When your loved one returns home from treatment, things at home will be different. Some families are under the impression that they’re getting back their “old” family member – the one not addicted to drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Although your loved one will be completing treatment and coming home clean and sober, they still have a lot of work to do.
The best gift you can give your family member right now is patience, compassion and understanding. Knowing what to expect will allow you to have realistic expectations of what the future holds.
Let’s go over some of the things you can expect as you enter this new chapter with your loved one.
Relearning Healthy Relationships
While your loved one was using drugs or alcohol, they probably lost healthy connections with a lot of people. The drugs and alcohol became their focus and replaced these relationships.
You may notice that your loved one is still having difficulty relating to others or communicating effectively. This will take time. Be patient and continue to be a good role model by practicing healthy relationship skills such as listening, showing empathy and asking open-ended questions.
Managing Urges And Cravings
No matter how hard you try to create a sober environment, there will always be triggers that your loved one will have to manage. These triggers can be internal or external, meaning that they come from within (feelings, thoughts, emotions) or from the outside (people, places, things, events).
No one expects you to be perfect all of the time, but working with the family unit to create an atmosphere that is loving, warm and positive will pay off. Help your loved one to understand what their triggers are so that you can put together a relapse prevention plan.
Following An Aftercare Plan
When your loved one leaves treatment, they should be given an aftercare plan that details what they should be doing in early recovery. By following this plan, they have a lower risk of relapse.
A large part of any continuing care plan will be attending 12-step meetings and counseling sessions. Help your loved one to be accountable for these meetings by putting the dates onto a calendar or providing them with the transportation. Both 12-step meetings and counseling are important building blocks in the road to recovery.
The longer your loved one stays clean and sober, the greater their chances for long-term sobriety. Millions of people are living in sobriety today, and your loved one can be one of them with your help. The key is understanding what you can expect from a recovering addict and displaying compassion, empathy and patience. Rest assured that your fight will be worth it.
If you would like to learn more about getting your loved one help for a drug or alcohol problem, call The Dunes East Hampton. We have helped many families just like yours take back their loved ones.