Do you have a family member, friend, or coworker that’s struggling with addiction in New England? If so, you aren’t alone. Addiction doesn’t just affect the addict, it affects everyone close to them. Finding out that your loved one decided to attend New England rehab may be one of the happiest moments of your life. You’ve watched them struggle for so long, and now they’re on their way to getting the help they need.
There’s no question about your excitement and joy, but there’s also a little apprehension and fear. You want to be there for them during and after their treatments, but you aren’t sure of the best way to help.
We know that you only want what’s best for your loved one, and that’s why we’re here to help you. If you’re interested in supporting a loved one in rehab, keep reading to learn a bit about rehab and some of the best ways you can help your loved one.
What To Know About Rehab
Thanks to movies and TV shows, some people can have a dismal view of rehab if they’ve never had to be in a rehabilitation facility. Most modern New England drug rehab doesn’t involve sitting in a room while people sit in a circle and talk about their feelings. Group therapy is a part of many rehab programs, but it’s far from the only thing your loved one will be doing.
The typical modern addiction treatment center of New England is a combination of different kinds of therapy and medical help. Your loved one can have traditional therapy appointments along with doctor check-ups, but they could also be enjoying art and music therapy along with yoga.
Rehabilitation will be a very intense experience for your loved one, and in order for rehab to be effective, they’ll have to be monitored. That may mean that they may have some tight restrictions on what they can and can’t do.
It’s important to not take personal offense if your loved one can’t talk to you as much as you’d like during treatment. If your loved one is doing in-patient rehab they will likely have restrictions around outside communication. They may get an hour a day or week to talk to loved ones and may not be allowed to have their phone on them at all times or have unrestricted access to the internet.
A Note on Enabling
Learning how to help someone in rehab without enabling them is one of the toughest parts of supporting someone with an addiction.
Enabling can be defined as shielding people from their own consequences, and it can difficult to manage. You don’t want to see your loved one suffer, but if they can’t feel the full impacts of their behavior they won’t have the motivation they need to stop using.
Breaking out of a cycle of enabling can be very difficult, but it’s essential if you want to truly support your loved one as they get sober. If you’re concerned about accidentally enabling them, we recommend asking yourself a few questions before you take any action:
- Am I doing something my loved one can and should be doing for themselves?
- Am I trying to prevent a problem even though it’s the natural result of my loved one’s actions?
- Am I covering up bad behavior?
- Am I manipulating certain situations to try to force my loved one to behave in a certain way?
The honest answers to those questions can show you if you’re helping or hurting.
Our Top 5 Tips for Supporting Loved Ones in Rehab
Supporting a loved one going through rehab can be difficult. Their addiction may have done some serious damage to you, or you may just be unsure of what to do or say around them.
Regardless of what kind of rehab program your loved one is a part of, they’re going to need a healthy network of supportive people around them. You’re already taking the first step in supporting them, but there’s much more to do.
If you want to know how to properly support someone in recovery, make sure you follow these tips.
1. Take Care of Yourself
If there’s an emergency during a flight, airlines recommend that you take care of your own oxygen mask before you attempt to help other people get theirs on. That same principle can easily be applied to helping someone in need. There’s only so much you can do if you aren’t secure first, so spend time making sure you’re okay before you focus on someone else.
Like we said before, addiction doesn’t just affect the addict. You’re going through a lot with your loved one in rehab, so you may want to consider getting some help of your own. Speaking with a therapist on your own about how you’re dealing with your loved one’s rehab can do a lot to help.
It’s also important to note that your life can’t stop just because someone you love is in rehab. Don’t neglect your other relationships and duties and be sure to take time for yourself.
2. Wait to Address Certain Issues
Your loved one may have lied to you when they were using drugs or alcohol. They may have stolen from you, lashed out at you, or even physically hurt you during their worst times. They may have caused you a lot of pain and you’re eager to let them know just how much damage they’ve caused.
You’re absolutely justified in feeling upset about the way you were treated, and you deserve to talk about certain issues and are entitled to closure. However, you should know that now most likely isn’t the best time to get what you’re looking for.
Your loved one is most likely very aware of the pain and damage they’ve caused you. That shame may have even been a motivating factor in getting them to attend rehab in the first place. They’re likely talking through those feelings during therapy.
There will be a time and a place to discuss how you feel, but it won’t be when your loved one is in treatment. Unless someone in their treatment program recommends rehashing old issues, focus on being positive when you speak with your loved one for now.
3. Educate Yourself
You know that your loved one is struggling with addiction, but do you know what that really means? If you want to support your loved one while they’re in rehab consider learning a bit more about their condition.
Remember, addiction is a mental and physical health issue. Understanding that your loved one may struggle with certain aspects of their addiction can let you know the best ways to support them.
Knowing how their addiction manifests in different ways can be incredibly helpful. You won’t just be able to better empathize with what they’re going through, you’ll also be able to see the signs of potential abuse again.
4. Manage Your Expectations
Your loved one is finally in rehab and you couldn’t be more hopeful. They’re going to be clean and sober soon, they won’t want to touch any substance again, and everything is going to go back to normal. That line of thought is common for people supporting someone going through rehab, and it’s a particularly destructive one to have.
Did you know that 40%-60% of addicts may relapse during recovery? Relapses aren’t just common, they’re also an expected part of the recovery process. Addiction is a chronic disease that needs to be properly managed. Some days and time periods are going to be worse than others.
It also isn’t uncommon for your loved one to go through some changes. They may not want to do some of the same activities you used to because they’re worried about using again.
We recommend thinking of a variety of sober and safe activities you can do with your loved one. This may mean avoiding places that sell alcohol, clubs, and other triggering things.
We could give you dozens of tips on how to best help your loved one in rehab, but the person that can give you the best advice on how to help them is the loved one themself.
They’re going to be going through one of the most intense periods of their life. Instead of assuming you know exactly what they need to be supported, be sure to listen to them to see what they need.
Your loved one may prefer to not talk in-depth about treatment and may want to focus on hearing about your day or news about family and friends. They may need someone they can trust to vent to. They may want to see you as soon as they’re finished their program or they may want some breathing room for a bit.
Regardless of what they’re saying, listen to them so you can gauge their needs.
Learn More About New England Rehab
Supporting a loved one in New England rehab will require a mix of education, compassion, and love. If you follow the tips we laid out in this post you’ll be well on your way to being the supportive person your loved one needs.
Do you have more questions about rehab? Are you interested in learning more about addiction?
We’re here to answer any questions you may need. Be sure to contact us today so we can help.