5 Things Family Can Do To Help Loved Ones Through Drug Rehab

When your loved one enrolls in drug rehabilitation, whether it’s inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment, it’s likely that your first reaction is relief. Unfortunately, drug rehab is not the end of the game but the first step to a meaningful recovery, i.e., a life without drug abuse and addiction.

Outpatient drug rehab treatment is a top choice for professionals and those with families who simply cannot take time off from work and their responsibilities to check into an inpatient facility. There are a great many benefits to choosing an outpatient treatment program, especially one that provides an outpatient medical detox, but no matter how you do it, detoxing off of a drug addiction can be an emotionally messy business.

Here are a few tips for family members with loved ones in or just home from drug rehab:

* Keep the faith. The road to recovery is a long one and there are bound to be bumps along the way. Just remember the ultimate goal and know that your loved one’s recovery is a personal process and one that you can’t control. Just hope for the best, be supportive and have faith.

* Show up. No need to hibernate or leave your loved one alone to deal with his or her recovery.

* Be patient. No doubt you harbor a few resentments over bad behavior when your loved one was using: missed events, lying, stealing, laziness, and undependability. Now is not the time to air that dirty laundry, at least not right away. Give it time and make sure everyone has their own space.

* Take care of yourself. Oftentimes in a family where one member is an addict, another member may become codependent. If you are codependent, it means that you have lost focus on yourself, making choices according to how they will affect the addict in your life. Now that your loved one is in recovery, you might consider a little recovery of your own. Attend an Al Anon meeting for family of alcoholics and drug addicts or set up a regular time where you go do something for yourself.

* Take care of the rest of your family. Often addiction is a big “attention sucker” stealing the focus from the entire family. Make an effort to pay attention to the details of other family members: attend games, practices, plays. Sit and talk about school and work. Go out to movies or take an afternoon with each one just to make sure that they know that they are just as important as your loved one who is going through recovery.

Wendy Lee Nentwig

By Wendy Lee Nentwig
Guest Contributor
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