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Supporting Your Loved One When They Return Home After Residential Treatment

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Residential treatment is one of the most effective tools away from home in the fight against drug and alcohol addiction. It enables people to enter into a world where they are safe, without access to the substances they have become dependent on for so long. Here, they can work through challenges and life struggles with support and a constant watchful eye.

Make no mistake – residential treatment is hard work and can be incredibly challenging for many people. But with the tools it provides, clients can build a strong foundation for recovery.

What happens when someone leaves treatment and heads home? Are they likely to fall back to their old habits? If you have a loved one coming home from residential treatment, be sure you’ve done what you can to prepare for what’s to come.

Focus on Family Therapy First

One of the first things to work on, both during and after residential drug addiction treatment, is family therapy. Therapy allows families to work together on the recovery process, addressing challenges in communication and any past or ongoing trauma. You’ll learn to talk about what you’re feeling in a way that fosters understanding, and you’ll learn more about what addiction is and what makes recovery difficult.

Minimize the Risks at Home

Removing the risk of relapse is important, at least in the home environment. There is no way to eliminate all risks from the world – your loved one will be exposed to alcohol, drugs, and the people and emotions that trigger their use at various points in their life. What you can do is make home a safe zone.

  • Remove any substances from your home. Don’t hide them. Remove them.
  • Don’t allow people visiting your home to bring substances into it.
  • Make sure those living in your home understand that it is a drug-free zone.

Creating this type of safe zone may seem like a burden, especially if others in the family enjoy alcohol. But the reality is that your loved one is battling for their life. Limiting your alcohol use to places that are not your home is worth it. There may come a time when your loved one feels strong in their recovery and is comfortable with having substances in the home but give them at least a year to find their footing.

Create Some Boundaries for All Involved

Setting boundaries helps to ensure everyone within the home understands their role in the addiction recovery process. Here are some ideas:

  • Make a rule that no matter the anger or pain, everyone will treat each other with respect.
  • Agree with your loved one on how many recovery meetings they’ll attend each week and what will happen if they start to slack off.
  • Welcome conversations about substance abuse. Be sure everyone in the home understands that it’s okay to talk about what they’re feeling.
  • Provide support. This does not mean doing everything for your loved one but rather working to support their unique needs at this time. Encourage them to open up. Let them know you are there to help.
  • Ensure there’s a rule of no alcohol or drug use in the home by anyone. Don’t tolerate or accept anyone coming home intoxicated.
  • Save discussions of the past for therapy sessions. Put aside blame. If your loved one knows you support them and forgive them, they will be better able to forgive and care for themselves.

Work every day towards creating a peaceful and supportive environment for everyone in the home. Make sure that each person understands they are valuable in this fight against addiction.

Recognize the Risks of Relapse

Those living within the home are the first line of defense when it comes to relapse. They have the ability to spot warning signs of relapse and help a person with addiction to get help sooner. Warning signs include:

  • Talking about drug use or substance misuse in a positive way. “I remember how much fun it was…”
  • Discussing or looking for substances in the home or asking where substances went
  • Isolation and withdrawal from others, often spending a lot of time alone
  • Mood swings that are more frequent or volatile than usual
  • Evidence of use, including paraphernalia or being high or intoxicated

If you notice any risk factors, contact your loved one’s therapist immediately. You should have a plan in place to get them help.

Know the Role You Play

It can feel unfair to have to alter your life because of another person’s needs, especially if you believe they could have avoided their disease. But addiction is insidious and life-threatening. Your loved one needs a place to live that provides a welcoming, safe foundation for rebuilding.

Let Our Team Prepare You and Your Loved One for a New Life

Canyon Vista Recovery Center provides a wide range of drug addiction treatment in Mesa, Arizona. Make today the day you reach out for help.

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