How to Cope with a Loved One in Rehab



  May 1, 2018    

Feeling the absence of someone you love while they are away at rehab in New Jersey is a testing time for you as well as them. While they are attending our addiction treatment center in New Jersey or another form of treatment, you will have concerns and questions that need answers.

Whether they are a partner, a parent, or a close friend, accepting that somebody has to go away for a while in order to get better is hard. You might experience worry, sadness and anger – but this is normal. Remember that you may need some therapy yourself to help with those feelings.

Besides seeking counselling or joining a support group for your own sake, here are some helpful ways to cope when someone you love is in rehab.

Learn About Addiction, Treatment and Rehab

You may be dealing with a lot of misconceptions about the illness of addiction and the process of rehab – and that’s okay. You may never have encountered these problems before.

However, knowledge is power, and learning more about your loved one’s condition will only help you to support them. Reading up and speaking to the rehab counselors where your friend is staying will help you understand what addiction is, what it means for the person, and how you can help.

Being informed about the person’s treatment is also important. You may not have direct access to them the whole time, but knowing what they are going through will enable you to give additional support.

Coping with Restricted Contact

In the early days of inpatient rehabilitation, the person’s access to the outside world may be heavily restricted to allow them to fully focus on getting better. That means you may not even be able to reach them by phone. This is of course upsetting, but you must trust that it is a short-term solution that will help a serious long-term problem.

In the meantime, while you have no contact with each other, you could write the person letters that they can read when you meet again. Don’t discuss any negative feelings (keep these for your own diary or for later opportunities in family workshops where you can air them) and instead focus on the support and love you have for them. Your words of encouragement will mean a lot.

Know That They Are in Good Hands

It’s a tremendous success that your loved one has accepted the help they need – many people with substance abuse issues fail to recognize or accept help. Remember that they are exactly where they need to be at this moment in time and are receiving the best professional care possible.

At SOBA, we believe rehab is a stepping stone back to normal life, and soon you’ll have the person you know and love back with you, much healthier than before.

Get Involved

If you get the opportunity to become involved with workshops or family therapy, do so. It shows your loved one that you are there for them and gives you the opportunity to partake in therapy with them. You’ll also gain some confidence in their treatment and be able to see their progression for yourself.

After the person is detoxed and ready to resume communication with the outside world, their family and friends will be asked to take part in their recovery. This usually takes the form of family workshops. This is an important step as it is shown to reduce the risk of relapse.

These sessions can be raw and painful – you’ll probably have the chance to express your feelings to the person. Truthfulness and honesty helps everyone say what they’ve wanted to for a long time in a mediated setting and encourages new beginnings – the purpose of rehabilitation.

Self-Care

Now that your loved one is in the capable hands of medical professionals and addiction specialists, the duty of care that you’ve felt for them for so long is somewhat lifted. Take advantage of this opportunity to re-focus on yourself, your other loved ones, and your passions.

Keeping yourself busy with hobbies and things you love to do will also help keep your mind from worrying about your loved one in rehab too much. Return to the things you enjoy – especially creative hobbies that allow you to express your feelings, or exercise to relieve stress.

Accept & Trust

Above all, have faith that your loved one is recovering, and things are getting better. You’ve both done a great job to get to this point – it will be okay!

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