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How to Support in Rehab: A Comprehensive Guide

If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, you may wonder how to support someone in rehab. I did the same while looking for rehabilitation for my fiance. Rehab is a crucial step in the recovery process, but it can also be challenging and stressful for the person in rehab and their family and friends.

In the United States, rehab for drugs, alcohol, and other addictions is a big business. This year, $42 billion will be made from it. There are now 14,000 or more care centers, which is growing. About 3.7 million people got help, but many more need it, and buildings are already full.

Understanding the Rehabilitation Process

For helping addicts recover, you need to know what to expect. Rehab is individualized and tackles addiction’s physical, psychological, and social elements.

The person in rehab may choose from several rehab programs, such as:

Inpatient Rehab

This residential treatment requires the user to stay at a recovery facility for 28-90 days. Inpatient treatment involves 24/7 medical supervision, intensive therapy, and scheduled activities to help the person detox from drugs or alcohol, manage withdrawal symptoms, and acquire new skills to prevent relapse. Supporting an addict in this phase is crucial.

Outpatient Rehab

This non-residential program allows the client to attend rehab sessions at a clinic or facility while at home or in sober living. Outpatient therapy needs more self-discipline and motivation but is more flexible and less disruptive. 

Outpatient rehab comprises individual and group counseling, medication management, and educational programs to address the root reasons for addiction and establish healthy coping mechanisms.

Residential Rehab

This long-term program offers security helping addicts recover. Depending on needs and success, residential therapy might span months or years.

Residential rehab provides medical care, therapy, life skills training, career assistance, and social support to recover self-esteem, confidence, and independence. I chose this one for my fiance as her addiction was severe. And I found the treatment plan suitable for her.

Educating Yourself about Addiction and Recovery

Learn about addiction and rehabilitation to support someone in rehab. Addiction is a brain condition that alters how the brain processes rewards. Addiction causes cravings, withdrawal, tolerance, and dependence. They may also struggle to quit because of sadness, anxiety, or trauma.

Alcohol, gambling, intimacy, and the internet are addictions. Causes, effects, and treatments differ. Inpatient rehab requires hospitalization. Outpatient rehab enables people to live at home while attending clinic or center sessions.

 Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms through behavioral counseling and medications. 

Recovery requires patience and assistance. Recovery entails setbacks, relapses, and issues. You can comprehend your loved one’s struggles and needs by learning about addiction and recovery. You can also learn how to interact with them, avoid co-dependency, and create appropriate boundaries. Sources like NIDA and SAMHSA.

Be there for them emotionally

Some supportive things you can do to be there for rehab people emotionally.

To support your loved one such as I did in rehab emotionally is another way. This includes listening without judgment, encouraging them, and helping them cope with their feelings.

Rehab patients may feel guilt, humiliation, rage, grief, dread, or hopelessness. They may feel lonely, alienated, or misunderstood by friends and family.

Being kind and considerate and supporting an addict can help. You can also show your admiration and affection for their bravery. Such as:

  • I applaud your decision.
  • I’m always available.
  • Always love you.
  • I trust your recovery.
  • You’re not alone.

Staying in touch with them via phone, text, email, or letter shows your support. Ask them how they’re doing, what they’re learning in therapy, their goals, or what they need. Share good news or personal experiences to cheer them up.

Help them with practical tasks

One of the most helpful things you can do for someone in rehab is to help them with practical tasks that they might struggle with or neglect while focusing on their treatment. For example, you can:

Take them to appointments

Supporting an addict taking on a drive and accompanying them to therapy, group meetings, or medical appointments can boost motivation and comfort. You can also talk to them, encourage them, or just listen.

Help them with their finances

Addiction makes money management difficult, and rehab is expensive. Help them budget, pay bills, apply for financial aid, or save money as I used to do for my fiance when she was in rehab. Keep their cash and credit cards safe and limit their internet shopping and gambling to help them avoid triggers. Helping addicts recover faster.

Run errands for them

Simple things can boost someone’s spirits. You can help them by grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, doing laundry, cleaning their house, or other chores. This also makes them feel more structured and in charge.

Handling responsibilities at home

Supporting someone in recovery with home tasks they may struggle with or feel bad about while away is another way to support them. You could:

Discuss helping with bills, daycare, or pets to reduce stress. If you live with or are close to the person in treatment, you may want to discuss sharing or taking over some of their domestic tasks. 

Friendships in recovery play a vital role in this phase. This can let them heal without worrying about falling behind or disappointing others. Reassure them that you are delighted to help and that they are not a burden.

During support, emphasize setting limits and self-care. Helping someone recover is noble, but you must also care for yourself. Set reasonable limitations on how much and how often you can help. Self-care includes sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, relaxing, and doing what makes you happy. Friends, relatives, counselors, and support groups can also help.

Creating a Sober Environment

A clean and sober setting is crucial for an addict’s recovery.

Explaining to your loved one why a sober environment is good for them is the first step. They can avoid relapse and focus on healing by removing triggers and temptations. People, locations, situations, and emotions can trigger substance use or cravings. Alcohol, narcotics, and related paraphernalia are temptations.

Remove these triggers and temptations from your loved one’s household to aid. You can help them dispose of bottles, syringes, pipes, and spoons used to consume or produce alcohol or drugs. Help them rearrange their furniture or remodel their rooms to make them feel better. You might also suggest they remove images, posters, music, and clothing that remind them of their substance usage.

Encourage your loved one to form a sober social circle. This means avoiding folks who use drugs or don’t support recovery. It also involves making new friends who share their ideals and can encourage them. 

Friendships in recovery are crucial. Introduce your loved one to sober hobbies, sports, clubs, and support groups. Movies, games, hikes, and dinners are pleasant and healthful non-drug activities you can invite them to.

Creating a sober environment benefits your loved one’s rehabilitation and your health. This shows your loved one that you care and are proud of their success. You are also making your family safer and happier. Relapse is possible but not inevitable, and rehabilitation takes time.

Creating a sober atmosphere gives your loved one the best chance to overcome addiction and live a fulfilled life.

Encouraging Healthy Habits

Supporting someone in recovery to acquire healthy behaviors to improve their physical and emotional health.

Discuss healthy practices like:

  • Eating a balanced diet for energy and nutrition and exercising regularly to improve mood, stress, and fitness
  • Sleeping enough to recharge
  • Enjoying hobbies and activities
  • Meditating, journaling, or seeing a therapist to manage stress and cravings.

Model these healthy habits and invite them to join you when feasible. You can cook a healthy dinner, stroll or bike, or take an online yoga class. You may be supporting someone in recovery by showing them that you care about their health and that staying healthy can be fun.

Celebrating Milestones and Progress

Celebrate rehab patients’ successes. Recognizing and appreciating their efforts and accomplishments during rehab is vital.

Celebrating their achievements includes:

  • Praising and affirming their hard work and devotion.
  • Sending cards, flowers, or presents to mark essential occasions, like completing a program phase or attaining a sobriety anniversary.
  • Celebrating their achievements with family and friends.
  • Encouraging them to treat themselves to a new book, spa day, or trip.
  • Supporting and encouraging them throughout their recovery path, not only when they accomplish a milestone.

Celebrating their achievements can increase their self-esteem and confidence. Support someone in rehab to make them feel better.

After Rehab: Long-Term Support

Long-term support following treatment is the final option to help. Many find returning to regular life following treatment daunting. Obstacles and temptations may threaten their recovery. 

Typical challenges include:

  • Rebuilding relationships with family, friends, and partners that were harmed by addiction
  • Seeking stable work or education
  • Finding a supportive group or network that can provide assistance and accountability
  • Avoiding triggers or situations that could cause relapse or cravings

Being empathetic, patient, and helpful can help them overcome these problems. Another option:

  • Help them discover post-rehab counseling, therapy, or support groups.
  • Encourage them to stay to their aftercare plan and goals.
  • Check-in on them periodically and offer a listening ear or shoulder to lean on.
  • Respect their boundaries and recovery choices.

After rehab, long-term assistance can help individuals stay sober and handle life’s challenges. Show them your unconditional love and support with friendships in recovery.

People Also Ask

How to refer someone to rehab?

Listen to their worries, pain, and challenges and find a trustworthy rehab that meets their needs and helps them enroll. Respect their decision and tell them you’ll be there when they’re ready for therapy. Arguing, threatening, or manipulating someone into recovery might ruin your relationship.

What can you bring to someone in rehab?

Toiletries, clothes, books, notebooks, pictures, Pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, inspirational quotations, cards, letters, recovery books, etc., are allowed. However, some items aren’t allowed, such as Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, other paraphernalia, weapons/sharp objects, Food or drink, Money or goods.

Can you visit a person in rehab?

Yes, you can. Visiting a loved one in treatment shows support and reduces isolation. Visits may be limited at some treatment programs. Your loved one’s recuperation and wishes may affect visitability. Pre-book visiting hours and follow staff instructions.

Avoid triggers and keep your visit upbeat. Gift, letter, or healing resource for your loved one. Respect your loved ones and other clients’ privacy and join the rehab’s family programs.

Will my boyfriend still love me after rehab?

This question has no clear answer. Every relationship and rehabilitation is unique. Some couples bond after recovery, while others drift apart or break up. You may have mixed thoughts regarding your partner’s rehab. You may be proud that they are getting help and improving their health. However, you may be anxious about how their recovery would influence your connection.

Rehab is challenging but worthwhile. It can help your loved one beat addiction and live a better life. But they need help. They need your encouragement and understanding. Staying in touch, respecting boundaries, educating yourself, and caring for yourself are ways to support someone in treatment.

These recommendations can help your loved one flourish in recovery and beyond. You’re not alone. Your family has various services and support organizations. You can beat addiction together. Know if couples can go to rehab together?

Tony McKenzie
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