a friend or family member can motivate a patient in their journey, making a significant difference in their progress. Let your loved one know that you are proud of them for the hard work that they are doing.
Another way to reach out to your loved one during treatment is to send something to them. You may want to send a handwritten letter, card, or other gift. Material items can help your loved one to feel less alone while they are at treatment. If you can send a care package, fill it with items that your loved one will enjoy. Be sure to check with the treatment center to see what you can send and verify if any items go against policy.
Help With Loved One’s Obligations
Residential treatment involves an intense focus on self-reflection and growth, but life outside treatment doesn’t get put on pause. One way to support your loved one is to help them with ongoing obligations that need to be taken care of. You could clean and organize their living space if they allow you, help with childcare or pet care, or mow their lawn and water their plants. If possible, it may be helpful to divide responsibilities amongst other family members and friends who are willing to help out. This can give your loved one some peace of mind and let them stay focused on their treatment.
Seek Out Support For Yourself
Another suggestion on how to support your loved one in rehab is to seek out support for yourself. There are support groups aimed at families and friends of loved ones in rehab, which may be beneficial in many ways. Support groups can help you learn coping skills while making connections with others experiencing similar circumstances.
You can also seek support through the staff at your loved ones’ treatment center. Depending on the center, you may be able to hear about your loved ones’ progress as well as discharge instructions for when they leave a facility. Work with staff at the facility to learn about other things you can do to ensure success for your loved one. If there is a program graduation ceremony, you may want to be present for their important achievement.
While your loved one is in rehab, you may wonder how you can extend your love and support to them during their recovery. Substance use disorders are complex, so educate yourself about addiction and the recovery process. Recovery is not linear, and your loved one is likely to struggle with cravings and triggers throughout their journey. You can also make encouraging phone calls to them to let them know how proud you are of their hard work and dedication. You may want to send a handwritten letter or gift so they know how loved they are. Helping with their responsibilities while they are gone can allow your loved one to focus on their treatment. West Coast Recovery Center works with families to relay necessary information and progress of your loved one. Individualized treatment is used to promote physical and psychological healing. For more information, call us today at (760) 492-6509.