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How to Help a Loved One Coming Home from Rehab

The transition from inpatient treatment to normal home life is a tricky time for someone in recovery. It means moving from a sheltered, supportive environment back to a place where many of the old stresses and temptations might be waiting. There are some ways you can help make this transition easier for a loved one coming home.

Ask how you can help.

She will have discussed a post-treatment plan with a therapist or counsellor before coming home and should have some idea of what she needs to do to stay on course and what parts of that plan she needs your cooperation with. Don’t expect this conversation to be exhaustive and final, but rather a first step in opening communication and letting her know you want to help in any way you can. This may involve changing your behavior in some way. That doesn’t mean you are responsible for her addiction and recovery; it just means like any relationship, yours has room for improvement.

Give her some space.

Don’t expect perfection right away, or ever. Even if you have discussed some goals, boundaries, and responsibilities, it may take a while to work out the kinks. She has been through a lot and now has to make another big adjustment. Be patient and be willing to pick up some of the slack early on. Don’t pry too much into what she’s thinking and feeling. Just be willing to listen.

Learn as much as you can about addiction.

It’s very hard to understand addiction if you have never been through it. Nevertheless, it helps to learn as much as you can. Addiction distorts your thinking, and the more you appreciate how weird the logic of addiction is, the more supportive you can be. At the very least, educating yourself can dispel some of your faulty assumptions about addiction and make you open to learning more.

Don’t judge.

There’s bound to be some friction and disappointment. Try to refrain from judging, and especially don’t bring up the past. She’s facing enough of a struggle as it is without trying to live down all her past mistakes. Remain focused on the present and figuring out what you can do to promote the best outcome for everyone

Get support.

This will be a stressful time for you too, so don’t go it alone. Consider attending Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings for families of addicts. You can share your struggles and learn more about how to help. You can also see a therapist, either alone or with your loved one in family or couples counseling.

All you can really do is be patient and supportive. Your loved one is ultimately responsible for her own recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox safely and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at to learn more.