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Visiting a Loved One in Rehab: What Helps and What Hurts

a woman supporting her friend

Rehabilitation refers to a medical or psychotherapy treatment for individuals suffering from alcohol addiction, addiction to prescription medicines, or other substances (e.g., heroin, cocaine, or cannabis). The emotional, physical, and mental challenges your loved one will face during this journey are at an all-time high, so finding ways to support and encourage your loved one is critical to their success.

However, your loved one might act like they are well or don’t care about what people say. The reality is different. The rehabilitation process is not easy, and people undergo a lot of pain during this process. 

There is a need to have a sensitive approach towards your loved one going through rehab. Your loved one will require assistance, delivered in the most effective way possible. Therefore, it is essential to understand what helps and hurts your loved one going through rehab. 

What to Avoid Doing When Visiting a Loved One in Treatment?  

During this time, your loved one can become sensitive and even susceptible to negative thoughts, which hinder their ability to maintain sobriety. It is important to avoid doing or saying things that might negatively affect the mental health of your loved one, such as bringing up the past and how they may have hurt themselves or others. 

Here are some examples of what not to do when visiting a loved one in treatment:

 #1. Don’t Talk About Money or the Future

Anything that creates anxiety or depression in the life of people struggling with addiction is dangerous. Therefore, you will want to avoid topics surrounding work, home, or financial responsibilities. Bringing these issues to their attention can overwhelm your loved one and create feelings of hopelessness. 

#2. Don’t Bring Up Any Past Drama

Detoxing and fighting cravings are challenging enough. Adding the stress of past disputes to the mix will not help the situation. The treatment stage is about support, not reprimand. You may discuss these issues when your loved one is stable enough to do so. 

#3. Don’t Say Anything Sarcastic

Rehab is about helping your loved one attain sobriety. During this process, your loved one can become very sensitive to the things people say, especially family or friends. Making fun of them, making light of their addiction, or using sarcastic or crass remarks can deconstruct the healing process.

What to Do When Visiting a Loved One in Treatment?

You can play a significant role in determining the motivation a loved one has during rehab. Lending encouragement and focusing on your loved one’s progress will increase the ability to overcome addiction

Here are some things you can do when visiting a loved one during their time in rehab:

#1. Spend Time With Them

Spending time with a loved one in rehab is a terrific way to help them understand that they have love and support. The time shared with them can ultimately lead to their desire to get on the road to recovery. 

Taking the time to visit them will motivate them to continue working toward recovery and cultivate a positive outlook about their overall experience in rehab. Even something as simple as calling your loved one can create a positive impact on the treatment process.

#2. Praise Them for Their Courage

Affirming a loved one for all their good decisions and dedication gives them the courage to go the extra mile to withdraw from their addiction. On the contrary, failing to show appreciation and support for all their hard work might cause them to lose their motivation. In turn, a lack of support might cause them to fall back to similar habits that support their addiction.

Therefore, appreciation and affirmation are very important for the overall progress of your loved one in treatment.

#3. Communicate Regularly With the Medical Staff

Getting to know the staff at the facility will help support communication and education concerning your loved one and their addiction. It will also help maintain your involvement in the process. Therefore, you can take a more proactive approach when your loved one completes their treatment. 

It is essential when establishing a relationship to make sure to ask any questions you have surrounding their treatment and comfort. You will also benefit from keeping track of their daily schedule, progress, and discharge date.

#4. Talk About Good Memories and an Optimistic Future 

Rehabilitation is a challenging process. Your loved one may struggle and show doubt at times. It is essential to lend comfort and reassurance, and you can accomplish this through having conversations that involve good memories and a positive outlook. Conversations about pursuing a goal such as going back to school or embarking on a new journey can bring a loved one in rehab ease and even enthusiasm. Further, Talking about funny moments and memories promotes happiness and will help your loved one live in a positive state of mind. 

Overcoming addiction requires professional support and family encouragement. Such support works as a combined force to help the treatment process and promote a healthy, drug-free recovery. At Clearfork Academy, we understand that helping a loved one through rehabilitation requires careful attention to ensure that your loved one does not encounter situations that lead to anxiety or anger. We provide therapies and treatments for both families and their loved ones to aid them during rehab. Our primary goal is to help your loved ones establish the foundational elements necessary for managing triggering situations while in recovery. Therefore, it is crucial to treat your loved ones affectionately and acknowledge their progress. Appreciating their efforts will significantly change their approach, outlook, and motivation needed to sustain sobriety. If your family member needs professional assistance during treatment or recovery, then the time to seek help is now. To learn more, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.