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Post-Rehab Anxiety: When Your Loved One Returns from Rehab

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Post-Rehab Anxiety: When Your Loved One Returns from Rehab

post-rehabThere can be a lot of post-rehab anxiety in the household as you prepare your loved one to return home. You don’t want to say the wrong thing, or talk about triggering topics… so, what can you do to help reduce stress? Your loved one might be thinking the same thing as they prepare themselves to the real world again. The difference is, they are likely getting professional help, and talking with counselors about their post-rehab plan. You just have the resources online and your own experience to prepare yourself. We hope we can provide some helpful tips for you and make this transition as easy as possible.

What to Expect Post-Rehab

  • They are Entering a More Dangerous Environment for Relapse

    When your loved one returns home, it will be both exciting and overwhelming. The real world is a bit nerve wracking because they won’t have the professional supervision or support. They also have to control themselves since they have access to drugs and alcohol again.

  • Communicate and Set Boundaries

    It’s important to be open; you want to make sure they are aware of your boundaries. Let them know of any consequences that might arise if they relapse again. If they do have cravings or thoughts of relapse, be sure they feel comfortable talking to you about it. And if they do relapse, be sure to help them get treatment again. You want to make sure you aren’t enabling them if their addiction starts up. 

  • Treat your Loved One with Respect

    Both you and your loved one know about rehab and their addiction. It’s obvious. But you don’t need to announce it and talk about it when your loved one comes home. If you’re respectful and share how happy and proud you are of them, it will make your loved one feel respected. Try not to have a judgmental opinion on their treatment. 

  • Encourage Continued Support

    Your loved one achieved a major milestone in their life, but it’s not done yet. Encourage AA meetings, therapy or any after-care treatment. Their sobriety should be their priority, and meetings/therapy will help them in recovery. It will also help them hear from others in recovery about their progress and advice.

  • Include Them in Activities

    Whether your loved one is a significant other or a friend, it’s important they feel comfortable. In most cases, their old friends are the ones they’d smoke or drink with. Now that your loved one is in recovery, it’s time to help them make new friends and hobbies. When you include them in outings and have them meet your friends, you’re making them feel welcome and appreciated.

post-rehabIt might be challenging at first with the transition of your loved one moving back home, so it’s good to make them feel comfortable. If they are struggling with making friends, invite them to hang with you and your friends. Their first year of sobriety is essential and you want to make them feel as secure as possible.  Not to mention your own thoughts, as you’ve dealt with their addiction before. It can bring up past situations, or you might experience PTSD

If you’re experiencing resentment or feeling judgmental towards your loved one, it’s okay to see a therapist as well. It’s life changing and living with someone that gave you so much difficulty and stress can be hard to deal with. There are many resources and events for you to go to seek help. 

What Should you Do When a Loved One Relapses?

Relapses are common in addiction recovery. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, or they don’t want to be sober anymore. It can simply just mean it was an accident and they need support to get help again. Sometimes people relapse and it helps them realize they need help more than before. It can also give a realization that they can’t handle their alcohol or drug consumption, and they understand any amount becomes a problem. 

Lapse vs. Relapse

Say your loved one is in recovery. She was an alcoholic and occasionally popped prescription pills. She’s sober now, but it’s still relatively early in her sobriety. She was invited to hang out with her friends one night and was tempted with a drink. She said no. But, later in the night, she felt a little left out and weird. She decided to take a drink and found herself slipping away. The next day, she apologizes for her relapse and she’s already called her sponsor and is dedicated to sobriety. 

She relapsed, but she didn’t become instantly addicted after her relapse. She was able to keep her cool, call her sponsor and dedicate her time to sobriety because she knew she messed up.

Addiction doesn’t happen after every alcohol/drug use, but it doesn’t hurt to think that it does. It keeps you from being tempted to “just try it one more time”. 

What if it Really is a Relapse?

If your loved one is in the position where they gave in and now they’re struggling with addiction again, here are some suggestions:

  1. Try not to be judgemental. That will just push your loved one away more.
  2. Offer your loved one for help finding a treatment center (whether it be the same facility or a new one)
  3. Suggest that they call their sponsor about it
  4. If your loved one doesn’t want treatment, stick up to your boundaries and consequences. If you told your loved one you’d stop paying for their food or rent, stick with it.
  5. Maybe they’ve relapsed before and are sick of getting treatment, assure them not to lose hope. Detox and residential programs are all different. It could just mean they haven’t found the right program yet.  

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to call us. We would love to help you with resources and share what programs we offer [detox and residential>. Our number is 855-737-7363 or you can chat live with us.

Posted in Addiction, For Loved Ones, Recovery, Relapse